Better FullTextSearch UI, or hiding elastic search syntax from user?

Is there a way to help the user to search better, without having them to learn elastic search syntax?

I can remember things like AND (+), OR (|), NOT (-), prefix (*), precedence (), fuzziness (~) and such.

However, my users cannot and probably do not want to remember anyway.
So I need a simple form which would construct the search query.

Currently, the search “interface” (“GUI”) looks like this:


I’d like to have basic input fields (or filters?) like:

  • word/string must be in result (+)
  • word/string must not be in result (-)
  • file date before given date
  • file date after given date
  • etc…

How can this be done?
Or perhaps there is already a solution and I just did not find it yet?

Files to be searched are basically ocr’d PDF files.

Nextcloud version: 19.0.4
Operating system and version: Ubuntu 20.04



Would be nice if I could tell our developer where to start if something like this needs to be developed.
Does anyone have a hint?