I think we need search functionality that allows searching for posts and excluding certain tag. For example, say, on Meta, I want to search for all posts in the [feature-request] tag, but not in the [status-completed] or [status-declined] tags. Can this be done currently, and if not, do you think we need it?

If we were to have this, I think that two possible ways of expressing a NOT statement would be:

  • ![tag] or
  • [/tag]

1 Answer 1


If you want to search for some tags, but not others, you can prepend the outcast with a minus sign, hyphen or dash (-):

[feature-request] -[status-completed] -[status-declined] -[status-bydesign]

So in the URL for tagged: [feature-request], [tags] not [status-completed], you have:


But when you're throwing it up into the search box, you have to format it a little differently. Best when you include the tags to exclude at the end:

possible [feature-request] [-status-completed]

(You can try placing the dash outside the brackets, but results are mixed (sometimes not expected at all))

  • 4
    @Jeff or other StackOverflow guys; why is this not documented here? meta.stackoverflow.com/search Oct 22, 2010 at 7:23
  • I missed it on the doc-page too. And: It doesn't work. I search for ellipse, which is a sequence of arguments (X x...) in Java (and C++), but also an imperfect circle, and I get lots of graphic results. Excluding -shape -paint -draw -circle doesn't help. Can I only exclude one word? Mar 24, 2011 at 20:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .