Documentation for JIRA 4.0. Documentation for other versions of JIRA is available too.

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This page provides information on how to perform text searches. It applies to both simple searches and advanced searches . (Note that this page does not apply to Quick Search).

Acknowledgements:

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JIRA uses Lucene for text indexing. Lucene provides a rich query language; thanks to Jakarta and the Lucene team for such a great component. Most of the information on this page is derived from the Lucene document on Query Parser Syntax.

On this page:

Query Terms

A query is broken up into terms and operators. There are two types of terms: Single Terms and Phrases.

A Single Term is a single word such as "test" or "hello".

A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "hello dolly".

Multiple terms can be combined together with Boolean operators to form a more complex query (see below).

Note: All query terms in JIRA are case insensitive.

Term Modifiers

JIRA supports modifying query terms to provide a wide range of searching options.

Wildcard Searches: ? and *

JIRA supports single and multiple character wildcard searches.

To perform a single character wildcard search use the "?" symbol.

To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the "*" symbol.

The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match that with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:

Multiple character wildcard searches looks for 0 or more characters. For example, to search for Windows, Win95 or WindowsNT you can use the search:

You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term. For example, to search for Win95 or Windows95 you can use the search

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You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.

Fuzzy Searches: ~

JIRA supports fuzzy searches. To do a fuzzy search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a Single word Term. For example to search for a term similar in spelling to "roam" use the fuzzy search:

This search will find terms like foam and roams.

Note: Terms found by the fuzzy search will automatically get a boost factor of 0.2

Proximity Searches

JIRA supports finding words are a within a specific distance away. To do a proximity search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a Phrase. For example to search for a "atlassian" and "jira" within 10 words of each other in a document use the search:

Boosting a Term: ^

JIRA provides the relevance level of matching documents based on the terms found. To boost a term use the caret, "^", symbol with a boost factor (a number) at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the boost factor, the more relevant the term will be.

Boosting allows you to control the relevance of a document by boosting its term. For example, if you are searching for

and you want the term "atlassian" to be more relevant boost it using the ^ symbol along with the boost factor next to the term. You would type:

This will make documents with the term atlassian appear more relevant. You can also boost Phrase Terms as in the example:

By default, the boost factor is 1. Although, the boost factor must be positive, it can be less than 1 (i.e. .2)

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. JIRA supports AND, "+", OR, NOT and "-" as Boolean operators.

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Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS.

OR

The OR operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the OR operator is used. The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a document. This is equivalent to a union using sets. The symbol || can be used in place of the word OR.

To search for documents that contain either "atlassian jira" or just "jira" use the query:

or

AND

The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of a single document. This is equivalent to an intersection using sets. The symbol && can be used in place of the word AND.

To search for documents that contain "atlassian jira" and "issue tracking" use the query:

Required term: +

The "" or required operator requires that the term after the "" symbol exist somewhere in a the field of a single document.

To search for documents that must contain "jira" and may contain "atlassian" use the query:

NOT

The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT. This is equivalent to a difference using sets. The symbol ! can be used in place of the word NOT.

To search for documents that contain "atlassian jira" but not "japan" use the query:

Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:

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Usage of the NOT operator over multiple fields may return results that include the specified excluded term. This is due to the fact that the search query is executed over each field in turn and the result set for each field is combined to form the final result set. Hence, an issue that matches the search query based on one field, but fails based on another field, will be included in the search result set.

Excluded term: -

The "-" or prohibit operator excludes documents that contain the term after the "-" symbol.

To search for documents that contain "atlassian jira" but not "japan" use the query:

Grouping

JIRA supports using parentheses to group clauses to form sub queries. This can be very useful if you want to control the boolean logic for a query.

To search for either "atlassian" or "jira" and "bugs" use the query:

This eliminates any confusion and makes sure you that bugs must exist and either term atlassian or jira may exist.

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Do not use the grouping character '(' at the start of a search query, as this will result in an error. For example, "(atlassian OR jira) AND bugs" will not work.

Escaping Special Characters: \

JIRA supports escaping special characters that are part of the query syntax. The current list of special characters is:

To escape these characters, use the \ before the character. For example, to search for (1+1) use the query:

Reserved Words

Certain common words are ignored from the search and search index.

Note that this can sometimes lead to unexpected results. For example, suppose one issue contains the words "VSX will crash" and another issue contains the words "VSX will not crash". A phrase search for "VSX will crash" will return both of the issues. This is because the words will and not are part of the reserved words list.

The full list of reserved English words is:

"a", "and", "are", "as", "at", "be", "but", "by", "for", "if", "in", "into", "is", "it", "no", "not", "of", "on", "or", "s", "such", "t", "that", "the", "their", "then", "there", "these", "they", "this", "to", "was", "will", "with"

Note that your JIRA Administrator can alter the behavior of JIRA in relation to these reserved words by changing the Indexing Language from "English" to "Other" under Administration > General Configuration.

Limitations

Please note that the following limitations of Lucene apply to JIRA:

Whole words only

You cannot search on word parts, only on whole words.