Construct a narrow

A narrow is a set of filters for Zulip messages, that can be based on many different factors (like sender, stream, topic, search keywords, etc.). Narrows are used in various places in the the Zulip API (most importantly, in the API for fetching messages).

It is simplest to explain the algorithm for encoding a search as a narrow using a single example. Consider the following search query (written as it would be entered in the Zulip webapp's search box). It filters for messages sent on stream announce, not sent by iago@zulip.com, and containing the phrase cool sunglasses:

stream:announce -sender:iago@zulip.com cool sunglasses

This query would be JSON-encoded for use in the Zulip API using JSON as a list of simple objects, as follows:

[
    {
        "operator": "stream",
        "operand": "announce"
    },
    {
        "operator": "sender",
        "operand": "iago@zulip.com",
        "negated": true
    },
    {
        "operator": "search",
        "operand": "cool sunglasses"
    }
]

The full set of search/narrowing options supported by the Zulip API is documented in the Zulip Help Center article on search. There are a few additional options that we don't document there because they are primarily useful to API clients:

  • pm-with:1234: Search 1-on-1 messages by user ID 1234.