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    1.0.42 • Public • Published

    Premium DOM Component

    Site Search

    Full text search with look-ahead autofill

    by Read Write Tools Dec 10, 2019
    The rwt-search DOM component is the standard user interface for the Site Search feature of the RWSERVE HTTP/2 server. This search dialog box has look-ahead word autofill to guide users in their search for locally hosted documents.


    The SEMWORDS and SITEWORDS tools (see Site Search ) produce an index of all the words used in a given website. That index is used by this DOM component to provide full text searching on a local basis, without relying on AJAX or direct server interaction.

    This DOM component handles the initial fetch of the site index, caching it to the user's local-storage for ready use across all of the website's documents.

    Internally, the DOM component uses a ternary search trie to provide partial word lookups as the user types, guiding the user towards better results.

    In the wild

    To see an example of this component in use, visit the READ WRITE STACK website and press F7 "Search". To understand what's going on under the hood, use the browser's inspector to view the HTML source code and network activity, and follow along as you read this documentation.



    The rwt-search DOM component works in any browser that supports modern W3C standards. Templates are written using BLUE PHRASE notation, which can be compiled into HTML using the free Read Write View desktop app. It has no other prerequisites. Distribution and installation are done with either NPM or via Github.


    Download using NPM

    OPTION 1: Familiar with Node.js and the package.json file?
    Great. Install the component with this command:

    npm install rwt-search	

    OPTION 2: No prior experience using NPM?
    Just follow these general steps:

    • Install Node.js/NPM on your development computer.
    • Create a package.json file in the root of your web project using the command:
    npm init		
    Download and install the DOM component using the command:
    npm install rwt-search		

    Important note: This DOM component uses Node.js and NPM and package.json as a convenient distribution and installation mechanism. The DOM component itself does not need them.

    Download using Github

    If you prefer using Github directly, simply follow these steps:

    • Create a node_modules directory in the root of your web project.
    • Clone the rwt-search DOM component into it using the command:
    git clone		

    Using the DOM component

    After installation, you need to add four things to your HTML page to make use of it.

    • Add a script tag to load the component's rwt-search.js file:
    <script src='/node_modules/rwt-search/rwt-search.js' type=module></script>             
    • Add the component tag somewhere on the page.

      • For scripting purposes, apply an id attribute.
      • Apply a sourceref attribute with a reference to the full-text word index file created by the SITEWORDS utility.
      • Optionally, apply a shortcut attribute with something like F2, F4, etc. for hotkey access.
      • And for WAI-ARIA accessibility apply a role=search attribute.
    <rwt-search id=search sourceref='/data/sitewords' shortcut=F4 role=search></rwt-search>             
    • Add a button for the visitor to click to show the dialog:
    <a id=search-button title='Search (F4)'>
    • Add a listener to respond to the click event:
    <script type=module>
        document.getElementById('search-button').addEventListener('click', (e) => {


    Dialog size and position

    The dialog is absolutely positioned towards the bottom right of the viewport. Its position and size may be overridden using CSS by defining new values for the variables:

    rwt-search {
        --width: 70vw;
        --height: 75vh;
        --bottom: 1rem;
        --right: 1rem;

    Dialog color scheme

    The default color palette for the dialog uses a dark mode theme. You can use CSS to override the variables' defaults:

    rwt-search {
        --color: var(--white);
        --accent-color1: var(--pure-white);
        --accent-color2: var(--yellow);
        --accent-color3: var(--js-blue);
        --background: var(--black);
        --accent-background1: var(--medium-black);
        --accent-background2: var(--pure-black);
        --accent-background3: var(--nav-black);
        --accent-background4: var(--black);


    The browser's local-storage area is used to cache the sitewords file and the user's most recent search terms. These keys are set by the DOM component:

    sitewords-data The contents of the SITEWORDS index fetched from the server.
    sitewords-expires An expiration date checked before considering whether or not to refetch the SITEWORDS index. This is obtained from the server's cache-control response header.
    sitewords-etag The etag response header captured in the most recent SITEWORDS fetch. This is used to send a conditional request to the server when the SITEWORDS index has passed its expiration date.
    rwsearch-request The most recent search terms used by the visitor.

    Life-cycle events

    The component issues life-cycle events.

    Sent when the component is fully loaded and ready to be used. As a convenience you can use the waitOnLoading() method which returns a promise that resolves when the component-loaded event is received. Call this asynchronously with await.


    DOM components logo Documentation READ WRITE HUB
    git logo Source code github
    DOM components logo Component catalog DOM COMPONENTS
    npm logo Package installation npm
    Read Write Stack logo Publication venue READ WRITE STACK


    The rwt-search DOM component is not freeware. After evaluating it and before using it in a public-facing website, eBook, mobile app, or desktop application, you must obtain a license from Read Write Tools .

    Site Search Software License Agreement
    1. This Software License Agreement ("Agreement") is a legal contract between you and Read Write Tools ("RWT"). The "Materials" subject to this Agreement include the "Site Search" software and associated documentation.
    2. By using these Materials, you agree to abide by the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
    3. The Materials are protected by United States copyright law, and international treaties on intellectual property rights. The Materials are licensed, not sold to you, and can only be used in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. RWT is and remains the owner of all titles, rights and interests in the Materials, and RWT reserves all rights not specifically granted under this Agreement.
    4. Subject to the terms of this Agreement, RWT hereby grants to you a limited, non-exclusive license to use the Materials subject to the following conditions:
    • You may not distribute, publish, sub-license, sell, rent, or lease the Materials.
    • You may not decompile or reverse engineer any source code included in the software.
    • You may not modify or extend any source code included in the software.
    • Your license to use the software is limited to the purpose for which it was originally intended, and does not include permission to extract, link to, or use parts on a separate basis.
    Each paid license allows use of the Materials under one "Fair Use Setting". Separate usage requires the purchase of a separate license. Fair Use Settings include, but are not limited to: eBooks, mobile apps, desktop applications and websites. The determination of a Fair Use Setting is made at the sole discretion of RWT. For example, and not by way of limitation, a Fair Use Setting may be one of these:
    • An eBook published under a single title and author.
    • A mobile app for distribution under a single app name.
    • A desktop application published under a single application name.
    • A website published under a single domain name. For this purpose, and by way of example, the domain names "" and "" are considered to be separate websites.
    • A load-balanced collection of web servers, used to provide access to a single website under a single domain name.
    THE MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED BY READ WRITE TOOLS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL READ WRITE TOOLS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE. This license is effective for a one year period from the date of purchase or until terminated by you or Read Write Tools. Continued use, publication, or distribution of the Materials after the one year period, under any of this Agreement's Fair Use Settings, is subject to the renewal of this license. Products or services that you sell to third parties, during the valid license period of this Agreement and in compliance with the Fair Use Settings provision, may continue to be used by third parties after the effective period of your license. If you decide not to renew this license, you must remove the software from any eBook, mobile app, desktop application, web page or other product or service where it is being used. Without prejudice to any other rights, RWT may terminate your right to use the Materials if you fail to comply with the terms of this Agreement. In such event, you shall uninstall and delete all copies of the Materials. This Agreement is governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of California. If for any reason a court of competent jurisdiction finds any provision of the Agreement to be unenforceable, that provision will be enforced to the maximum extent possible to effectuate the intent of the parties and the remainder of the Agreement shall continue in full force and effect.


    To activate your license, copy the rwt-registration-keys.js file to the root directory of your website, providing the customer-number and access-key sent to your email address, and replacing with your website's hostname. Follow this example:

    export default [{
        "product-key": "rwt-search",
        "registration": "",
        "customer-number": "CN-xxx-yyyyy",
        "access-key": "AK-xxx-yyyyy"


    npm i rwt-search

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    see license.html

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