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When using a new Windows 8 search bar:

search bar

What is the syntax of the search expression? Is it possible to use wildcards like "*", "?" or any other special symbol?

For example, when searching with Google i can use:

  • '-' (minus) for excluding certain words;
  • "quoted phrase" for exact phrase matching.
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Windows 8 has a number of search features.

It supports two wildcards.

*   match anything
?   match any character

You can search by:

  • file extension

    Ext:.txt
    
  • date

    Date:This week
    
  • type

    Kind:Folder
    Kind:Document
    
  • filesize

    Size:>10mb 
    
  • author

    Author:="Joe Bloggs"
    

More information at: http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/windows_8_search-indexing_files-windows_explorer_ribbon-advanced_query_syntax,2-228-2.html

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Whoa! Now I can increase my Search-Fu within Windows 8. – KronoS Nov 1 '12 at 18:30

You can still search using the Advanced Query Syntax.

I recommend reading the article because there are a lot of features.

Here are some of the boolean operators: AQS Boolean Operators

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I guess you should be able to use the same wildcard codes that were usable in Windows 7 since the "type to search" feature is nearly identical in both. Here's a link that describes some of the codes. It describes wildcards and search codes.

http://www.winextra.com/tech/software/windows-7-search-wildcards-and-search-codes/

An extract from the site

Wildcards

This option has been with us since the earliest days of DOS and Windows and consists of two wildcards: ‘?’ and ‘’ (without the single quote marks). The simplest explanation to what the two different wildcards do boils down to this: the ‘?’ means one character appears here and the ‘’ can stand for any number of characters – letters or numbers.

So if you are using the ‘?’ and you are searching for a file that you know part of the name of your query could look like this fo??t which would return any file that started with fr and ended with a ‘t’ but only had two unknown letters in the middle. In this case the file foxit could be one of the search results.

When using the ‘*’ as part of the search term it is best to use it either at the beginning of the word – *it – or in the middle – f*t – in either case the file named foxit would be returned as part of the results. As for using the ‘*’ wildcard at the end of the search term there isn’t much of a point because Windows search always acts like there is a wildcard at the end.

Search Codes

The one thing about the way I usually end up doing searches is that I typically end up with way more results than I really need. The way around this happening is to use search shortcuts – or codes – to further refine what you are searching for.

The simplest of these is the document types short codes. For example you are searching for a specific image but you forget its name but remember that it is a JPEG (jpg) image. In this case you can use the following short codes to refine your search

ext: .jpg
fileext: .jpg
extension: .jpg
filextension: .jpg

UPDATE: Also check out this site: http://www.7tutorials.com/basics-making-advanced-searches-wildcards-and-filters

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