Basic Search

Learn the basics of effective content searches.

Joel Bradley avatar
Written by Joel Bradley
Updated over a week ago

Tags | Search |

Applies to: All Stack Overflow for Teams


Stack Overflow for Teams offers a powerful search feature to help you quickly locate content on your site.

NOTE: This article covers the basics of search. For more advanced search techniques, read the Advanced Search and Unified Search articles.

To do a basic search, simply enter a word or two into the search bar at the top of the screen. As you type, Stack Overflow for Teams displays results (if any) beneath the search bar.

This real-time feature searches post titles only. To do a full search of titles and post contents, press ENTER on your keyboard.

Search tips

When a simple keyword search doesn't return the desired results (or too many results), Stack Overflow for Teams offers many ways to refine and improve your search.

If you need to expand or narrow your search, try the following techniques.

  • To find a specific phrase, enclose it in quotes.

  • To search within specific tag(s), enter them in square brackets. For example: "[maintenance] seat" searches for mentions of "seat" within content tagged with the maintenance tag.

  • To limit your search to just the title of a post, enter "title:" followed by the search term(s). To search the body and not the title, enter "body:" followed by the search term(s).

  • To search only within code blocks, enter "code:" followed by the search term(s). For example: "code:mathlib" searches code blocks for "mathlib".

  • To search just your posts, enter "user:me" followed by the search term(s).

  • To exclude results from a tag, term, or phrase, preface it with "-" in your query. For example: "waffles -unicorns" finds posts that mention the tasty breakfast food but not the mythical creature, while "[laurel] -[hardy]" includes posts tagged only with the first half of the classic comedy couple.

  • Add an asterisk ("*") anywhere in a search term to create a wildcard search. The asterisk matches any characters, and broadens your search. For example: "local*file" would find "localCreateFile()" and "localDeleteFile()".

When you first place your cursor in the empty search box, you'll see these and other helpful tips displayed under the search box.

Need help? Submit an issue or question through our support portal.

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