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Published:
2013-09-13 20:24:26 -0400
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When we brought back the tag filters after their long sleep last year, we tried to keep the interface as uncluttered as possible and focus on frequently used or requested search options. Like the Archive itself, this is a work in progress. There's a lot of scattered documentation about finding stuff to read, look at, watch, or listen to on the Archive: The little blue question marks all over the Archive should provide some pointers, and there's also the Searching and Browsing on the AO3 tutorial for more details.

However, there are some "secret" search options that are already built into the filtering and search code, but aren't necessarily reflected in the interface (because ticky box overkill). Here's an overview of neat things you can put into any of the following places to narrow down (and sort!) your results:

  • the "Search within results" field in the tag filters for works (e.g. for the Pacific Rim tag or in the Dark Agenda collection)
  • the "Any Field" box in the Work Search form
  • the main search box in the header

For Works:

  • words:1000 (works with exactly 1000 words)
  • words>1000 (works with more than 1000 words)
  • words<1000 (works with less than 1000 words)
  • words:1000-5000 (works between 1000 and 5000 words)

(works for: words, hits, kudos, comments, bookmarks)

  • sort:kudos (sort by kudos, default to most kudos first)
  • sort:>kudos (reverse to fewest kudos first)
  • sort:words (sort by words, default to longest works first)
  • sort:>words (reverse to shortest works first)
  • sort:>posted (oldest works first, going by actual posting date)
  • sort:>updated (oldest works first, going by author's publishing date)

(works for: author, title, posted, updated, words, hits, kudos, comments, bookmarks)

  • restricted:true (only restricted works; requires you to be logged in)
  • complete:false (only unfinished works/works in progress)
  • expected_number_of_chapters:1 (only one-shots)
  • -expected_number_of_chapters:1 (only multi-chapter works)

For (Your) Bookmarks:

  • private:false (your public bookmarks only)
  • private:true (your private bookmarks only)
  • rec:false (everything but recs; works for any bookmarks)
  • bookmarkable_complete:true (bookmarks of completed works only)

Search Operators:

These will handle any text matches in the title, summary, notes, and list of tags. Note that there will be some inaccuracies due to the way the code stores information and handles search strings: "Derek/Stiles" will also match a list of tags containing "Derek, Stiles" in that order. (Please stay tuned for Part 2 for a workaround!)

  • kittens
  • "needs hugs"
  • "kink bingo"
  • m/m OR f/f (works tagged either M/M, F/F, or both)
  • explicit OR mature (most of the porn)
  • -death (exludes works with 'death' in the title, summary, notes, or tags)
  • -rape -"dubious consent" -"consent issues"
  • -crossover -fusion -"alternate universe"

Mix and Match:

These were put into the main search box in the header to generate results, but you can also use these tricks in the "Search within results" field to narrow down work lists for a particular tag. Just remember to put everything into one of the three search boxes listed above.

Happy browsing!