Introduction

Many times I have seen questions about how can I search inside my threads or how can I search for threads I have started. I have found Beth Massi`s blog about searching MSDN forums by using meta information. I have checked a few other sources about this and wanted to summarize this for anybody who is interested.

Search inside the MSDN forum

If you want to search for an exact phrase on MSDN Forums:
Surround the search phrase in quotations. For example: "Windows Phone 8" or ".NET Development"


The refinements below work only by using the Bing Search engine (e.g. Search box in the MSDN forum/library header)

Search inside the MSDN forum on the MSDN header


If you want to search for threads to which you have contributed use :
meta:Search.MSForums.ThreadContributorUserName(Heslacher)

If you want to search for threads you have started :
meta:Search.MSForums.ThreadStarterUserName(Heslacher)

If you want to search for threads which are answered :
meta:Search.MSForums.IsAnswered(1)
-> searching for IsAnswered(0) won`t return a result, because the meta information is only added if the question is answered.

To search for unanswered question use:
meta:Search.MSForums.IsAnswered(NOT 1)

If you want to search for threads within the threadname/description:
meta:Search.MSForums.Description(How to use the search of the forum)
meta:Search.MSForums.ThreadName(How to use the search of the forum)

If you want to search for threads based on the number of posts:
meta:Search.MSForums.PostCount(2)
or
meta:Search.MSForums.PostCount(>20)

If you want to search for threads based on the forums group name:
meta:Search.MSForums.GroupName(visualbasic)
meta:Search.MSForums.GroupName(netdevelopment)
meta:Search.MSForums.GroupName(visualcsharp)
meta:Search.MSForums.GroupName(vsexpress)

If you want to search for threads based on the forums name:
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(vbgeneral)
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(netfxbcl)
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(csharpgeneral)
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(vblanguage)
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(Vsexpressvb)
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(Vsexpressvcs)
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(csharplanguage)

If you want to search for threads which have been helpful:
meta:Search.MSForums.HelpfulThread(true)
-> I have investigated that this won`t work as expected

If you want to search for threads which are questions:
meta:Search.MSForums.IsQuestion(1)
For generall discussion/sticky`s use:
meta:Search.MSForums.IsQuestion(NOT 1)


There are a few other meta information you can search for:
meta:Search.MSForums.Version(4.0)
meta:Search.MSForums.Brand(Msdn)
meta:Search.MSForums.Locale(en-US)
meta:Search.MSForums.Language(en)
meta:Search.MSForums.LCID(1033)
meta:Search.MSForums.SiteID(Msdn.en-US)
meta:Search.MSForums.SiteName(Msdn)
meta:Search.MSForums.GroupID(53a3f556-a51e-4e2f-aa28-714e91c2cac5)
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumId(24becc9b-b984-47b2-a748-a62e38c0066f)
meta:Search.MSForums.ThreadId(2bee1bf8-f854-4c39-bb5a-a7bf3b972330)meta:Search.MSForums.ViewType(Thread)


If you want to search for multiple meta's you just add them together like:
meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(csharpgeneral) meta:Search.MSForums.ThreadContributorUserName(Heslacher) meta:Search.MSForums.IsAnswered(1)
[separated by a space character]

If you want to search answered threads in Visual C# General forum for 'excel gc' you can do it this way:
Excel gc meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(csharpgeneral) meta:Search.MSForums.IsAnswered(1)

Search inside the MDSN Library


If you want to search for entries containing sample code
meta:Search.CodeSnippet(1)

If you want to search for entries regarding  System.Net namespace 
meta:Search.MSHKeywordA(System.Net)

You can also define this search for:

Topic of the System.Net namespace
meta:Search.MSHKeywordA(T:System.Net)

Methods of the objects contained e.g. in the System.Net namespace
meta:Search.MSHKeywordA(M:System.Net)

Properties of the objects contained e.g. in the System.Net namespace
meta:Search.MSHKeywordA(P:System.Net)

Events of the objects contained e.g in the System.Net namespace
meta:Search.MSHKeywordA(E:System.Net)

If you want to search for entries regarding Visual Basic

meta:Search.MSHAttr.DevLang(VB)

If you want to search for entries regarding C#
meta:Search.MSHAttr.DevLang(CSharp)

If you want to search for entries regarding Managed Code

meta:Search.MSHAttr.APIType(Managed)

If you want to search for entries based on a dll file
meta:Search.MSHAttr.APILocation(System.dll)

If you want to search for entries based on the Visual Studio Version
meta:Search.MSHAttr.ShippedIn(vs.80)
meta:Search.MSHAttr.ShippedIn(vs.90)

If you want to search for the type of Topic
meta:Search.MSHAttr.TopicType(kbSyntax)
meta:Search.MSHAttr.TopicType(apiref)
meta:Search.MSHAttr.TopicType(article)
meta:Search.MSHAttr.TopicType(kbarticle)

If you want to search for entries where the community added content
meta:Search.MSHAttr.CommunityContent(1)

If you want to search for article from the MSDN Magazine

meta:Search.Magazine.PageType(article)

If you want to search for entries based on the rating e.g. > 4.2
meta:Search.Rating(>4.2)

There will be some more meta information which are stored. Check them out for yourself.

Additional information

If you want to check for yourself what kind of meta information is stored you need to change your browser user agent to a search bot like:
msnbot/1.0 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm)
Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.google.com/bot.html)
...
because this information isn`t visible to normal browser user agents.

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