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?


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

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  • 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. – zwork Aug 5 '17 at 3:25
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    @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 '17 at 3:42

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