Ever wanted to see what exactly is in your SharePoint search index with a simple query? Sure, you can take a look at the crawl log, but you can’t see that in SharePoint Online. With SharePoint 2010, you can use queries using the ContentSource keyword to return everything in that content source (i.e.: Local SharePoint sites). However, you may want to see the entire index. Well that’s actually pretty easy. Just use type % in the search box and submit your query. It will return everything there is.
This is a great way to see what is in your search index. It can also help you find things that maybe you didn’t want indexed. It even works with SharePoint Online as well.
What about people search? It works there too with SharePoint Online.
However, this doesn’t work in FAST Search for SharePoint (which is just SharePoint Search when it comes to people) for me. Even still, % is a useful operator that you can use to help troubleshoot issues with search.
UPDATE: Erich Stehr pointed out that % does not work on regular SharePoint Enterprise Search. He is correct. What is odd is that it does work in SharePoint Online. That will make you think about things. As an alternative, you can issue the query Size>=0 (no spaces) to return the entire index as well.