How to: Filter Help Content

You can choose to filter the information in the Contents and Index windows, in the search results, or both. Filter options selected for full-text searches do not affect the Contents and Index windows and vice versa.

Filtering the Contents and Index Windows Only

To apply a filter for the Contents and Index windows

  • From the Filtered by drop-down list, select a predefined filter.

    Depending on the filters available in your installation, more information might appear below.

    For more information, see Help Filters for Visual Studio.

Filtering Full-text Searches

Full-text search filters use attributes to limit the number of topics that match a search query. Attributes are not actual text within a topic, but rather meta-data associated with a topic.


Topics that do not include attributes are excluded from search results when filters are applied, even if their content matches your search query.

Filters apply OR as well as AND logic to search results. Within a category, OR logic is used. For example, if you selected C# and Visual Basic in the Language category, Language is equal to (C# OR Visual Basic). With this combination, search results would include information that applies to either C# or Visual Basic, as well as both.

The logic between filter categories is: (Language OR Technology) AND Content Type. For example, if you selected C# and Visual Basic for Language, .NET Development for Technology, and Knowledge Base for Content Type, the filter logic would be: ((C# OR Visual Basic) OR (.NET Development)) AND Knowledge Base. With this combination, search results would include Knowledge Base content that applies to C# or Visual Basic or .NET Development.

To use a filter in full-text searches

  1. From the Help menu, choose Search.

  2. Click the chevron (ˇ) button next to each filter category to view the options for that category.

  3. Select the options you intend to use for filtering.

  4. In the searchbox, enter the word or phrase you want to search for and click Search.

    Only those topics that match your full search query, including filter options, are displayed in the search results.


    Topics that do not use the filter category attributes are excluded from the search results even if content in those topics matches the word or phrase you searched for.

See Also

Other Resources

How to: Find Topics with Sample Code

Techniques for Locating Help