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I'm using the inbox quick search and typing in "Subject: [ops]" but it returns all emails with both "[ops]" as well as anything without the square brackets like "ops". What is the syntax for filtering email that only have the square brackets?

query: subject: [ops] results: returns both [ops] and ops without brackets expected results: only shows messages with square brackets.

I know its possible since in the "advanced find" and "advance" tab I can select the field Subject with condition contains value [ops] and it only returns the right ones.

Query Advance: Field: Subject Condition: contains Value: [ops] results: only shows messages with square brackets (as expected)

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It appears that Instant Search and Advanced Find use separate indexes. The Instant Search index ignores special characters. You cannot search for special characters with Instant Search.

Reference: http://www.msoutlook.info/question/389

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  • its sad but it sure looks like you're right. thanks for the info as its been driving me crazy for a few days now :-) – Mouffette Jun 8 '12 at 17:12
  • Doesn't work since Outlook 2016. It seems that the advanced find search index now also ignores special characters. – Geoff Griswald May 5 at 15:04

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