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Simple Query String Syntax

The simple query string syntax supports the following special characters:

  • + signifies an AND operation
  • | signifies an OR operation
  • - negates a single token
  • " wraps a number of tokens to signify a phrase for searching
  • * at the end of a term signifies a prefix query
  • ( and ) signify precedence
  • ~N after a word signifies edit distance (fuzziness)
  • ~N after a phrase signifies slop amount


A token is either a single word that is part of a phrase or is a complete phrase enclosed in quote marks \"

In order to search for any of these special characters, they will need to be escaped with \.


  • "Apple Inc" + -"Microsoft" - Search for Apple Inc but not Microsoft
  • "iPhone X" + "Samsung Galaxy" - Search for iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy
  • "Tim Cook" + Apple - Search for Tim Cook and Apple. Note that if an article is about Tim Cook eating an Apple, that will be included.

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Last update: October 5, 2021
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