Background: I tried to find information about the tool python-config, but a Google search brought up mainly hits for python's config module.

Digging a bit deeper, the issue is that Google treats the character "-" in search terms as a stop character and word separator. So even with a Google Advanced search I was not able to find only pages contain "python-config" (with the dash). Then I tried briefly Bing and Yahoo with no more success.

On this site here I found How can I search for a keyword with special characters in Google Search?, but the search engine suggestions contain mainly code search sites.

So my question remains: How do I find with Google hits for a word with a dash in the middle, e.g. "python-config". What is the best way to do this?

ps: Meanwhile I did find out what the python-config tool is for - by reading through the python.org documentation, but not by searching the python.org site, because it uses a custom google search...

  • Edited the question, so that IMHO it is not a duplicate, but the answers given here still apply and are valuable.
    – halloleo
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 0:56

2 Answers 2


Use Google's Verbatim search to make Google not to interpret your search terms and do a search as it is.

Search results based on Verbatim.

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You can get the same Google results as with Verbatim mode just by putting double quotes around the term, e.g. search for "python-config" (with the quotes).

This still matches things like 'python/config' but it won't match things like 'config 0.3.7 : Python Package Index'

There is no general-purpose search engine that doesn't ignore dashes., but in your specific example, which is related to programming, symbolhound seems to do pretty well: http://symbolhound.com/?q=python-config

Editor's note:

There are comments in the SymbolHound post on Stack Apps reporting that it has been down since April 2022. No reply from the developer. Ref. SymbolHound: Search Stack Overflow for special characters

  • yep, that's exactly my issue: even with quotes i cannot search for the dash. thanks for clarifying this. i guess google cannot do it at all ("what's not indexed, can't be searched on."), so my question stands: is there an internet search engine which allows me to search on dashes?
    – halloleo
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 20:02

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