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Phabricator User Documentation (Application User Guides)

Introduction to searching for documents in Phabricator.


Phabricator has two major ways to search for documents and objects (like tasks, code reviews, users, wiki documents, and so on): global search and application search.

Global search allows you to search across multiple document types at once, but has fewer options for refining a search. It's a good general-purpose search, and helpful if you're searching for a text string.

Application search allows you to search within an application (like Maniphest) for documents of a specific type. Because application search is only searching one type of object, it can provide more powerful options for filtering, ordering, and displaying the results.

Both types of search share many of the same features. This document walks through how to use search and how to take advantage of some of the advanced options.

Global Search

Global search allows you to search across multiple document types at once. You can access global search by entering a search query in the main menu bar.

By default, global search queries search all document types: for example, they will find matching tasks, commits, wiki documents, users, etc. You can use the dropdown to the left of the search box to select a different search scope.

If you choose the Current Application scope, Phabricator will search for open documents in the current application. For example, if you're in Maniphest and run a search, you'll get matching tasks. If you're in Phriction and run a search, you'll get matching wiki documents.

Some pages (like the 404 page) don't belong to an application, or belong to an application which doesn't have any searchable documents. In these cases, Phabricator will search all documents.

To quickly jump to an object like a task, enter the object's ID in the global search box and search for it. For example, you can enter T123 or D456 to quickly jump to the corresponding task or code review, or enter a Git commit hash to jump to the corresponding commit. For a complete list of supported commands, see Search User Guide: Shortcuts.

After running a search, you can scroll up to add filters and refine the result set. You can also select Advanced Search from the dropdown menu to jump here immediately, or press return in the search box without entering a query.

This interface supports standard Phabricator search and filtering features, like saved queries and typeaheads. See below for more details on using these features.

Application Search

Application search gives you a more powerful way to search one type of document, like tasks. Most applications provide application search interfaces for the documents or objects they let you create: these pages have queries in the left menu, show objects or documents in the main content area, and have controls for refining the results.

These interfaces support saved queries and typeaheads.

Saving and Sharing Queries

If you have a query which you run often, you can save it for easy access. To do this, click "Save Custom Query..." on the result screen. Choose a name for your query and it will be saved in the left nav so you can run it again with one click.

You can use "Edit Queries..." to reorder queries or remove saved queries you don't use anymore.

If you drag a query to the top of the list, it will execute by default when you load the relevant search interface. You can use this to make your default view show the results you most often want.

You can share queries with other users by sending them the URL. This will run the same query for them with all the parameters you've set (they may see different results than you do, because they may not have the same permissions).


Typeaheads are text inputs which suggest options as you type. Typeaheads make it easy to select users, projects, document types, and other kinds of objects without typing their full names.

For example, if you want to find tasks that a specific user created, you can use the "Authors:" filter in Maniphest. The filter uses a typeahead control to let you enter authors who you want to search for.

To use a typeahead, enter the first few letters of the thing you want to select. It will appear in a dropdown under your cursor, and you can select it by clicking it (or using the arrow keys to highlight it, then pressing return).

If you aren't sure about the exact name of what you're looking for, click the browse button () to the right of the input. This will let you browse through valid results for the control. You can filter the results from within the browse dialog to narrow them down.

Some typeaheads support advanced selection functions which can let you build more powerful queries. If a control supports functions, the "Browse" dialog will show that advanced functions are available and give you a link to details on which functions you can use.

For example, the members() function lets you automatically select all of the members of a project. You could use this with the "Authors" filter to find tasks created by anyone on a certain team.

Another useful function is the viewer() function, which works as though you'd typed your own username when you run the query. However, if you send the query to someone else, it will show results for their username when they run it. This can be particularly useful when creating dashboard panels.

Fulltext Search

Global search and some applications provide fulltext search. In applications, this is a field called Query.

Fulltext search allows you to search the text content of objects and supports some special syntax. These features are supported:

  • Substring search with ~platypus.
  • Field search with title:platypus.
  • Filtering out matches with -platypus.
  • Quoted terms with "platypus attorney".
  • Matching entire fields with =platypus.
  • Combining features with title:~"platypus attorney".
  • Testing a field for presence (title:~) or absence (title:-).

See below for more detail.

Substrings: Normally, query terms are searched for as words, so searching for read won't find documents which only contain the word threaded, even though "read" is a substring of "threaded". With the substring operator, ~, you can search for substrings instead: the query ~read will match documents which contain that text anywhere, even in the middle of a word.

Quoted Terms: When you search for multiple terms, documents which match each term will be returned, even if the terms are not adjacent in the document. For example, the query void star will match a document titled `A star in the void`, because it matches both void and star. To search for an exact sequence of terms, quote them: "void star". This query will only match documents which use those terms as written.

Stemming: Searching for a term like rearming will find documents which contain variations of the word, like rearm, rearms, and rearmed. To search for an an exact word, quote the term: "rearming".

Field Search: By default, query terms are searched for in the title, body, and comments. If you only want to search for a term in titles, use title:. For example, title:platypus only finds documents with that term in the title. This can be combined with other operators, for example title:~platypus or title:"platypus attorney". These scopes are also supported:

  • title:... searches titles.
  • body:... searches bodies (descriptions or summaries).
  • core:... searches titles and bodies, but not comments.
  • comment:... searches only comments.

Filtering Matches: You can remove documents which match certain terms from the result set with -. For example: platypus -mammal. Documents which match negated terms will be filtered out of the result set.

Matching Entire Fields: If you know the exact name of an object and want to find only that object, you can use the = operator. A query like title:"warp drive" will find a document titled "Warp Drive", but will also find documents with longer titles, like "Not a Warp Drive". The = operator requires that the entire field match the query exactly, so only documents exactly titled "Warp Drive" will be matched by the query (but note that the query is still case insensitive).

Present and Absent Fields: To find objects with any value in a particular field, use field:~ as a search term (with no additional text). For example, searching Maniphest for comment:~ will find tasks with any comments.

If you want to find objects that are missing a particular field, use field:- with no additional argument. For example, searching Maniphest for body:- will find tasks with no description.