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Apache Solr extract, highlight HTML elements based on query, filter query terms

Update. (+18d) edited title and provided answer addressing original question.


I am indexing HTML pages and dumping the <p>...</p> content as a snippet for search query returns. However, I don’t want / need all that content (just the context around the query matched text).


With these in my [classic] schema,

<fieldType name="text_general" class="solr.TextField" positionIncrementGap="100" 
autoGeneratePhraseQueries="true" multiValued="true">

<field name="p" type="text_general" indexed="true" stored="true" multiValued="true" 
omitNorms="true" termVectors="true" />

and these in my solrconfig.xml

<str name="queryAnalyzerFieldType">text_general</str>

<updateProcessor class="solr.AddSchemaFieldsUpdateProcessorFactory" name="add-schema-fields">
  <lst name="typeMapping">
    <str name="valueClass">java.lang.String</str>
    <str name="fieldType">text_general</str>
    <lst name="copyField">
      <str name="dest">*_str</str>
      <int name="maxChars">256</int>

<initParams path="/update/**,/query,/select,/spell">
  <lst name="defaults">
    <str name="df">_text_</str>

<requestHandler name="/update/extract"
  <lst name="defaults">
    <str name="lowernames">true</str>
    <str name="uprefix">ignored_</str>
    <str name="capture">div</str>
    <str name="fmap.div">div</str>
    <str name="capture">p</str>
    <str name="fmap.p">p</str>
    <str name="processor">uuid,remove-blank,field-name-mutating,parse-boolean,

<requestHandler name="/query" class="solr.SearchHandler">
  <lst name="defaults">
    <str name="echoParams">explicit</str>
    <str name="wt">json</str>
    <str name="indent">true</str>

<queryResponseWriter name="json" class="solr.JSONResponseWriter">
  <!-- For the purposes of the tutorial, JSON responses are written as
   plain text so that they are easy to read in *any* browser.
   If you expect a MIME type of "application/json" just remove this override.
  <str name="content-type">text/plain; charset=UTF-8</str>

I get this result [Solr Admin UI; facsimile shown here],

"p":["Sentence 1. Sentence 2. Sentence 3. Sentence 4. ..."]

In the source HTML document those sentences occur singly in p-tags, e.g. <p>Sentence 1.</p>, <p>Sentence 1.</p>, …


  1. How can I index them, singly? My rationale is that I want to display a snippet of the context around the search result target (not the entire p-tagged content).

  2. Additionally, in the Linux grep command we can, e.g., return a line before and after the matched line (-C1, context, argument). Can we do something similar, here?

    i.e., if the Solr query match is in Sentence 2, the snippet would contain Sentences 1-3?

I tried assigning unique id’s to the p-elements (<p id="a">...</p> <p id="b">...</p> but I just got this in Solr,

"p":["a Sentence 1. b Sentence 2. Sentence d 3. Sentence d 4. ..."]



Update [2020-12-31]

  • Please overlook the answering of my own question, as 18 days have passed with one comment and no answers.

I am building a search page with Solr as the backend, inspired by the following Ajax Solr tutorial.

Ultimately, I decided to forgo Solr highlighting in favor of a more flexible, bespoke JavaScript (JS) solution.

Basically, I:

  • collect the Solr query (q) and filter query (fq) values (terms) in an array (simplified example shown below; more complete JS code appended)

    for (var i = 0, l =; i < l; i++) {
        var doc =[i];
  • extract sentences matching those terms (words) via a JS regex expression

    var mySentences = doc_p.replace(/([.?!])s*(?=['"A-Z])/g, "$1|").split("|");

    where doc.p is a Solr field (defined in schema.xml) corresponding to indexed HTML p-element (<p>…</p>) text.

  • highlight those query terms

    var query ='q').value;  /* or loop over array */
    const replacer = (str, replace) => {
        const re = new RegExp(`(${replace})`, 'gi')
        return str.replaceAll(re, '<font style="background:#FFFF99">$1</font>')
    var doc_p_hl = replacer(doc.p.toString(), query);
  • use those term-highlighted strings as snippets on the frontend

  • apply a similar approach to the highighting of query terms in the full documents, doc.p.toString()


Here is the JS code I wrote to collect Solr “q” and “fq” terms in an array. Note that Solr returns single fq as a string, and multiple fq terms as an array.

var q_arr = [];
var fq_arr = [];
var highlight_arr = [];
var snippets_arr = [];
var fq_vals = [];

if (('q').value !== undefined) &&
    ('q').value !== '*:*')) {
    query ='q').value;
    console.log('q_arr:', q_arr, '| type:', typeof q_arr, '| length:', q_arr.length)

var doc_responseHeader = this.manager.response.responseHeader;
if (doc_responseHeader.params.fq !== undefined) {

    /* ONE "fq" (FILTER QUERY) TERM: */
    if (typeof doc_responseHeader.params.fq === 'string' ||
        doc_responseHeader.params.fq instanceof String) {

    if  (typeof doc_responseHeader.params.fq === 'object' ||
        doc_responseHeader.params.fq instanceof Object) {

        for (var i = 0, l = doc_responseHeader.params.fq.length; i < l; i++) {

    fq_vals ={return x.replace(/keywords:/g, '');})
    console.log('fq_vals', fq_vals, '| type:', typeof fq_vals, '| length:', fq_vals.length)

    for (var i = 0, l = fq_vals.length; i < l; i++) {