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How to Search for Issues in YouTrack

DZone's Guide to

How to Search for Issues in YouTrack

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Now that YouTrack has been announced and adopted by most JetBrains products, it's time to show how it actually works. That's because you report bugs to JetBrains now and then, don't you?

Let's start with the way you search for issues.

You do that by typing a natural-language-like search query in the search box. For example, the following query finds you all critical issues in project "YouTrack" that should be (or should have been) fixed for version 1.0.

YouTrack search box

Even when you're somewhere outside of the search box, no need to grab your mouse to get there: just press Esc.

The primary building block of YouTrack search queries is an attribute-value pair. Issue attributes include issue ID, project, state, type, priority, assignee, reporter, date of creation/update, associated tags etc. For example, to find all critical issues that won't fix in project "IDEA Development", you type the following query:

state: {Won't fix} priority: critical project: IDEADEV

You can make your query even shorter by skipping unambiguous keywords. For example, in this case, keywords “state”, "priority" and "project" can be safely omitted:

#{Won't fix} #critical #IDEADEV

On the other hand, "today" would be an ambiguous value because it is valid for two attributes: "updated" and "created". That's why using it without explicitly specifying one of those attributes could render inaccurate search results.

Several things make YouTrack query language special, and one of those things is the use of shortcut keywords. When looking for all issues assigned to or reported by yourself, no need to enter a cumbersome query like

assigned to: me or reported by: me

Instead, type

#my

Of course, search queries may also contain full-text search items: for example, typing

#unresolved light bulbs

returns all unresolved issues that contain words "light" and "bulb" in summary, description, comments etc.

When you type a query into the search box, YouTrack displays suggestions using query completion: YouTrack query completion

We suggest that you use query completion extensively, for two reasons:

  • Plain and simple: it lets you enter queries faster.
  • More importantly, it automatically inserts special syntax items for you:
    • Colons (:) after attributes.
    • Hash marks (#) before values specified without attributes.
    • Curly braces ({}) around values that contain spaces.

In most cases, query completion displays automatically but whenever you need to call it at will, just press Ctrl+Space or Alt+Down. With any character you type, the completion list shrinks to show only the matching options:

YouTrack query completion only shows matching suggestions

To help you get the feel of YouTrack search queries, here are some practical examples from our own YouTrack instance:

Let's sum it all up. In YouTrack, instead of setting up complicated filters in forms that bolster your inferiority complex, you just type what you are looking for in a manner very similar to how you would say it in plain English, aided by query completion.

There have been other issue trackers that used search queries as a filtering option but there are none to my knowledge that rely as heavily on them and make them as usable as YouTrack.

For additional information on YouTrack search queries, see the following docs:

You can download YouTrack 1.0 Beta or use our Early Access Program to receive latest builds.

Track with pleasure!

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