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I'm trying to do a search in the SO search engine for C code questions that contain the %*s specificer. The search I'm using is: [c] "%*s", I've also tried it with `s

The problem is that the search engine isn't pulling up any results containing this specificer (and I know there's at least this one), I think it's using the * as a wildcard instead.

I saw some answers on MSO to similar questions suggesting to use symbolhound but it seems I can't apply the "C" tag there, so I'm stuck searching every %*s in every language (apparently it comes up in MATLAB a lot).

So is there a way to either "escape" the * in the SO search or apply the [c] tag using symbolhound... or some other mechanism I'm missing?

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There is a feature-request floating somewhere asking for symbol search support on SO here:… – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 2 '12 at 18:53
Maybe this? – Tim Stone Nov 2 '12 at 18:57
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ - That's good... be great if it got put in. In the mean time can we escape characters or am I SOL? – Mike Nov 2 '12 at 18:58
@TimStone Hey, that's not bad! – Mike Nov 2 '12 at 19:00
@TimStone - Yeah, that actually turned up what I was looking for, (I knew someone had to have asked that). If you can post your suggestion as a Answer I'd be happy to accept. – Mike Nov 2 '12 at 19:07
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In this case, you can use the super-secret, undocumented code: operator with quotation marks to get what you're after by searching for [c] code:"s*%".

I'm not sure that search is necessarily interpreting * as a wildcard, but you sometimes have to be a bit direct to get it to do what you want (and know about hidden operators).

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