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I still don't understand how search by title works on SO. The search help has the example:

intitle:1 apples oranges

What is that '1'? That '1' is making me feel stupid right now and sites which do this to me have significant usability issues.

Does it mean first or bring back one or what!? Does that syntax follow some known standard?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Some of those search options are boolean options, meaning they're on or off, true or false, 1 or 0. The :1 part of the syntax helps the search function recognize it as an option. Other options use the number as a variable, and take something other than 1.


questions with specific words in the title        intitle:1 apples oranges
questions that have an accepted answer      hasaccepted:1 apples oranges
answers that are accepted answers              isaccepted:1 apples oranges
questions that have been closed                   closed:1 apples oranges
posts that are community wiki                        wiki:1 apples oranges


posts from a specific user                                user:1234 apples oranges
questions that have a minimum number of answers        answers:2 apples oranges
posts with a minimum number of votes            votes:15 apples oranges
questions with a minimum number of views     views:250 apples oranges
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The page needs to provide more help what the different numbers mean. I will post another question because intitle doesn't work as advertised. – Tony_Henrich Feb 13 '10 at 19:06

It appears to be a boolean flag. If it's set to 1, it limits the search to titles only. Compare the results of the following two searches:

intitle:1 foo and foo - You'll quickly note that the former is far more limiting, requiring the term "foo" to exist (even as a substring) in the titles.

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I think it's supposed to mimic google's operators like inurl or site, but it's not quite right.

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I updated the search page a bit to make this clearer

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