How to Enhancing AEM Search with Synonyms

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) provides a powerful search feature that allows users to find relevant content quickly and efficiently. One way to enhance AEM search and improve user experience is by setting up synonyms. This article guides you on how to set up synonyms in AEM search.

Key Takeaways

  • Synonyms in AEM search help improve content discoverability by relating terms and concepts.
  • Setting up synonyms involves creating a synonym dictionary and configuring the search component.
  • Regular testing and updates are necessary to ensure that the synonym feature remains effective and relevant.
  • Understanding how synonyms work in AEM is crucial for maximizing the search feature’s capabilities.

Introduction to AEM Search

AEM Search is a powerful tool that allows users to find the content they need quickly. It uses indexing, which is a way of organizing data to optimize speed and performance when querying content within AEM.

The Role of Synonyms in AEM Search

Synonyms in search are words or phrases that mean the same, or nearly the same, as another word or phrase. Incorporating synonyms into your AEM search can improve content discoverability, user experience, and satisfaction by ensuring users find what they’re looking for, even when using different terminology.

Setting Up A Synonym Dictionary

The first step in enabling synonyms in AEM search is to create a synonym dictionary. This dictionary is a list of terms that should be treated as equal when conducting a search.

  1. Create a Text File: The synonym dictionary is a simple text file where each line contains a group of synonyms separated by commas.
  2. Upload the Dictionary: Upload your text file to a location in your AEM instance (for example, /etc/synonyms).

Configuring the Search Component

The next step is to configure the search component to use the synonym dictionary.

  1. Access the Search Component: Navigate to the search component in the AEM component console.
  2. Modify the Configuration: In the component’s dialog, specify the path to your synonym dictionary in the appropriate field.

Understanding the Synonym Search Process

When a user performs a search, AEM checks the search term against the synonym dictionary. If it finds a match, it includes the synonyms in the search query. This process is transparent to the user, who simply sees improved search results.

Testing Synonym Search

After setting up synonyms, it’s important to test the search functionality to ensure it’s working correctly.

  1. Perform Searches: Try searching with a variety of terms and phrases that include your synonyms.
  2. Evaluate the Results: Check if the search results are in line with your expectations. The search should return results for all synonyms of the search term.

Maintaining the Synonym Dictionary

Over time, you may need to add, remove, or modify synonyms in your dictionary to keep it up-to-date and relevant.

  1. Review the Dictionary Regularly: Regularly review and update your dictionary to reflect changes in language use and search behavior.
  2. Update the Dictionary: Add, remove, or modify synonyms as needed. Remember to test the search functionality after any changes.


Setting up synonyms in AEM search can significantly enhance user experience by improving content discoverability. By understanding how synonyms work in AEM search and following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively set up and maintain synonyms in your AEM search environment.

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