Searching for assets (video tutorial)

Last updated: Jul-19-2024


Watch this video tutorial to discover the diverse methods available for searching assets within the Media Library.

For Nexus users
While this video is primarily intended for Assets users, much of the content is also applicable to Nexus.

Video tutorial

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Tutorial contents

This tutorial presents the following topics. Click a timestamp to jump to that part of the video.


Jump to this spot in the video  0:00 In this video, you'll learn how to leverage the various search capabilities within the Cloudinary Assets Console. Topics include Global Search, Global Search tips, Advanced Search, saving searches, Visual Search, and contacting support.

Global Search basics

Jump to this spot in the video  1:18 The Global Search returns assets that match the search term in the following areas: display name (only relevant for product environments using dynamic folders only), public ID, tags, and contextual metadata.

Media Library overview

Jump to this spot in the video  1:45 The Media Library includes:
  • Product Selector on the left sidebar. Navigate to Assets by clicking the Assets icon in the Product Selector.
  • Product Environment Selector at the top of the Product Navigation menu. It shows the name of the product environment you're currently using and provides the option to switch to a different one through its drop-down menu.
  • Global Search bar at the top right of the Media Library. Perform a Global Search by entering a search term in Global Search bar.
  • Display name. Double click a single asset to open the asset management drill-down page. If dynamic folders is enabled, the display name will appear at the top left.
  • Dynamic folders indicator. Navigate to the Preferences page from the Product Navigation menu. If dynamic folders is enabled, you'll see the Dynamic folders enabled at the top.
    - Note: If dynamic folders isn't enabled, consider requesting the feature.
  • Public ID. On the asset management drill-down page, you’ll find the public ID at the bottom of the Summary tab.
    - Note: If dynamic folders isn't enabled, you'll see the public ID at the top of the asset management drill-down page, instead of the display name.
  • Metadata, viewable from the Metadata tab of the assets management drill-down page.

Predictive search values

Jump to this spot in the video  4:49 As you type in the Global Search bar, predictive search suggestions will appear, including asset IDs (unique asset identifiers used programmatically), folder names, and collection names.

Structured and embedded metadata within Global Searches

Jump to this spot in the video  6:21 Structured and embedded metadata fields, located in the Metadata tab of the asset management drill-down page, are also included in Global Searches. These structured metadata fields describe your assets and are created by administrators to track specific information within your product environment.

Search settings in Preferences

Jump to this spot in the video  7:09 On the Preferences page, you can adjust settings to control the accessibility of various types of metadata in your global searches:
  • Choose whether to include structured metadata and embedded metadata in Global Search results under the Search section. This might be useful if you receive assets with unnecessary embedded metadata from external sources.
  • Decide whether to hide contextual metadata from the Media Library. This option is handy as contextual data is typically more relevant for development teams.
    - Note: Alternatively, you can collapse this section in the Metadata tab of the asset management drill-down page.

Global Search behavior

Jump to this spot in the video  10:25 Global Searches are conducted using Starts with searches. This means the search term must match the prefix of the entire value, or the prefix of any distinct element within the value, separated by a space, hyphen, or underscore, for the asset to appear in the search results. Searches for the middle portion or end portion of a word or distinct element (i.e., Contains or Ends with) are not currently supported.

Global Search tips

Jump to this spot in the video  11:34
  • Searching isn’t case sensitive.
  • Searching for multiple terms is implied OR. Typing in two search terms, like beach sand, will be considered as beach OR sand.
  • Specify booleans in all upper case if you want to use a different operator: beach AND sand, beach NOT sand
  • You can use trailing wildcards along with booleans: beach*, beach* AND sand*
  • Phrasal searching can be used in conjunction with both trailing wildcards and booleans: ”sandy beach” AND sunshine, ”sandy beach AND fish*”
  • A single grouped term (sub-query) is supported as the first term: (beach OR sand) AND desert (beach OR sand OR cliff) AND desert

Advanced Search basics

Jump to this spot in the video  16:44 The Advanced Search allows you to perform precise searches using selected filter criteria, including a number of predefined standard filters (i.e., asset characteristics) as well as custom filters (i.e., structured metadata fields).

Advanced Search in action

Jump to this spot in the video  17:15 In the Media Library Assets tab, you can see search filters as well as the search drop-down at the top left. Search for assets within a folder by clicking the Folders filter and entering the name of the folder you want to search within. Assets within subfolders are included in the results. Further refine your search by selecting other filters, for example Tags, and select a value. Use the Add more drop-down to select additional filters to search by, including both standard and custom filters, as needed for your use cases.

Search for deleted assets

Jump to this spot in the video  19:52 Select Deleted assets from the quick searches within the search drop-down at the top left. Alternatively, select the Delivery types filter from the Add more drop-down, and select Deleted assets from that filter.

Select permenant filters for the Advanced Search

Jump to this spot in the video  21:39 In the Advanced Search filters section of Preferences, you can select up to ten filters that will permanently be displayed in the Assets view of the Media Library. Filters you add via Add more will be refreshed per session.

Saved search

Jump to this spot in the video  23:07 Saving frequently performed searches can save time and minimize redundant efforts. Experienced users can also assist others by sharing their searches. To save a search that you've performed, click Save and assign a meaningful name for future reference. You can access saved search from the search drop-down at the top left. To delete a saved search the saved search, select it, and then delete it from the (3-dots) option menu next to the search drop-down.

Visual Search basics

Jump to this spot in the video  24:46 Visual Search allows users to quickly find images based on visual content using natural language searches or similarity to other images. It doesn't depend on metadata tagging, which improves discoverability and makes content instantly accessible without the need for tagging. Visual Search is currently in Beta and is exclusively accessible to customers on an enterprise plan.

Visual Search in action

Jump to this spot in the video  25:35 If Visual Search is enabled, you can access it from the search drop-down at the top left of the Assets view in the Media Library. Enter a search term to find assets based on content, even if they lack metadata. Alternatively, you can search for images visually similar to another image. Simply select Find Similar Image from the image's context menu to locate similar images.

To activate Visual Search for enterprise plans, contact your Customer Success Manager. They’ll index your images and provide an upload preset for programmatically indexing subsequently uploaded images.

Contact support

Jump to this spot in the video  29:37 There are three ways to contact support:
  • Click on the help icon in the sidebar of your Console.
  • Submit a ticket in the support center.
  • Send an email.

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