Search queries with special characters

Some emails I receive are having tags in the subject field formatted such as “<tag>”, “!tag” and “Ref id #12345”.

Instant Search does not seem to look at these characters when doing a serch query which skews the search results.

How can I search for strings with special characters using Instant Search?

If the word starts with a special character, then Instant Search will ignore this special characters as the index of Instant Search is word-based only. In that case, you’ll need to use Advanced Find instead.

However, if the special character is within the word such as mso#123 then you can search for this exact string by placing it between quotes "mso#123".

Search for a word which starts with a special character

When you want to include words which start with special characters in your search query, you’ll have to use the Advanced tab of Advanced Find.

  1. Open Advanced Find (shortcut key: CTRL+SHIFT+F)
  2. Select the Advanced tab
  3. Create the following search query
    • Field: Subject
    • Condition: contains
    • Value: <tag>

Of course you’ll replace <tag> with your own search phrase containing your special characters.

As opposed to Instant Search, Advanced Find can return exact results for words which start with a special character.
As opposed to Instant Search, Advanced Find can return exact results for words
which start with a special character.

Note 1: If you need to repeat this search quite often, then you can create a Search Folder for this in the same way.

Note 2: For more information about using Instant Search see the guide;
Instant Search query commands reference

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