notmuch-search-terms - syntax for notmuch queries


       notmuch count [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch  dump  [--format=(batch-tag|sup)]  [--]  [--output=<file>] [--]
       [<search-term> ...]

       notmuch search [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch show [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch tag +<tag> ... -<tag> [--] <search-term> ...


       Several notmuch commands accept a common syntax for search terms.

       The search terms can consist of free-form  text  (and  quoted  phrases)
       which   will   match  all  messages  that  contain  all  of  the  given
       terms/phrases in the body, the subject, or any of the sender or recipi‐
       ent headers.

       As  a  special  case,  a  search  string consisting of exactly a single
       asterisk ("*") will match all messages.

       In addition to free text, the following prefixes can be used  to  force
       terms to match against specific portions of an email, (where <brackets>
       indicate user-supplied values):

       · from:<name-or-address>

       · to:<name-or-address>

       · subject:<word-or-quoted-phrase>

       · attachment:<word>

       · mimetype:<word>

       · tag:<tag> (or is:<tag>)

       · id:<message-id>

       · thread:<thread-id>

       · folder:<maildir-folder>

       · path:<directory-path> or path:<directory-path>/**

       · date:<since>..<until>

       · lastmod:<initial-revision>..<final-revision>

       · query:<name>

       · property:<key>=<value>

       The from: prefix is used to match the name or address of the sender  of
       an email message.

       The to: prefix is used to match the names or addresses of any recipient
       of an email message, (whether To, Cc, or Bcc).

       Any term prefixed with subject: will match only text from  the  subject
       of  an  email.  Searching  for  a phrase in the subject is supported by
       including quotation marks around the phrase, immediately following sub-

       The attachment: prefix can be used to search for specific filenames (or
       extensions) of attachments to email messages.

       The mimetype: prefix will be used to match text from the  content-types
       of MIME parts within email messages (as specified by the sender).

       For  tag:  and is: valid tag values include inbox and unread by default
       for new messages added by notmuch new as well as any other  tag  values
       added manually with notmuch tag.

       For  id:, message ID values are the literal contents of the Message-ID:
       header of email messages, but without the '<', '>' delimiters.

       The thread: prefix can be used with the thread ID values that are  gen‐
       erated  internally  by  notmuch  (and do not appear in email messages).
       These thread ID values can be seen in the first column of  output  from
       notmuch search

       The  path:  prefix  searches  for email messages that are in particular
       directories within the mail store. The directory must be specified rel‐
       ative  to  the  top-level  maildir  (and without the leading slash). By
       default, path: matches messages in the specified  directory  only.  The
       "/**"  suffix  can be used to match messages in the specified directory
       and all its subdirectories recursively.  path:""  matches  messages  in
       the root of the mail store and, likewise, path:** matches all messages.

       The folder: prefix searches for email messages by maildir or MH folder.
       For MH-style folders, this is equivalent to path:.  For  maildir,  this
       includes messages in the "new" and "cur" subdirectories. The exact syn‐
       tax for  maildir  folders  depends  on  your  mail  configuration.  For
       maildir++,  folder:""  matches  the  inbox folder (which is the root in
       maildir++), other folder names always start with ".", and nested  fold‐
       ers  are separated by "."s, such as folder:.classes.topology. For "file
       system" maildir, the inbox is typically folder:INBOX and nested folders
       are separated by slashes, such as folder:classes/topology.

       Both  path: and folder: will find a message if any copy of that message
       is in the specific directory/folder.

       The date: prefix can be used to restrict the results to  only  messages
       within a particular time range (based on the Date: header) with a range
       syntax of:


       See DATE AND TIME SEARCH below for details on the range expression, and
       supported syntax for <since> and <until> date and time expressions.

       The time range can also be specified using timestamps with a syntax of:


       Each  timestamp  is  a  number representing the number of seconds since
       1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC.

       The lastmod: prefix can be used to restrict the result by the  database
       revision  number  of  when  messages  were  last  modified  (tags  were
       added/removed or filenames changed).  This is usually used in  conjunc‐
       tion  with  the --uuid argument to notmuch search to find messages that
       have changed since an earlier query.

       The query: prefix allows queries to refer to previously  saved  queries
       added  with notmuch-config(1). Named queries are only available if not‐
       much is built with Xapian Field Processors (see below).

       The  property:  prefix  searches  for  messages   with   a   particular
       <key>=<value>  property pair. Properties are used internally by notmuch
       (and extensions) to add metadata  to  messages.  A  given  key  can  be
       present on a given message with several different values.


       In  addition  to  individual terms, multiple terms can be combined with
       Boolean operators (and, or, not, and xor). Each term in the query  will
       be  implicitly  connected  by  a logical AND if no explicit operator is
       provided (except that terms with a common  prefix  will  be  implicitly
       combined  with  OR).   The  shorthand  '-<term>'  can  be used for 'not
       <term>' but unfortunately this does not work at the start of an expres‐
       sion.   Parentheses  can also be used to control the combination of the
       Boolean operators, but will have to be protected from interpretation by
       the shell, (such as by putting quotation marks around any parenthesized

       In addition to the standard boolean operators, Xapian provides  several
       operators specific to text searching.

          notmuch search term1 NEAR term2

       will  return  results  where  term1  is  within  10 words of term2. The
       threshold can be set like this:

          notmuch search term1 NEAR/2 term2

       The search

          notmuch search term1 ADJ term2

       will return results where term1 is within 10 words of term2, but in the
       same  order  as in the query. The threshold can be set the same as with

          notmuch search term1 ADJ/7 term2


       Stemming in notmuch means that these searches

          notmuch search detailed
          notmuch search details
          notmuch search detail

       will all return identical results, because Xapian first  "reduces"  the
       term to the common stem (here 'detail') and then performs the search.

       There  are  two  ways to turn this off: a search for a capitalized word
       will be performed unstemmed, so that one can search for "John" and  not
       get  results  for  "Johnson";  phrase  searches are also unstemmed (see
       below for details).  Stemming is currently only supported for  English.
       Searches for words in other languages will be performed unstemmed.


       It  is  possible  to  use  a  trailing  '*' as a wildcard. A search for
       'wildc*' will match 'wildcard', 'wildcat', etc.

  Boolean and Probabilistic Prefixes

       Xapian (and hence notmuch)  prefixes  are  either  boolean,  supporting
       exact  matches  like  "tag:inbox"   or probabilistic, supporting a more
       flexible term based searching. The prefixes currently supported by not‐
       much are as follows.

              tag:, id:, thread:, folder:, path:, property:

              from:, to:, subject:, attachment:, mimetype:

  Terms and phrases

       In  general  Xapian  distinguishes  between lists of terms and phrases.
       Phrases are indicated by double quotes (but beware you probably need to
       protect  those  from  your shell) and insist that those unstemmed words
       occur in that order. One useful, but initially  surprising  feature  is
       that the following are equivalant ways to write the same phrase.

       · "a list of words"

       · a-list-of-words

       · a/list/of/words

       · a.list.of.words

       Both parenthesised lists of terms and quoted phrases are ok with proba‐
       bilisitic prefixes such as to:, from:, and subject:. In particular

          subject:(pizza free)

       is equivalent to

          subject:pizza and subject:free

       Both of these will match a subject "Free Delicious Pizza" while

          subject:"pizza free"

       will not.


       notmuch understands a variety of standard and natural ways of  express‐
       ing dates and times, both in absolute terms ("2012-10-24") and in rela‐
       tive terms ("yesterday"). Any number of relative terms can be  combined
       ("1  hour  25  minutes") and an absolute date/time can be combined with
       relative terms to further adjust it. A  non-exhaustive  description  of
       the syntax supported for absolute and relative terms is given below.

  The range expression


       The  above  expression  restricts  the  results  to  only messages from
       <since> to <until>, based on the Date: header.

       <since> and <until> can describe imprecise times, such as  "yesterday".
       In  this  case, <since> is taken as the earliest time it could describe
       (the beginning of yesterday) and <until> is taken as the latest time it
       could  describe (the end of yesterday). Similarly, date:january..febru‐
       ary matches from the beginning of January to the end of February.

       date:<expr>..! can be used as a shorthand for date:<expr>..<expr>.  The
       expansion  takes  place  before  interpretation, and thus, for example,
       date:monday..! matches from the beginning of Monday until  the  end  of
       Monday.   With  Xapian  Field  Processor support (see below), non-range
       date queries such as date:yesterday will work, but otherwise will  give
       unexpected results; if in doubt use date:yesterday..!

       Currently,  we  do  not  support  spaces  in range expressions. You can
       replace the spaces with '_', or (in most cases) '-', or (in some cases)
       leave  the  spaces out altogether. Examples in this man page use spaces
       for clarity.

       Open-ended ranges are supported (since Xapian 1.2.1), i.e. it's  possi‐
       ble  to specify date:..<until> or date:<since>.. to not limit the start
       or end time, respectively. Pre-1.2.1 Xapian does not report an error on
       open ended ranges, but it does not work as expected either.

  Relative date and time

       [N|number]         (years|months|weeks|days|hours|hrs|minutes|mins|sec‐
       onds|secs) [...]

       All refer to past, can be repeated and will be accumulated.

       Units can be abbreviated to any length, with  the  otherwise  ambiguous
       single m being m for minutes and M for months.

       Number  can  also  be  written  out one, two, ..., ten, dozen, hundred.
       Additionally, the unit may be preceded by "last" or "this" (e.g., "last
       week" or "this month").

       When  combined  with absolute date and time, the relative date and time
       specification will be relative from the  specified  absolute  date  and

       Examples: 5M2d, two weeks

  Supported absolute time formats

       · H[H]:MM[:SS] [(am|a.m.|pm|p.m.)]

       · H[H] (am|a.m.|pm|p.m.)

       · HHMMSS

       · now

       · noon

       · midnight

       · Examples: 17:05, 5pm

  Supported absolute date formats

       · YYYY-MM[-DD]

       · DD-MM[-[YY]YY]

       · MM-YYYY

       · M[M]/D[D][/[YY]YY]

       · M[M]/YYYY

       · D[D].M[M][.[YY]YY]

       · D[D][(st|nd|rd|th)] Mon[thname] [YYYY]

       · Mon[thname] D[D][(st|nd|rd|th)] [YYYY]

       · Wee[kday]

       Month names can be abbreviated at three or more characters.

       Weekday names can be abbreviated at three or more characters.

       Examples: 2012-07-31, 31-07-2012, 7/31/2012, August 3

  Time zones

       · (+|-)HH:MM

       · (+|-)HH[MM]

       Some time zone codes, e.g. UTC, EET.


       Certain  optional  features  of the notmuch query processor rely on the
       presence of the Xapian field processor API. You can determine  if  your
       notmuch  was  built  against a sufficiently recent version of Xapian by

          % notmuch config get built_with.field_processor

       Currently the following features require field processor support:

       · non-range date queries, e.g. "date:today"

       · named queries e.g. "query:my_special_query"


       notmuch(1), notmuch-config(1), notmuch-count(1), notmuch-dump(1),  not‐
       much-hooks(5),   notmuch-insert(1),  notmuch-new(1),  notmuch-reply(1),
       notmuch-restore(1), notmuch-search(1), notmuch-show(1), notmuch-tag(1)


       Carl Worth and many others


       2009-2016, Carl Worth and many others