I'd like to filter a rest request and get the opposite of:

filter=substringof('foo', Title)

I've tried with a leading "not" and also ending with "eq false" but those it seems are not valid queries. I guess what I'm really lacking is a complete documentation of the filter regular expression syntax.

3 Answers 3


It seems like there is a bug with substringof operator in REST/OData web service implementation.


When applying substringof operator to a list items using the following syntax:

/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('Contacts')/items?$filter=substringof('John', Title) eq false

an error occurs:

    <m:code>-1, Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException</m:code>
    <m:message xml:lang="en-US">The query is not valid.</m:message>


You could target the listdata.svc where substringof operator could be applied successfully.


/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/Contacts?$filter=substringof('Jane',LastName) eq false
  • 1
    Thanks Vadim. It seems this bug has not been fixed my Microsoft yet. But the alternative you provided work perfectly.
    – Amit
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 5:45

The figure below shows the supported OData query options and how to specify supported filters enter image description here

You can find the full documentation here.

The following Url is working fine at my end:

_api/web/Lists?$filter=substringof('Documents',Title) eq false
  • 1
    this solution not work for me Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 7:08
  • 1
    This syntax worked for me, using SharePoint 2016 Server with the December 2018 CU. Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 19:53

You need to append eq true/false as in this working filter for SharePoint o365:

?$filter=substringof('Johnston', Title) eq true &$select=Id,Title,Email

the eq true is outside the substringof parenthesis.

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