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I have found that the Title search is usually better than the search box, so I'll hit the Ask Question button, type in a title, and see what comes up on the list. I just did that for a short title and got the following message with no list:

That title is too short to be useful. Can you add some more detail?

How about giving me that message, AND the list?

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Maybe there's too many potential hits in the DB? – Awesome Poodles Aug 1 '11 at 2:39
Yeh, that could be. – Lance Roberts Aug 1 '11 at 2:43
I do the same thing, it's quicker than Jeff's solution below and you get real-time results. The real problem is that we're using the "Ask Question" page to do searches. For the amount of content on SO, I feel that a page dedicated to viewing and filtering search results with real-time updates would be awesome and extremely effective. – Wesley Murch Aug 1 '11 at 3:30
Workaround: The limit is fifteen characters so just add a word that isn't indexed repeatedly, e.g. "and and and". – Rick Sladkey Aug 1 '11 at 3:39
@Rick, thanks, that'll help. – Lance Roberts Aug 1 '11 at 3:40

If you need to replicate title search, simply use the title: operator as documented here:

title:apples oranges

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It doesn't work well for multiple words, for example on SO I tried the search title:apple title:unix and title:apple AND title:unix and neither search gave me only questions with those two words in the title. They seemed to key off of the first title search, and ignored the unix term. And of course the search for title:"apple unix" returns nothing because it only returns exact results. – Lance Roberts Aug 1 '11 at 3:39
But I'll admit the Question Title search box doesn't actually work any better when actually tested. – Lance Roberts Aug 1 '11 at 3:43

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