Search Box

What Does Search Box Mean?

A search box is a graphical element present in many desktop applications and websites. It acts as the field for a query input or search term from the user to search and retrieve related information from the database. A search box typically appears as a single-line text box and is usually accompanied by a search button that initiates the search command. Search boxes have become a staple of many Web applications, websites as well as mobile apps and desktop applications such as file explorers. They can be presented in various styles and formats.

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Techopedia Explains Search Box

A search box is a controlled element present in many GUI-based applications that is used to carry out search operations by the user.

Search boxes offer a convenient way to conduct searches. The search term or query is entered into the search box and then the search button is clicked. Some applications also allow the user to press the Enter key to initiate the search. The application acquires the text from the search box and matches it with the items in its database and returns the search results.

The most common applications that use search boxes are search engines. The search box is the most important graphical element in popular search engines like Google and Yahoo.

Websites like Amazon, eBay and other e-commerce sites or inventory management sites have a prominent placement of search boxes to enable easy navigation and to find the right items. Most websites and blogs have a search box for letting users find the content they want more easily and quickly.

Desktop applications like Windows Explorer also make extensive use of the search box to let users conveniently search for files and folders. Windows OS also provides a search box facility to reflect the benefits of the Run command and easily locate apps and files stored on the computer. Mobile apps also make use of the search box element to enable users to search for the content they are looking for.

The format, font and style of search boxes can be varied by altering its properties. Sometimes the search box may also be accompanied by a drop-down list that lists previous search terms or search suggestions. Search boxes may also have additional features like a spell checker, autocomplete and other controls that could restrict the user from inputting invalid queries or search terms.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.