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I noticed that the search engine does not consider capital letters (just like most regular search engines). However, I have the feeling that in a "coding" context, this could be useful.

For example, searching pages about the standard C library "FILE" struct returns a lot of pages containing the "file" word, that are not (always) relevant.

Is there a way to force keeping capitals? If not, maybe it could be a nice feature to add?

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I've added a bounty to this question as I'd be interested in it getting a bit more attention in the hope that one of the devs could confirm whether it'd be feasible to add case-sensitive search without massive rework. –  razlebe Aug 30 '11 at 11:33
    
Still nothing from any of the SO devs, regrettably. A steer on the feasibility of this would be very welcome, if any of you are passing... –  razlebe Sep 5 '11 at 8:44
    
I wish to see this implemented, in a programatical context that could be so powerfull sometime. –  Kiwy Dec 16 '13 at 13:38
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2 Answers

I agree that case-sensitive search would be great, but if it's not feasible to implement (and @tvanfosson makes some great points why it might not be) you could use tag-based search to see if that help reduce the size of the problem.

For example, to take your example of searching for pages that deal with the C FILE type, you can construct a search that uses the C and FILE tags using the Advanced Search Options:

[C] [FILE] other terms here
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If they are running SQL Server in case insensitive mode (the default), this will be an expensive operation as you'd need to post filter any of the results you get from SQL Server to do the case matching. This would increase the processing required on the web servers, though it's really unclear how much since we don't have any idea how often it would be used. I was going to suggest using Google advanced search against site:stackoverflow.com, but they apparently have omitted case sensitive search from their tools. Perhaps they know something we don't. ;-)

Some basic facts (from Google help)

Every word matters. Generally, all the words you put in the query will be used. There are some exceptions.

Search is always case insensitive. Searching for [ new york times ] is the same as searching for [ New York Times ].

With some exceptions, punctuation is ignored (that is, you can't search for @#$%^&*()=+[]\ and other special characters).

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