It started out as me trying to search for the literal string C-c in https://vi.stackexchange.com/ but it ended up omitting the - sign and showing results which contained the strings C/C++ and C & C++.

This is an example of a post which contains that string of characters (yet fails to show up in the results).

Things I've tried:

  1. This post suggests that I can use the undocumented code: operator, but when I do that, it just wraps the whole term in double quotes like this.

  2. As @terdon in Unix & Linux chat has suggested, using this Symbolhound query does yield some relevant results, but it doesn't show me the entry that is supposed to be there. edit: It appears that the Symbolhound query no longer returns that result.

  3. Finally, this post says that you can search for literal characters, but as you can see:

Quoted phrases are exact matches except for case-sensitivity, for example, you can search for code or symbols.

The second example (symbols) leads to 0 results.

So by now I assume that the search engine has changed (but the old documentation still lingers on this site). Is there a method for me to search for strings that include special (or is it literal?) characters?


As it seems now, this isn't possible indeed and since it is documented it can, it seems to be a bug. I have tried all methods described in your post, in the Advanced search tooltip and the Searching topic in the help. Nothing seems to be able to match a minus sign (or any special character).

A last resort might be (at least for now) to use SEDE to get the data you want.

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  • Thanks, there's also this query from Symbolhound, and I've edited my original question to reflect that. – AppAraat Oct 15 '15 at 12:50

Try Symbol Hound. it's a search engine that allows you to search using special characters.


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