I was trying to find text in StackOverflow and web that contain "using:" exactly that way with colon. No way. Search engines simply discard it and return using results only. How to search for that exact phrase?

  • 1
    I wish there were a search engine that did this, but it seems that there isn't. Some of the reasons are given in the answers and discussion for this question.
    – AFH
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 2:26
  • 1
    Searching a search engine for a search engine that allows punctuation lead me to SymbolHound
    – txtechhelp
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 5:22
  • @txtechhelp : thank you, post it as an answer.
    – Anton Kruglov
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 12:27

2 Answers 2


While it might come off as a possible opinion (due to it's suggestive nature), searching around for an engine (or a way) to search with symbols included lead me to SymbolHound .. the other engines usually exclude punctuation as it's mostly irrelevant to the casual searcher and can speed up search queries, while right on the front page of SymbolHound they state:

We hope SymbolHound will help programmers find information about their chosen languages and frameworks more easily.

So it might help those in need of specific queries like using:


Going off their search guidelines at: https://stackoverflow.com/help/searching

It appears that to do what you want would be under an "Exact search". An exact search is done by using quotes around your entire criteria.

In this case the exact search for your criteria would be "Using:".

However, if you try searching this you do not get the : you want as desired. Instead you only get "using" - although, it works for other ASCII symbols. Thus, if read through all of the guidelines you will begin to realize that the : in search results is a dedicated special operator by stackoverflow. It is typically used to establish a range such as "created:2012".

With that in mind, it is not possible to do this using stackexchange's search engine as this operator is strictly dedicated for other purposes; however, that is not to say that you could use a third party searching tool - while being cautious of stackoverflow's Terms of Service.

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