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I've often wondered if it is possible to search the Stack Exchange sites using a single tag and in the run up to asking this question, I have managed to burrow down into the depths of Meta and find out that it is possible:

[xml] closed:0

For me though, writing this every time seems like a bit too much work. Surely there must be a more accessible operator to search by rather than including closed:0 every time?

EDIT: It seems the query above does not produce the desired results, so I guess this question is even more pertinent now.

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What exactly do you want to search for? Your title seems to suggest something different than the actual search you've performed. Are you looking for all questions tagged XML, which are not closed? – Bart May 12 '13 at 22:53
I want to search for a tag where it is the only tag the question specifies. i.e. search for only questions where xml is tagged, whereas usually if you searched [xml] you would receive hundreds of other results where xml is accompanied by other tags such as json, php etc. – adaam May 12 '13 at 23:00
Then the search you've given does not achieve that. It only appears to do so by looking at the first results. – Bart May 12 '13 at 23:01
So what would be a better solution (if there is one?) – adaam May 12 '13 at 23:05
Hehe, I was working on that. So far no luck. :s Your option seems to cut through some of the noise though, even if it's not perfect. – Bart May 12 '13 at 23:08
It's an edge-case, but I'm surprised it's not possible to search for tags in isolation (I don't think I've seen that many in isolation). – nickhar May 12 '13 at 23:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm still not entirely sure if this is what you're trying to search for, but... there currently is no way to search for questions that only have a particular tag and no other tags. You could write a query using the Data Explorer, although the results would usually be outdated by up to a week.

I'm probably missing something obvious here, but to be honest I'm not seeing much point in searching for questions that don't have any tags other than the one you specify. Can you give an example of a use case here?

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Personally, I have expertise in a few select technologies, so therefore I would like to answer questions that relate only to that technology. For example, if I wanted to answer a question for which the user had only listed xml as a tag, I don't want to see questions that have also got json etc etc as tags because I am not experienced in json at all. The use case is simple - I am merely trying to make SO more efficient so that answerers can easily whittle down questions to their skillsets. – adaam May 12 '13 at 23:34
@adaam If there are specific tags you want to avoid, you can exclude them: [xml] -[json], for example. You can also set up ignored tags and hide questions that include them, so when you search for [xml], questions using them won't show up in the results (or will at least be deemphasized, depending on your display settings for ignored tags). I think if you could just grab questions that only include [xml], you'd be missing out on valid questions that just happened to include another descriptive tag that doesn't affect your ability to answer the question. – Adam Lear May 12 '13 at 23:37
thank you for your answer. – adaam May 12 '13 at 23:40
@adaam I notice you only have 415 rep on SO right now. I've noticed myself that it's learning system is actually surprisingly good - as you build up rep in your areas of expertise, it starts to become better at feeding you questions in those areas. I also found the tag searches a kludge at first, but now I just don't use it since the system doesn't confront me with questions I won't know about anyway anymore. – Niels Keurentjes May 13 '13 at 1:01

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