I am trying to do a search on SO where I include a few tags, and exclude a few:

[c#] or [java] or [winforms] -[android] -[android-studio]

Link to search

The problem is, questions with the tags c#, java, and/or winforms are included, but questions with the tags android and/or android-studio are NOT excluded.

Based on what I read in this answer, I should have my excludes before my includes:

-[android] -[android-studio] [c#] or [java] or [winforms]

However, when I try and execute that search, it automatically reorders it with the includes before the excludes.

Is there something I am doing wrong, or is this a bug/feature?

1 Answer 1


You can add parenthese with spaces to the excluded tags or OR block to get the expected result.

[c#] or [java] or [winforms] ( -[android] -[android-studio] ) is:question


( [c#] or [java] or [winforms] ) -[android] -[android-studio]

It will result the this URL

Advanced searh help page: https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/searching

  • That works, thank you! If possible, could you explain why the parentheses are needed? I'm not sure on what the order of operations is for the tag search. Aug 5, 2017 at 3:25
  • 1
    @zwork Please have a look at advanced search help page. In the OR operator they mentioned about the usage of parentheses. You can add parentheses for the OR or the excluded tags.
    – Arulkumar
    Aug 5, 2017 at 3:42

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