source:trunk/resources/images/dialogs/search.svg Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+F

Search objects in the current data layer using query language.
This windows has different looks, depending on your source:trunk/resources/images/expert.svg Expert Mode setting, see below:

  • The search action will respect the current filters meaning it wouldn't return any of the filtered objects.
  • Colons (:) within keys and values need to be wrapped with quotation marks (").
  • Hover over a keyword in the search hints section to get a explanation and special examples.
  • Double click on a preset listed in the search window to add the query to search for objects that match this preset.

Expert mode

In expert mode, the following options are added:

  • more keywords are listed (they work also in non-expert mode, but are hidden in the dialog)
  • standard/regular expression/MapCSS selector radio button, see sections below for details
  • all objects check box to include deleted and incomplete objects in the search
  • add toolbar button see save search query in main toolbar below.


Some examples of queries:

  • type:way selects all ways
  • name:Herrengasse selects all elements with the given name
  • name=Herrengasse same as above, but case sensitive
  • "addr:street"="Baker Street" if special characters (in this case : in the key and white space in the value) are used, the key resp. the value needs to be enclosed in ""
  • tag1=yes tag2=yes is equivalent to tag1=yes & tag2=yes
  • type:way name:- selects all ways that do not have a name
  • id:123465678 selects an object (way or node) with a particular id
  • timestamp:2010-11-01/2010-12-01 selects object with last change in November 2010
  • preset:"Craft/Beekeeper" selects objects that match the beekeeper preset
  • See also Examples

Save search query in main toolbar

To save search as a button if you check add toolbar button checkbox, as soon as you click on source:trunk/resources/images/dialogs/search.svg Start Search, a button will be added to the main toolbar. which will execute the defined search expression each time, you press the button.

Regular expressions

JOSM supports Java regex syntax.

MapCSS syntax

See MapCSS implementation

Fetch external file and replace selection

A very under-used feature that lets you enter a web URL (file://, http://, https://, ftp://) in the search field.

  • JOSM will then attempt to load that URL, and select any objects that it finds referenced in that file.
  • JOSM will look for XML tags "way", "node", and "relation" in the document (clarify? examples?), and use their id attribute .
  • You can access another OSM file on your hard disk this way and have JOSM select all objects that are present in the file (provided they are present in JOSM's dataset too).

Similar thing is possible via:

See also

  • source:trunk/resources/images/dialogs/filter.svg Filters allow you to save and combine multiple search patterns between your JOSM sessions

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Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on 2021-05-14T15:12:32+02:00

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