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I want to creat a filter that will include in the subject "Jane Doe Coursework that needs to be completed." However, I do NOT want to include the emails that return with the subject "Finalized: Jane Doe Coursework that needs to be completed." should be excluded from the filter.

Note: The names, i.e, will vary, but the other criteria will remain the same.

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2 Answers 2

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You can do some experiments, which one suits you best:

1)

subject:("Coursework that needs to be completed" -Finalized)
subject:("Coursework that needs to be completed" -{Finalized Rejected})

2)

subject:("Coursework that needs to be completed" -"Finalized: Coursework that needs to be completed")

In the search 1), the "-" minus sign means negation or exclusion.

The 2) will probably rise an alert, on saving, regarding the symbol character ":", however such simple filtering should work as one would expect.

For further info about the gMail search operators see the links:

You might be also interested in the "+" operator, for exact wording: gMail search is greedy/tolerant, so i.e. to force/distinguish plurals/sungulars. (Although in hundreds of my filters I do not use it.)

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  • Such operators can be used in any gMail search, these are not limited just for filters only.
    – Franta
    Jun 11, 2020 at 0:42
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The dash is key you are looking for

To find "Jane Doe Coursework that needs to be completed."

but not find "Finalized: Jane Doe Coursework that needs to be completed."

I would use the following filter

subject:(Coursework that needs to be completed -Finalized) 

If will find the those emails with the subject you want but not include those that have the word finalized.

Please test to see if the ":" causes any issue. You might be able to drop the shorter words from the search string and still get the same results.

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