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Gmail is Based on Search Not Sort

posted Mar 28, 2010, 10:45 PM by Shane Berkinshaw

Gmail is different from the regular mail clients like outlook or yahoo. It’s a very powerful application, if only you can learn to search and make proper filters. Here are some of the search operators that you will find useful in daily life.

OperatorDefinitionExample(s)
from:Used to specify the
sender
Example – from:amy
Meaning – Messages from Amy
to:Used to specify a recipientExample – to:david

Meaning – All messages that were sent to David (by you or someone else)

subject:Search for words in the subject lineExample – subject:dinner

Meaning – Messages that have
the word “dinner” in the subject

ORSearch for messages matching term A or term B*
*OR must be in all
caps
Example – from:amy OR from:david
Meaning – Messages from Amy or from David
-
(hyphen)
Used to exclude messages from your searchExample – dinner -movie
Meaning – Messages that contain the word “dinner” but do not contain
the word “movie”
label:Search
for messages by label*
*There isn’t a search operator for unlabeled messages
Example - from:amy label:friends
Meaning – Messages from Amy that
have the label “friends”

Example - from:david label:my-family

Meaning – Messages from David that
have the label “My Family”

has:attachmentSearch for
messages with an attachment
Example –

from:david has:attachment 
Meaning – Messages from David that have
an attachment

list:Search for messages on mailing listsExample – list:info@example.com

Meaning – Messages with the words info@example.com in the headers, sent to or from this list

filename:Search for an attachment by name or typeExample –

filename:physicshomework.txt
Meaning – Messages with an
attachment named “physicshomework.txt”

Example – 
label:work filename:pdf

Meaning – Messages labeled
“work” that also have a PDF file as an attachment

” ”
(quotes)
Used to search for an exact phrase*
*Capitalization isn’t taken into consideration
Example – 
“i’m feeling lucky”

Meaning – Messages containing
the phrase “i’m feeling lucky” or “I’m feeling lucky”

Example – 
subject:”dinner and a movie”

Meaning – Messages containing
the phrase “dinner and a movie” in the subject

( )Used to group words
Used to specify terms that shouldn’t be excluded
Example – 
from:amy(dinner OR movie)

Meaning – Messages from Amy
that contain either the word “dinner” or the word “movie”

Example – 
subject:(dinner movie)

Meaning – Messages in which
the subject contains both the word “dinner” and the word “movie”

in:anywhereSearch for messages anywhere in Gmail*
*Messages in Spamand Trash are excluded from searches
by default
Example – in:anywhere
movie 

Meaning – Messages in All Mail,
Spam, and Trash that contain the word “movie”
in:inbox
in:trash
in:spam
Search for messages inInbox, Trash, or SpamExample – in:trash
from:amy

Meaning – Messages from Amy that
are in Trash
is:starred
is:unread

is:read

Search for messages that are starred, unread or readExample – 
is:read is:starred from:David

Meaning – Messages from David that
have been read and are marked with a star

cc:
bcc:
Used to specify recipients in the cc: orbcc: fields*

*Search on bcc: cannot retrieve messages on which you were blind carbon copied

Example – 
cc:david 

Meaning – Messages that were cc-ed to David
after:

before:

Search for messages sent
during a certain period of time*
*Dates must be in yyyy/mm/dd format.
Example – 
after:2004/04/16 before:2004/04/18

Meaning – Messages sent between April 16, 2004 and April 18, 2004.*
*More precisely: Messages sent after 12:00 AM (or 00:00) April 16, 2004 and before April 18, 2004.

is:chatSearch for chat messagesExample –

is:chat monkey
Meaning – Any chat message including the word “monkey”.

deliveredto:Search for messages within a particular email address in the Delivered-To line of the message headerExample – 
deliveredto:username@gmail.com

Meaning – Any message with username@gmail.com in the Delivered-To: field of the message header (which can help you find messages forwarded from another account or ones sent to an alias).

[From Google support]

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