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I think it would be helpful if there was an advanced search page. This could do the following:

  • Allow user to select AND instead of OR
  • Allow easy filtering by tags
  • Allow easy filtering by user
  • Allow searching of only questions with no accepted answers
  • Allow searching of only questions with no answers
  • Include an actual search button, allowing search via handheld devices

There would be a link to this search page on the footer of every page (no need to clutter the header).

A lot of this is already available, but requires the user to know all the "tricks" for searching on SOFU. This page would make advanced searches more accessible in general, as well as supporting some new functionality.

What else would you want to see on an advanced search page?

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4 Answers 4

One thing I run into frequently is the need to find a specific answer that was made in reply to a question of which I only remember a keyword or two.

So I remember that I - or someone else for that matter - recommended ABC in an answer to a question that dealt with XYZ.

Searching for ABC alone yields way too many results, as does searching for XYZ, often even if I search for an answer made by myself, narrow it down to my own answers using USER:xyz.

The solution to this would be a combined search: Find only answers matching certain criteria, in a question matching certain other criteria.

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2  
Yes. Searching on the trilogy is heavily optimized for finding questions (and this is a good thing!), but it overlooks a growing need for the more active users to find answers. And Google doesn't really help that much. –  Aarobot Mar 27 '10 at 16:00

SO needs to be able to search in cooperation with tag selection.

Before anything else, the following must be fixed:

  1. Enter a search term and get the results.

  2. Now you want to filter the results by a tag button you are interested in. Select the tag (e.g. my programming language) and expect to see the search results for only your tag.

Nope. You get all question filtered for the tag, not by your search term.

Okay, then how about the following:

  1. Select the tag button you are interested in and get the results.

  2. Now enter a search term and expect to see the search results for only your tag.

Nope. You get all question filtered for your search term, and not by your tag.

This should be done by default, without need the [tag] entered, and even without an advanced search page.

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Much of this is now available, and can be found documented here:

http://stackoverflow.com/search

The rest should probably be broken out into separate .

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Maybe there should be an explicit link to that page somewhere. I only stumbled upon that page when I entered an empty search query by accident. I don't think many people will make/did the same mistake I did. –  Jeff Mercado Jun 18 '12 at 5:58
    
It is linked to in the faq @Jeff –  Shog9 Jun 18 '12 at 6:13
3  
@shog nobody reads that s**t! :) –  Jeff Atwood Jun 18 '12 at 6:30
1  
@jeffA - Apparently just over 21K users do :P –  Lix Jun 18 '12 at 7:30
    
@jeff more seriously the advanced search page is also linked from, for example, the search results page. Try meta.stackoverflow.com/search?q=Test and look for Want better search results? See our search tips! –  Jeff Atwood Jun 18 '12 at 15:13
    
The new blank page leaves plenty to the imagination. –  random Feb 12 '13 at 22:03

We have an Advanced Search page already:

google search

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This also works for SU and SF ^^ –  Ivo Flipse Mar 27 '10 at 15:08
5  
On the list that Jon B made, this does only items 1 and 5. –  Pëkka Mar 27 '10 at 15:28
    
if all you want to do is search through Google then stackoverflow.com/search has a box for that. If you want to search all Stack Exchange sites through Google use the search box at stackexchange.com –  Jeff Atwood Dec 13 '10 at 5:27
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-1 because google doesn't understand the underlying data (whom belong questions, answers, tags etc.) –  Tomas Dec 1 '11 at 14:22

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