Advanced search in Slack

Search is a powerful Slack feature: in an instant, you can go back to just the right file or conversation. If you’ve mastered the basics of searching in Slack, here are some more advanced tips to focus your searches.

Search results

When you search in Slack, your results will include messages or files that contain any of your keywords. For example, let's say you search for a hot potato; you'll get a list of results with these keywords:  

  • just the word "hot"
  • just the word "potato"
  • both words – "hot potato"

Note: The word "a" is ignored by search, along with these other common terms: an, 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.

 

Find specific words and phrases

Use quotation marks to search for a specific word or phrase. If you search for “a hot potato”, you’ll only see messages or files containing that exact phrase.

Tip: When part of a phrase, words that are usually ignored by search (such as "a") will be included in the results.

 

Partial word searches

Enter an asterisk (*) after a partial word to see all instances of it in Slack. Sometimes you only have bits and pieces of information, and that's ok – you can still find what you need! For example, a search for pot* would not only show results with the word potato – words like potable, potent, and potpourri would also be included.

Note: You can only put the asterisk at the end of a word, and you must use at least three letters.

 

The slash command

You can start a new search directly from the message box using the /s slash command.

Here's how:

  1. Type /s into the message box followed by your search term.

  2. Press Enter.

For example, let's say you're looking for information about the upcoming annual meeting. You can enter /s annual meeting to search your entire Slack team for the words “annual” and “meeting”.

 

Deep search

When you search for files in Slack, we look for more than just a title that matches your keywords. Even the content within shared files is scanned. This is true for direct uploads and files shared using an app like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Tip: Although an entire file is searchable, you'll only see highlighted search terms in your results if they appear in a file's title.

 

Fuzzy search

Slack doesn’t support fuzzy search, so misspelled search terms won’t return the correctly-spelled alternative. This may be something we add in the future. 🔮