📘 The easiest way to add search to your documentation.
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Latest commit 3b1082c Feb 14, 2017 @maxiloc maxiloc Fix typos



The easiest way to add search to your documentation. For free.

Check out our website to add an outstanding search to your documentation.

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Table of Contents


We're scratching our own itch here. As developers, we spend a lot of time reading documentation, and it isn't always easy to find the information we need.

Not blaming anyone here. Building a good search for a documentation is a complex challenge. We happen to have a lot of experience doing that, and we want to share it with the world. For free.

Just submit the form on the website and we'll get back to you with what you need to integrate your new search into your website.

  1. We'll crawl your documentation pages,
  2. We'll configure your search experience,
  3. You'll need to add a bit of JavaScript and CSS code to your website.

If you prefer to DIY, you can run the scraper in your own infra.


Once we've crawled your documentation website we'll send you the credentials you need to add the following code snippet to your website:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/docsearch.js/2/docsearch.min.css" />
<script type="text/javascript" src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/docsearch.js/2/docsearch.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
  apiKey: '<API_KEY>',
  indexName: '<INDEX_NAME>',
  inputSelector: '<YOUR_INPUT_DOM_SELECTOR>'

You can also install docsearch via npm:

npm install --save docsearch.js


The default colorscheme is white and gray:

Default colorscheme

To update the colors to suit your website, you just need to override a few colors. Here is an example of a CSS file that you can use as a basis and that sets white and purples colors.

/* Bottom border of each suggestion */
.algolia-docsearch-suggestion {
  border-bottom-color: #3A3DD1;
/* Main category headers */
.algolia-docsearch-suggestion--category-header {
  background-color: #4B54DE;
/* Highlighted search terms */
.algolia-docsearch-suggestion--highlight {
  color: #3A33D1;
/* Highligted search terms in the main category headers */
.algolia-docsearch-suggestion--category-header .algolia-docsearch-suggestion--highlight  {
  background-color: #4D47D5;
/* Currently selected suggestion */
.aa-cursor .algolia-docsearch-suggestion--content {
  color: #272296;
.aa-cursor .algolia-docsearch-suggestion {
  background: #EBEBFB;

/* For bigger screens, when displaying results in two columns */
@media (min-width: 768px) {
  /* Bottom border of each suggestion */
  .algolia-docsearch-suggestion {
    border-bottom-color: #7671df;
  /* Left column, with secondary category header */
  .algolia-docsearch-suggestion--subcategory-column {
    border-right-color: #7671df;
    background-color: #F2F2FF;
    color: #4E4726;

Advanced styling

If you want to do heavily change the way results are displayed, you might find it easier to directly edit the scss files in this repository.

_variables.scss contains all the color, breakpoints and size definitions while main.scss holds the structure of the display.

You can regenerate the whole final css file from those scss files by running npm run build:css. The resulting files will be found in ./dist/cdn/.

All you have to do now is change the link tag that was loading the default styling from our CDN, to one that is loading your newly compiled file.

Custom options

DocSearch is a wrapper around the autocomplete.js library that gets its results from the Algolia API. As such, you can use any options provided by autocomplete.js and by the Algolia API.

Autocomplete options

You can pass any options to the underlying autocomplete instance through theautocompleteOptions parameter. You will find all autocomplete options in its own documentation.

You can also listen to autocomplete events through the .autocomplete property of the docsearch instance.

var search = docsearch({
  apiKey: '<API_KEY>',
  indexName: '<INDEX_NAME>',
  inputSelector: '<YOUR_INPUT_DOM_SELECTOR>',
  debug: true,
  autocompleteOptions: {
    // See https://github.com/algolia/autocomplete.js#options
    // For full list of options

// See https://github.com/algolia/autocomplete.js#custom-events
// For full list of events
search.autocomplete.on('autocomplete:opened', function(e) {
  // Do something when the dropdown menu is opened

We already bind the autocomplete:selected event inside the docsearch. If you want to replace the default behavior you can pass the handleSelected option

var search = docsearch({
  apiKey: '<API_KEY>',
  indexName: '<INDEX_NAME>',
  inputSelector: '<YOUR_INPUT_DOM_SELECTOR>',
  handleSelected: function (input, event, suggestion) {

Algolia options

You can also pass any specific option to the Algolia API to change the way records are returned. You can pass any options to the Algolia API through the algoliaOptions parameter.

  apiKey: '<API_KEY>',
  indexName: '<INDEX_NAME>',
  inputSelector: '<YOUR_INPUT_DOM_SELECTOR>',
  algoliaOptions: {
    hitsPerPage: 10

You will find all Algolia API options in its own documentation

Development workflow

Local example

We use a simple documentation example website as a way to develop the docsearch library.


npm run dev
# open http://localhost:8080

Local build

  • npm run build:js: will transpile all the JavaScript files inside ./dist. We build a bundled (and bundled + minified) version for CDNs and another one for npm
  • npm run build:css will convert the SCSS to CSS, along with sourcemaps and minified versions
  • npm run build:docs will create the ./docs/documentation.md file from the README.md file, to be displayed on the website.
  • npm run build will run all three previous commands
  • npm run serve will serve and watch the JavaScript and CSS files on http://localhost:8080/. If port 8080 is already taken, it will choose an available port. Source files will also be available and watched in ./dist/.

Documentation website

This is the Jekyll instance running at https://community.algolia.com/docsearch.


npm run dev:docs
# open http://localhost:4000/docsearch/
# Note that it also implicitly starts another server on localhost:8080, to load
# the bundled JavaScript from


If you are using brew and you had brew install openssl, you may need to configure the build path of eventmachine with

bundle config build.eventmachine --with-cppflags=-I$(brew --prefix openssl)/include