After an extended alpha period, we are pleased to announce the release of Custom Filters (formerly known as Custom Question Lists).

Custom Filters provide a rich UI for building more tailored views of questions around your specific needs (e.g. unanswered questions about movie series you like but not the movies you don't) as well as the ability to save those lists for quick access later.

So, what does it look like?

The change in the UI is subtle, and if you never use the feature it shouldn't impact you too much.

We're going from this:

Screenshot of a question list header before Custom Filters

To this:

Screenshot of a question list header after Custom Filters, with the only notable difference being rearranged tabs, a "more" tab, and "Filter" button

With this component in the sidebar:

Screenshot of a sidebar component titled "Custom Filters" with a single button, "Create a custom filter"

Notably, the order of tabs has rearranged slightly, Featured has been renamed Bounties, and a few items have been tucked into a "More" dropdown. There's also a blue Filter button.

Once you click Filter or "Create a custom filter", though, you're brought into a new UI that lets you select tags, choose a sort order, and specify the attributes of the questions that you want to view.

Screenshot of expanded filter UI described above

From there, you can apply your filter to the current page or save it so that you can quickly access it again from the sidebar or More dropdown.

Screenshot of sidebar with several saved question lists and one active.

What about new content indicators?

If you've been following this project, you know that new content indicators have been "just around the corner" for a while. It's not a trivial problem to get right at scale, and while we've been close for a while, there's one last issue we want to resolve before shipping. That is targeted for mid-July.

Where do I file bugs and feature requests?

You can file on meta using the tag.

Special thanks to our alpha testers

You have all been a huge help both not just in finding bugs but also in shaping the direction of the product.

For a history of the project, you can view these previous meta posts:

  • 6
    If we have feature requests from earlier posts that have been neither implemented nor rejected, should we repost them here? Jul 1, 2019 at 19:13
  • 126
    Not a feature request or bug report, so doesn't really merit an answer of its own. I'd just like to comment that I really appreciate how you've made this potentially major change integrate so seamlessly. This is discoverable, yet not annoying. I appreciate that you paid attention to keeping it low-impact and maintaining as much of the site's design as possible. This is very elegant, and shows an attention to detail that has really been missing lately as new features have been introduced in a scattershot, "big bang" way, with no attention paid to their impact on folks in real day-to-day use.
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 1, 2019 at 23:43
  • 3
    @MonicaCellio You can post it either as a full answer or question or just a link. Plenty of things probably fell through the cracks. Jul 2, 2019 at 0:17
  • 25
    Free-hand (or the equivalent) circles on the screenshots would help. Jul 2, 2019 at 10:47
  • 5
    Thank you for implementing requested features that benefit existing users of the site. Jul 2, 2019 at 14:30
  • 7
    So awesome to see this ship. Lots of great refinements along the way. Great work @BrianNickel and team!
    – Joe Friend
    Jul 2, 2019 at 22:40
  • "Featured"->"Bounties"? No "Info"?
    – user474678
    Jul 3, 2019 at 17:01
  • 2
    @JL2210 Yep, Featured is now Bounties. Info is gone but it did the same thing as the "Learn more..." button directly above it. Jul 3, 2019 at 17:34
  • 4
    @BrianNickel The Featured->Bounties change caused some confusion on Meta.SO. See meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/386790/…
    – user474678
    Jul 3, 2019 at 17:56
  • There's still a bug with cached results not updating. Just checked today and the most recent post on hitting the "back" button in Chrome is from June 20th. Rep count, featured questions, even other filters revert to whenever the cached data is from.
    – Steve-o169
    Jul 8, 2019 at 20:32
  • Very nice. I like that it live updates newest in my tags.
    – Travis J
    Jul 9, 2019 at 19:43
  • 1
    I was dreaming of this feature. I will sound harsh but it would be nice to filter by reputation of the person asking the question. How many times I replied to question from ghost account only to loose time.
    – amirouche
    Jul 10, 2019 at 21:42
  • 2
    Why isn't there a filter to search for questions that have an answer? When learning something new it could be useful to read questions about the language/platform and their answers to become introduced to new things. As it stands, you scroll through questions thinking "Yes, I would like to know the answer to that as well"...
    – Muuski
    Jul 10, 2019 at 21:56
  • Best feature in a long time!
    – Suragch
    Jul 17, 2019 at 17:30
  • 2
    So I appear to have gained some irritating red dots on my filters, um, any explanations?!
    – DavidG
    Jul 25, 2019 at 10:07

31 Answers 31


This is an updated version of a request I posted on the original announcement (but I failed to explicitly tag it FR, so perhaps it was overlooked).

The first set of filter options includes "no answers", "no accepted answer", and "has bounty". All of those are useful. There is an additional item I'd like to see in this list: "no answer by me". This would be a big help for power users who try to actively curate, including finding older questions that didn't get much attention but are nonetheless good questions. It is not possible to find these using site search; I hope that doesn't mean it's also not possible to include in custom lists.

Not infrequently, I go looking in specific tags for questions where my expertise might be helpful. And when I do this, I keep bumping into questions I've already answered, especially on smaller sites. I want to skip those so I can focus my attention on questions where I can still provide benefit.

SO is about 11 years old; I personally have answers on some sites that are more than 8 years old. I've answered thousands of questions across the network, some on closely-related sites, and there are plenty of people way more prolific than I. Relying on memory to filter out all those questions isn't working, and using SEDE as a stand-in for custom question lists isn't ideal.

Please help us more effectively find questions where we can contribute.

  • 7
    This isn’t something we can currently do with Custom Filters. To scale, the indexing engine we use contains only a small subset of information about questions, and it doesn’t know about answerers. It doesn’t currently have any knowledge like this because it has fixed size data structures and that would have to be variable width. It may be possible to add to search, but I’m less familiar with that. Jul 2, 2019 at 3:16
  • 5
    @BrianNickel thanks for the response. If it could be added to search that would be good enough. Search has some support for users, so maybe it's possible to implement "answeredby:###". Jul 2, 2019 at 3:24
  • 1
    Hm... actually, you can determine if you've answered a question yourself with inquestion:<post_id> is:a user:me, although the suggested answeredby:<user_id> would let you search for terms in the question body itself (and also use the fact that you've answered as a criterion for searching questions).
    – EKons
    Jul 2, 2019 at 17:13
  • 4
    @EKons that lets me check one question (post_id is a parameter). I want to search for them -- show me all questions on this tag that I haven't answered. Jul 2, 2019 at 21:42
  • @MonicaCellio Yeah, that's what I mean with the part in the parentheses. I just wanted to prove that determining if a specific question has been answered by someone is possible using existing search functions.
    – EKons
    Jul 2, 2019 at 21:44
  • 5
    Oh, I see. Yes, if I want to find the ones I have answered, that's doable. Negating it, however... Jul 2, 2019 at 21:45
  • 1
    Also the opposite, questions that I have answered: I've written 422 answers on gamingSE and sometimes I remember that I have at some point written an answer to a similar question that was worded very differently, so it's hard to search for it. Usually I just use Google for that then instead of the site search, but of course that's not the intended way to do it. Jul 4, 2019 at 17:38
  • 5
    @FabianRöling you can search for user:me is:a plus your tag or search terms to help find those. (I do that too when I see a question similar to one I know I've answered before.) Jul 5, 2019 at 16:50
  • Does that also search for words in the question text? Jul 5, 2019 at 21:15
  • @FabianRöling no, it won't match on text in the question, but it can match on text in the answer. And you can search on tags even though you're searching answers; sometimes that works better for me than text. Jul 5, 2019 at 21:46
  • Re inquestion: That operator searches answers in terms of questions. Since that's a many-to-one relationship, it's much easier to index in one direction than in the other (as Brian has already said). Basically, you just add a question field on every answer object. Going in the other direction means a more complicated indexing stack. While I would very much like to see this feature, I'm not sure it's going to happen.
    – Kevin
    Sep 24, 2019 at 16:48

The list of filters is automatically sorted by name in ascending alphabetical order. Can we keep those filters on our customized order?

For example (see below), I always want to keep the SQL filter in the top of the filters list. Currently there is no way to keep our customized filter order.

  • 6
    I don't see us doing this in the near future. I explored a similar request last year about watched tags and got internal pushback because sorting is a complex to do well. Shog wrote a user script for tags which could probably be adapted to service this as well. Jul 1, 2019 at 23:08
  • 10
    You can prepend your favorite filters with a special character (like # or _ to hack the sort. (e.g. # SQL) Jul 2, 2019 at 11:51
  • 5
    Or you could number them since the name is free-form, something like 1) SQL, 2) Angular etc.
    – Raidri
    Jul 2, 2019 at 15:11
  • 3
    @Raidri 10) will break it though.
    – EKons
    Jul 2, 2019 at 17:10
  • 19
    @EKons 01), 02) ... then
    – Raidri
    Jul 2, 2019 at 17:34
  • 12
    We're going back to BASICs, are we? @Raidri Jul 3, 2019 at 13:50
  • This would be wonderful, but probably expensive to keep per user preferences like this (though I don't know if it would be prohibitively so).
    – TylerH
    Jul 3, 2019 at 14:12
  • 5
    @TylerH - they're already keeping a per-user list of filters, a sort_order column would probably solve it
    – Robotnik
    Jul 4, 2019 at 1:06

Using a - to exclude a tag searches for not instead, meaning I have to type the entire tag without autocomplete:

filter panel with the text 'dash typescript' in the 'the following tags' input, and the results highlighting the word 'not'

  • 9
    I don't know how xarmin.ios gets in there, but otherwise I find this absolutely hilarious that it 'knows' enough to translate '-' into not, but doesn't 'realise' it shouldn't. Jul 2, 2019 at 11:47
  • 28
    "xamarin.ios" has the synonym "monotouch". Jul 2, 2019 at 12:41
  • 8
    @SteveBennett that is amazing. Jul 2, 2019 at 12:45
  • 4
    This entire bug is amazing. Among other things, it shows how hard it is to test every possibility is handled the right way. Nice catch!
    – Mast
    Jul 22, 2019 at 8:45
  • 3
    This will be fixed in the next build. Autocomplete called safeTags(input.value)[0], which works with the default implementation but not mine. Since I return ['not', 'typescript'] all negative queries autocompleted on "not". This fixes that and enhances the UI to render and process "not" on negated autocompletes. Jul 29, 2019 at 20:26

If there aren't any bounties currently offered, it would be nice if the "0" wasn't so . . . emphasized. Here's what the tabs look like on Worldbuilding right now, where there are no active bounties:

Screenshot of tabs of new UI

The bright "0" draws my eye too it pretty quickly, especially given the plain white background. It's great if the number's in blue if there are active bounties - heck, they're supposed to be getting extra attention - but if not, it's a bit distracting.

Would it be possible to not highlight the number in blue if there are no active bounties, and just keep it in the same font (and background) as the rest of the tab title text?

  • 3
    We used to just drop the tab entirely. Would going back to that work?
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 2, 2019 at 3:17
  • @Catija That's an interesting idea. Yeah, it might.
    – HDE 226868
    Jul 2, 2019 at 3:18
  • 23
    I could imagine a UX concern that, if there wasn't a tab when it was empty, people would be confused why it was missing. On SO, it's rarely missing, (if ever). On most sites, though, it's frequently gone so it's just taking up space.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 2, 2019 at 3:20
  • 6
    @Catija I wonder if dropping the tab entirely would lower the rates of offering bounties, which sounds . . . maybe not desirable? I guess it would be preferable to keep it, just so newer folks on less active sites know that bounties are a thing.
    – HDE 226868
    Jul 2, 2019 at 3:22
  • 7
    I'd agree if the bounties page actually explained what a bounty was... but it doesn't... so... it just seems confusing. Not even a link to the privilege or FAQ.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 2, 2019 at 3:23
  • 2
    @Catija I could get behind a link to the help center next to the top of the tab when it's opened. . . i.stack.imgur.com/jOkOJ.png
    – HDE 226868
    Jul 2, 2019 at 3:27
  • Something like that would be nice, yeah. We use lots of space near the header for stuff on other views of these pages, just not the search results. Seems like we could do something.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 2, 2019 at 3:29
  • 4
    The box used to disappear if there were no active bounties. I liked that better.
    – user474678
    Jul 3, 2019 at 17:03

Please can you add support for saving the filter ( [python-*] ) -[python].

It's a fairly strange filter, as it gets all [python-*] tags except ones tagged with [python]. It is very useful on Code Review as ~30%, when I checked, were improperly tagged and this makes it easy to find and fix them.

  • 6
    This would be a substantial undertaking. Can you create a new meta question so I can handle it separately? Jul 1, 2019 at 23:19
  • 7
    @BrianNickel Happily.
    – Peilonrayz
    Jul 1, 2019 at 23:28


When I select to filter by “No accepted answer”, the resulting filter says it is displaying “questions with no upvoted or accepted answers”. But I did not ask for questions without upvoted answers, and filtering those out makes the filter really not that useful to me.

Can we please split that up in two options?

  • No accepted answer
  • No upvoted answer
  • 5
    This is really a labeling issue. When we say "No accepted answer" in the tab, we really mean what it says on the heading "no upvoted or accepted answers". That's the general criteria from /unanswered and our ancient definition of what "unanswered" means. Given the information architecture, it would be hard to split the two into separate options, but I will review if we should have a better label on the checkbox. Jul 2, 2019 at 17:44
  • 2
    Hopefully this will be possible (showing a filter for only 'no accepted answer'), as you already have code in place to detect whether a question has an accepted answer (in order to determine whether to show the "accepted" green box next to a question on the questions list).
    – TylerH
    Jul 3, 2019 at 14:25
  • 1
    "When we say "No accepted answer" in the tab, we really mean what it says on the heading "no upvoted or accepted answers" Well that's bad. I don't want to see questions with no upvoted or accepted answers. I want to see question with no accepted answers. The filters are useless if they behave this way.
    – matt
    Jul 29, 2019 at 14:55
  • Perhaps "unanswered" would be a better label, more in alignment with the other UI element(s). "No accepted answer" is a misleading phrase, given the functionality. Nov 4, 2019 at 20:33

There are two spaces in between the "and" and "not" in the filter title.

Is this the expected behaviour or a bug?

and not

  • 14
    This is a existing behavior that has probably been lingering for years. Whenever we encounter "and|or|-" in a query, we inject an &nbsp; after it. But we also inject a space between the "and" and "not", giving it two spaces that won't collapse together. This is old reusable code, so it'll take some digging to figure out if that's still needed or where else it might be used. Jul 1, 2019 at 23:16
  • This is intended behavior because the space is really a substitute for parentheses; the not tags are grouped. In your example, this will return: questions (tagged with [tag:indiana-jones] (that are not also tagged w/ [tag:the-kingdom-of-the-crystal-skull] or [tag:star-wars])) and (not tagged with [tag:the-phantom-menace]) which is... probably not what you meant to do with that filter. cc @BrianNickel that could probably be made more clear. OP probably expects the or here to be splitting the filter into two distinct statements.
    – TylerH
    Jul 3, 2019 at 14:18
  • @TylerH This doesn't appear to be correct for question lists (maybe for question search, but that's a different beast and I have no clue how it parses things). If I do a and not b or b and not a, your logic would reduce to a and not a (aka nothing), but jquery and not javascript or javascript and not jquery does what it says on the tin. Jul 3, 2019 at 16:39
  • 3
    @BrianNickel That's not how I recall it working in its first iteration (when SO added custom filters and then... took them away), but the problem is it's not reliably "what it says on the tin", because what it says on the tin is ambiguous. For me, it reads the way I interpreted it (and the nbsps reinforce that logic), not the way you interpreted (and apparently implemented) it. In light of this, I strongly encourage parentheses be injected for clarity.
    – TylerH
    Jul 3, 2019 at 17:06
  • The spacing will be fixed in the next build. Aug 8, 2019 at 20:25
  • @BrianNickel Thanks for the fix.
    – Arulkumar
    Aug 9, 2019 at 11:23

The filter does not work if you only want to NOT see tags. For example, try making a filter for “not [the-phantom-menace]” on M&TV. It doesn’t work and you are just sent back to the page with no tags being filtered.

This prevents filters from properly emulating ignored tags when you have no watched tags. I rarely watch tags, but I often ignore them (spoilers!).

I know it was not possible previously to only exclude a tag (you will be redirected to a search, depending on how you do it), but that doesn't make too much sense either.

  • 6
    This was unfortunately always the case. Linking to /questions/tagged/-the-phantom-menice would have just redirected you to /questions. I don't know if there was a specific reason, probably performance, but I can ping the architecture if maybe we can open that up. Jul 1, 2019 at 22:50
  • @BrianNickel I thought so too but it looks like it's now somewhat possible, even if you're just redirected to a search.
    – Laurel
    Jul 2, 2019 at 0:38
  • What if you have an ignored tag, e.g. [the-phantom-menace], and you search for [star-wars] with the filter? Does it show you questions tagged w/ [the-phantom-menace]?
    – TylerH
    Jul 3, 2019 at 14:21
  • 2
    If you still haven't seen The Phantom Menace, and have avoided spoilers, I salute you! Jul 3, 2019 at 15:32

I like the idea of adding a minimum score to the filter. That way I don't have to look at questions that already have a -1 or -2 score, but can still sort by date or another property.


add a default name when saving a custom filter. In lots of cases, I think this will be easy to generate, like "Python questions with no answers". In hard cases (e.g., lots of tags), fall back to no default.


Can we have an option to sort by view count?

I like answering popular questions (if possible) that would benefit most people (not only active SO members).

  • 3
    I'm not a fan of this, view count shouldn't be a reason to answer.
    – DavidG
    Jul 2, 2019 at 9:17
  • 6
    @DavidG Why not? I'm just suggesting answering popular questions in the first place for somebody who wants, I'm not asking to make it default sorting or ignoring unpopular questions. Actually I can do it via SEDE, but I want more user friendly way to do it. Jul 2, 2019 at 9:24
  • 1
    Because I don't think popularity should dictate when posts are answered. Just because I have a question about a niche product with far fewer users than C# or Java or whatever, shouldn't mean that my question gets fewer answers. My problems are still just as real.
    – DavidG
    Jul 2, 2019 at 9:26
  • 4
    @DavidG I have a lot of answers for questions with low view count, but I treat these answers just like fun for me and probably help for OP, nothing more. If I want to help the people I should help as many people as possible (isn't it the goal of SE?), and this is achievable only via answering popular or potentially popular questions. If I feel I'm an expert in some field, I should ensure that most popular questions have right and not outdated answers, but current UI has obstacles to get the most popular questions. Jul 2, 2019 at 9:35
  • Why should you help as many people as possible? SEs goal isn't to help the largest number of people, it's to gather a repository of as many Q&As about all subjects. As I said, the popularity of a subject shouldn't be a reason it gets more or fewer answers.
    – DavidG
    Jul 2, 2019 at 9:38
  • @DavidG Being able to sort by view count would mean that we could also sort by least viewed first. Which would actually get more answers to questions about niche products.
    – walen
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:02
  • @walen My point still stands in reverse, questions with a low view count deserve to be answered as much as those with high views. Good questions deserve answers regardless of popularity or subject. Provided they are on topic and not a duplicate, they deserve equal attention.
    – DavidG
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:20
  • @DavidG Why a question that could bring knowledge to millions of people should be treated the same as a very specific question helpful to ten people, for example? Jul 2, 2019 at 10:26
  • Because we are not a popularity contest, we want to create a repository of all related knowledge.
    – DavidG
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:37
  • 1
    @DavidG "Questions with a low view count deserve to be answered as much as those with high views [...] they deserve equal attention" Exactly! But precisely because they have low views, they are not getting the same attention, nor the same chances to get answered as those with high view count. Your reasoning is like saying "-People with low income deserve access to higher education as much as those with high income. +Cool, let me browse people by income so I can offer higher education to those with lowest income. -No, we're not a wealth contest." 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️?
    – walen
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:52
  • @walen You're slightly straw-manning my point now. I've said my piece and you're welcome to disagree, as is anyone else.
    – DavidG
    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:07
  • I disagree with this request for the same reason as DavidG - implementing this will exacerbate the problem of low-traffic, potential-diamonds-in-the-rough getting ignored.
    – TylerH
    Jul 3, 2019 at 14:22
  • @TylerH Actually there's nothing preventing from moving to the latest (or near it) page to get most ignored or use another sorting method option. Jul 3, 2019 at 14:25
  • 1
    @TylerH I think this sorting will be fairer than vote count because it will reflect how many people googled this question rather than just how many registered users bothered to upvote. BTW what do you think about "Votes" sorting? Is it really unbiased in your opinion? Jul 3, 2019 at 14:33
  • 6
    @DavidG We're all here to answer questions for our own reasons. I think being picky about what reasons are okay and are not okay is somewhere from useless to harmful. Jul 4, 2019 at 18:11

Can we have an option to sort by [newest posted answers]?

Reason: A new answer to an old (say >48h) question gets lost in the sort by activity when it is followed by edits to the same post and/or other posts.

  • 1
    We don't have any functionality to support this at the moment, so this would be a fairly major undertaking. I'll put it on the list to discuss internally, but it'll probably sit on the back burner until we have a project to revisit the way we sort data. What you're describing does sort of sound like it could be addressed differently by either tweaking the late answer review queue or surfacing the last answer date better on the recent activity view. Jul 2, 2019 at 17:15

Where can I find this fabled UI?!

Here’s what my home page looks like:


I may be blind, but I simply can’t find a relevant button or link to get to the filters UI.

… “obviously” I have to click on the ‹🌎Stack Overflow› item in the menu. Except that it’s anything but obvious, and in fact I never click on this link. I found out that this was the right link purely by principle of exhaustion after desperately clicking absolutely everything on the UI.

More generally, I never understood why ‹Home› and ‹🌎Stack Overflow› are distinct pages anyway, and how exactly they differ. My ignorance may be excused by the fact that I’m a new and inexperienced user of the site.

(This isn’t a new issue … I guess this corresponds to what was previously the ‹Questions› tab but while the UI issue existed it’s now exacerbated: This new feature is completely undiscoverable.)

(I noticed later that the question actually mentions the right-hand sidebar but that is only sometimes displayed, e.g. not when viewing a single question, and still isn’t where I’d expect to find it in the navigation on the top and left.)


Can we have the bin / edit icons for the custom filters besides the filter all the time?

The first time I saw the menu I was confused, how do I edit / delete this filter?

enter image description here

Then I got told to look on the right side of the screen. Indeed the filters are there, but I still have to click to show the bin / edit icons, then select one of the actions. It would be simpler if the icons were visible all the time.

  • You should be able to on the right hand side of the page, by pressing the bin icon.
    – Peilonrayz
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:14
  • @Peilonrayz like I said (and as seen on my screenshot) I don't see a bin icon, that's why I tagged as a [bug]
    – Luciano
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:35
  • @Peilonrayz oh you actually did. the behavior is odd though, you have to click on the filter first then the bin icon shows up. It could be more intuitive. Updated answer.
    – Luciano
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:40
  • 4
    I was terribly confused too. Took me few minutes. My suggestion: remove that bloody button with gear from top and if we have to use right side of screen (does it has a name? "right panel"?) to create new filters, then figuring out how to delete/edit is much easier.
    – Sinatr
    Jul 2, 2019 at 14:38

Please add the ability to weed out closed (and, ideally separately, duplicates) from these custom lists.



This was probably discussed in some sliver of the previous threads; you'll have to pardon me for not trawling through them, and for not keeping track during the beta process (which would have been pointless as, like most other SE users, I'm not active enough on MSE to give this a meaningful shake here).

In a thousand words:

i.e., weren't the new question filters meant to go on the left-nav side of the page? The initial announcement was pretty clear on this:

Heck, the whole "making room for future stuff" was meant to be one of the driving the ridiculous amount of whitespace on the left side of the page introduced at the end of last year during the shift to the unified theming, and indeed when people complained that the left nav took up too much space, the response was "don't worry, we'll put cool stuff there soon enough, starting with custom question lists".

So: what gives? Why was this moved to an inconvenient location? Has this been discussed previously? If so, where?


I want to use the filter by "date" (created:) option.

  • 3
    Indeed, I want to use the filter by all the existing smart-search text modifiers.
    – E.P.
    Jul 12, 2019 at 9:05
  • Isn't this the "Newest" sort option? Jul 17, 2019 at 14:12

I'm trying to create a custom filter to look at non status-tagged s and s, but it seems there's no way to combine two tags then universally exclude a third (or fourth etc) tag. In other words, 'not' tags are only applied to the last included tag. For example, I'm getting feature requests using the below:

status-completed feature requests appearing after explicitly filtering it out

I've tried a few things,

  • using various combinations of 'not', 'and not' etc
  • replacing 'not's with 'or' (as in 'not completed or declined')
  • Adding parenthesis to make it explicit (but they get removed).

The only way I've gotten it to work is being really explicit, like this:

not not not not or not not not not

I could use [status*], but I don't want to exclude , , or , as all these could potentially be worth looking at.

Is there a neater way of achieving this that I've missed?

  • Yeah, I'd imagine most of us programmers and regex'er's just expected parentheses to work, in 2019 it's very confusing when they don't (I'm glad they disappear from the edit box, but it's still something I was hoping for) it's almost useless to me (in narrowing down doctrinal questions) on Christianity.SE without that grouping. Jul 5, 2019 at 16:56
  • @Peter yeah it feels like an omission to me, I wasn't sure if I'd missed some simple way of doing it - although at this point that doesn't seem likely.
    – Robotnik
    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:34
  • There's a similar request at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/330349/… I believe the tag engine theoretically supports this, but there are several layers of UI and parsing logic that need to be retrofitted to make this work. Jul 12, 2019 at 1:10

Add the ability to "Reset filter"

I was messing around with it and decided that I was okay with the default settings but it took me a minute to figure out what those were.

enter image description here

  • Very nice suggestion
    – vitaliis
    Jan 27, 2022 at 18:48

When there is no filter added, I can see the following text under the custom filters section.

Save custom sorting & filtering for easy access.

The term sorting means what? What kind of custom sorting it referred?

empty filter

  • 1
    Clicking on the "Filter" button should answer your question. More specifically the middle section saying "Sort by: Newest..."
    – Peilonrayz
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:21
  • But given this answer it doesn't actually save the sort method. Jul 2, 2019 at 14:43
  • 1
    The sort is saved. The language here is a bit confusing. It was introduced early in the project and hasn't been revisited. When you save a custom filter, you save filter options, tag options, and a sort option that you can later access. Jul 2, 2019 at 17:55

Persist the sorting criterion

Apparently, choosing a custom filter criterion gets saved somewhere such that a later visit will use the same filter. However, when choosing More -> Votes, that does not happen.


First of all, great work with this custom filter addition.

I don't know if this has been answered or not (I could not a find a reference to this on this question and its answers):

When searching for questions I can exclude duplicate and closed ones (link to search page https://stackoverflow.com/search?q=%5Bpython%5D+answers%3A0+duplicate%3Ano+closed%3Ano ) Notably I use 3 filters here: answers:0, duplicate:no and closed:no.

I can achieve answers:0 by selecting unanswered question in my custom filter. Can I also achieve the other 2 (excluding duplicated and closed questions) through the new custom filter UI ?

It is not a big deal for me if it isn't present, I just would like to know if it is an option that I just haven't discovered yet.

  • Not sure if that was an oversight or intentional, but those options weren't included in the original spec. It looks like TagEngine can't query on duplicate but can on closed, so I'll add a task to review adding that to the filter options. Jul 2, 2019 at 17:04
  • 1
    @BrianNickel thanks for the answer. Keep up the good work
    – Ralf
    Jul 2, 2019 at 17:42
  • I jut looked at the code and remembered that No answer and No accepted answer already exclude closed questions since they can't be answered. So "No answers" is the same as answers:0 duplicate:no closed:no. Not sure if we want/need a separate option. Jul 2, 2019 at 18:08
  • @BrianNickel Not sure if other users would need extra options, but if those 2 exclusions (closed and duplicate questions) are already implicit in "no answers", then I don't need any other filtering option.
    – Ralf
    Jul 2, 2019 at 18:21
  • 1
    Sounds good. We'll probably do nothing then. :) Jul 2, 2019 at 18:31
  • @BrianNickel another perspective: you guys already preemtively did the work :)
    – Ralf
    Jul 2, 2019 at 18:52
  • @BrianNickel Perhaps this explanation you gave can be emphasized in the UI.
    – Luuklag
    Jul 3, 2019 at 7:33

The tabs on the homepage of the sites still say "Featured" instead of "Bounties" like they do on the tag and all questions pages. This needs updating to say "Bounties" to stay consistent with the new wording.


Can we have the Votes tab not be in the “More” bar? It is a great tool for finding some of the best and most interesting questions on sites.

  • 1
    Yes! I just discovered that the votes tab is now tucked away hidden from view. I haven't been following this filter business, as you can probably guess. Jul 29, 2019 at 14:50
  • @Mari Yeah, I actually wrote the wrong feature request here, saying "New" instead, which I didn't fix for three weeks XD. Jul 29, 2019 at 15:08

Why does the "Save custom filter" button only work after "Apply filter" has been clicked? IMO, I should be able to save the filter anytime.

  • No repro. Is this still happening? If so, think it is a bug. Jul 17, 2019 at 14:14
  • @ShaWiz This is still happening. Select some filter choices but don't click the "Apply filter" button. The "Save custom filter" button should be greyed out.
    – Xcoder
    Jul 30, 2019 at 1:05
  • No repro. Better start a new bug report, and add what browser you're using. Also, first try to disable all userscripts/plugins, one of those might be messing with the JS/HTML and cause that bug. Jul 30, 2019 at 6:24
  • This is fixed. It was a legacy of an old design decision. Aug 8, 2019 at 20:26

It doesn't seem possible to rename custom filters atm?

  • 2
    The UI here has proven difficult to get right. If you click "Save filter" you can change the name and update the current filter. Jul 12, 2019 at 0:52
  • OIC, thanks! I wouldn't have guessed that. Jul 12, 2019 at 4:26
  • @BrianNickel would it be possible to call it "Save/Update custom filter"?
    – MEE
    Jul 12, 2019 at 9:24
  • @BrianNickel I had to look here to find out how to delete or rename my experimental "bla" filter. Is there a way to explain to users on the filter page how to do this without them visiting Meta? Jul 29, 2019 at 14:53

Could we get the sidebar component on all the individual question pages instead of only on the front page and question list. As it is now, we have to go back to the frontpage after visiting a question.

Another place to show the custom filters could be shown is the left side navigation which has plenty of free space.


On e.g. unix.meta.stackexchange.com, if I sort the questions by vote, and ask to get the questions with not accepted answer, I get:

enter image description here

However, this question (that I happened to ask) has 30 votes and no accepted answer.

Why is it not showing up?

  • 3
    See this answer: apparently, it is a labeling issue. Your question does not show up because it has an upvoted answer, and the caption for the search results says "questions with no upvoted or accepted answer". I agree that the filter should be labeled accordingly, e.g. "No accepted/upvoted answers". Not sure what to do to draw further attention to this issue, though.
    – fra-san
    Nov 4, 2019 at 17:19
  • Perhaps "unanswered" would be a better label, more in alignment with the other UI element(s). "No accepted answer" is a misleading phrase, given the functionality. Nov 4, 2019 at 20:33

I don't think that this feature is as useful as it's cracked up to be.

Here is why: ultimately, the custom filter produces a nothing more than a search URL.

You can bookmark a search URL in your browser.

I do this regularly with, for instance, the Git-based review tool Gerrit.

Replicating a bookmarking feature inside the login profile of a website is a low-value anti-pattern. Okay, the good thing is that the bookmarks are there no matter where you log in from; but there exist various solutions to be able to do that with non-site-specific bookmarks.

On another topic, how about turning a search into RSS feed; now you have something.

  • Can a bookmark tell you if there are new questions behind the search? The current custom filter system does. Jul 25, 2019 at 17:20
  • @NicolBolas Probably not, but a RSS readers (see my last remark) do that, for feeds from numerous different sites, all in a single dashboard. This is a solved-in-the-1990-ies problem.
    – Kaz
    Jul 25, 2019 at 18:34
  • But then I would only get the benefit if I used 1990's technology I stopped using a decade ago. This way, it's built into the site. Jul 25, 2019 at 18:36
  • @NicoBolas Features built into a site is also 1990's technology. If you mean modern Javascript or whatever, there are RSS readers built on the same thing that run as browser extensions.
    – Kaz
    Jul 25, 2019 at 18:49
  • There's pros and cons to everything. RSS versus the indicator is an interesting one, because of factors like users either not being allowed to create an SO account or not being allowed to install an RSS reader. I imagine having the content inline on the site will drive adoption and usage for some cohorts of users but not others. At the very least, this project has lead to a number of fundamental improvements and cleanup internally, which will help pave the way for new features. I'd love to see a question about bringing all the features of custom filters into RSS. Jul 25, 2019 at 19:37

Can we have the HotWeeklyMonthly options back?

There does not appear to be a way to emulate this functionality with the new features, and as a casual reader most of the time, I mostly used these filters to find interesting questions and answers to read.


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