Searching for messages
In Zulip, you can find specific messages by using the search bar (highlighted in
red in the image below) at the top of your screen. This feature allows you to
narrow your view to show specific messages using search constraints called
Operators are short phrases in the format
represents the criteria that fits the specified operator. Operators allow you to
instantly find messages that meet the specified criteria, such as messages that
belong to a specific stream or topic.
It is important to note that spaces in
operand must be replaced with
+. Multiple search operators can be used in a single query by
separating each operator with spaces in your search bar. For example,
a query like
stream:announce topic:zulip near:1 would show the
very oldest messages in a that stream and topic.
By default, search will only display messages that you actually
received. However, if your search operators include narrowing to a
public stream, you have full access to that stream's history, and thus
can search messages from before you subscribed to the stream (or even
joined your Zulip organization).
Features and limitations
- Search hits include morphological variants by default; for example, if you
search for messages that contain "walking", you’ll also find messages that
contain "walk", "walks", "walked", etc.
- Searches are case-insensitive.
- Searching by date currently is not possible.
- When pressing space in the search bar, a dropdown menu with autocompletion
suggestions appears. Clicking on one of its items narrows your search to the
stream/topic/criterion described by the item.
To see a list of all search operators in Zulip, click the search () icon on the left side of the search bar.
You can alternatively click the cog () icon
in the top right corner of the right sidebar and choose Search help
from the dropdown menu that appears.
Listed below are all Zulip search operators.
key phrase, and
keyword is an operator that consists of one word. It narrows the view to show all the messages that contain
that one word.
key phrase is an operator that consists of multiple words. It narrows the view to show all the messages that
contain all of the words in that phrase, regardless of the order.
"key phrase" is an operator that consists of multiple words surrounded by quotation marks (
" ). It narrows
the view to show all the messages that contain the key phrase in the exact same order.
For example, if there are 3 messages containing "Cheese", "I like cheese" and
"Like cheese I":
- the operator
cheese would show all three messages.
- the operator
I like cheese would only show the messages containing "I like
cheese" and "Like cheese I".
- the operator
"I like cheese" would only show the message containing "I like
Listed below are some Zulip keyboard shortcuts that will aid you in conducting a search.
- Initiate a search
/ - This shortcut moves the user's cursor to
the message search bar at the top of the window to allow them to
begin searching for messages belonging to a specific topic, stream,
view, etc. in the organization.
- Clear a search
Esc - This shortcut clears the search bar of
any search criteria that was previously entered. This action can also be
achieved by clicking the x () icon to the
right of the search bar or the home () icon to
the left of the search bar.