I’m getting my questions marked as duplicates even though I start a question, look through the suggestions, and can’t find anything close to what I want. Yet I post the question and somebody has found something very similar but I couldn’t.

I found this post Where can I find examples of Stack Exchange search queries?

Seems similar because of the title but it didn’t get many hits. Can this question answer my problem?


  1. is:question shows me questions and I get good results

  2. answers:0 or whatever number shows me good results

  3. views:0 or or whatever number shows me good results.

What are some techniques used to find questions so I don’t keep getting them closed/duplicated because I can’t find anything similar to what I want.

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    This says it all meta.stackexchange.com/search?q=
    – bad_coder
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 22:27
  • 2
    "what are some techniques used to find questions so I don’t keep getting them closed/duplicated" Don't use SE's search unless you're looking for something specific that the search operators can help with. When that's not the case, just search for site:<sitename>.stackexchange.com your search query on your favorite search engine.
    – 41686d6564
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 22:31
  • @bad_coder Yes I’ve seen those just wanted some example usage. Like combinations and search strings
    – Big Joe
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 22:34
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    Thanks @41686d6564 thought everyone used SE’s search engine
    – Big Joe
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 22:35
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    Are any of these useful duplicates for you? What are efficient ways to find duplicates on trilogy sites?, What is best way to find duplicate questions?, How can I avoid asking duplicate questions? (found with [search] is:q duplicate and then jumping around Linked Questiosn)
    – bobble
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 23:07
  • Ironically, some searching for related (not duplicates) of this question might help you to more easily find duplicates of your other questions before asking. Sometimes you find something useful to vote on: meta.stackexchange.com/q/232131/282094 and sometimes you find something that while not directly useful it has a great list in the right column of linked results: meta.stackexchange.com/q/20432/282094
    – Rob
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 3:14
  • There's also the sometimes-overlooked advantage of just knowing what you're looking for - for example, on Meta SE there's several old posts that are common duplicate targets, and regulars may already know exactly what keywords to use to find the post they want. But that relies on quite a bit of institutional knowledge to pull off.
    – bobble
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 5:09
  • @41686d6564standsw.Palestine 2 years later and I see what you mean. Last night I was doing some searching. I was finding things using the search operators but not random stuff I thought of. Can you put your comment into an answer?
    – Big Joe
    Commented May 27, 2023 at 23:26

1 Answer 1

  1. My first concern is usually filtering by tag (e.g. the PyCharm IDE tag on SO.)
  1. Next I'll filter for keyword (see a long documentation example)
  1. Use quotes to filter for "named entities" that could allow for direct hits (e.g. the "show all" button in the PyCharm IDE.)
  1. Using a second tag (or more) for filtering can be convenient (e.g filtering for "console" using keyword or tag).

    Filtering for console keyword, questions only

    4.1. - [pycharm] console is:q - (1,337 questions)

    Filtering for console tag, questions only

    4.2. - [pycharm] [console] - (107 questions)

    The 10x fold difference can be explained by two main facts:

    • Some threads will contain the keyword but not be tagged as such. The rule is to tag a question only when it is about the tag subject, not when it merely contains a textual occurrence of the tag word.

    • You also run the risk of missing questions that haven't been fully or correctly tagged. So you should always try keywords first. Trying additional tags requires some experience with search and the tag system to understand the results.

I think that's the most important part.

  • I just realized that pycharm is a python script. How will this help me with the SE searches? Just wondering?
    – Big Joe
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 23:39
  • @Jcb change the tags and the keywords to your specific case. You asked for an example so a tag and keyword had to be chosen to see the searches in action.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 23:48
  • @Jcb: A Python script? No, PyCharm is an IDE. What do you mean by "script"? Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 8:15
  • @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q oh my bad. i think of anything in python is a script. i'll look at the wiki you provided. Thanks
    – Big Joe
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 14:12
  • @Jcb click on the links and look at how the search box is populated with them. The rest is explained textually.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 14:25
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    @bad_coder Thanks. Didn’t know they where clickable. Learn something new everyday.
    – Big Joe
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 15:08

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