Searching the MSDN and TechNet forums for SharePoint 2013


I'm doing a lot of 2013 work right now. Learning it, preparing for the exams, writing courseware, getting ready to deliver training sessions… all of which send me to the MSDN and TechNet forums to find stuff. The only problem is, there is no obvious way to search a single forum.

Use the Wiki Luke!


There is a forum wiki article all about search and the tips there seem to work great for everything except for the SharePoint forums. The official way to search a single forum is to enter the following into the "Search TechNet with Bing" box on the TechNet pages or "Search MSDN with Bing" box on the MSDN pages:

keywords meta:Search.MSForums.GroupName(forumname)

The forumname is the name listed in the URL of the forum:

There's a problem though… recently Microsoft rearranged and renamed many of the SharePoint forums. Instead of giving them useful names like 2013, 2010 and 2007 they called them (in the case of the admin forums) "sharepointadmin", "sharepointadminprevious" and "sharepointadminlegacy". (Makes you wonder what they will do when the next version is released!)

Second problem… to use the above tip you have to start in the right page. I have always thought that the forums were the forums. TechNet and MSDN where just two brandings of the same content. Doing a basic search in either returns content from both. Doing a basic search for a DEV topic in TechNet finds the DEV content and displays the DEV forums with a TechNet URL. (the same is true for basic searches in MSDN finding admin content and displaying it with an MSDN URL)

But when it comes to searching in MSDN for a SharePoint admin forum, it fails. I.e. Entering "meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(sharepointadmin)" into "Search MSDN with Bing" will get zero results.

Repeating the same search in TechNet works! I.e. Entering "meta:Search.MSForums.ForumName(sharepointadmin)" into "Search TechNet with Bing" works!


Google to the Rescue?

OK, currently it looks like the best way to search the forums is by using Google. Sad smile

Enter the following into Google: (Thanks Robert Aldwinckle!)

keywords inurl:sharepointadmin site:microsoft.com intitle:2013

The text for inurl is the forum name as found in the URL to the forum.

Setting intitle to 2013 removes the "legacy" forums from the results.

So now I can search the "SharePoint 2013 - Setup, Upgrade, Administration and Operations" (sharepointadmin) for info about "Quick Launch":

Quick Launch inurl:sharepointadmin site:microsoft.com intitle:2013


So the forums actually came to the rescue in the end!

To see the discussion that led to this solution see here:



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