OPTIONS

db.collection.find()

Definition

db.collection.find(query, projection)

Selects documents in a collection and returns a cursor to the selected documents.

Parameter Type Description
query document Optional. Specifies selection filter using query operators. To return all documents in a collection, omit this parameter or pass an empty document ({}).
projection document Optional. Specifies the fields to return in the documents that match the query filter. To return all fields in the matching documents, omit this parameter. For details, see Projection.
Returns:A cursor to the documents that match the query criteria. When the find() method “returns documents,” the method is actually returning a cursor to the documents.

Behavior

Projection

The projection parameter determines which fields are returned in the matching documents. The projection parameter takes a document of the following form:

{ field1: <value>, field2: <value> ... }

The <value> can be any of the following:

  • 1 or true to include the field in the return documents.
  • 0 or false to exclude the field.
  • Expression using a Projection Operators.

Note

For the _id field, you do not have to explicitly specify _id: 1 to return the _id field. The find() method always returns the _id field unless you specify _id: 0 to suppress the field.

A projection cannot contain both include and exclude specifications, except for the exclusion of the _id field. In projections that explicitly include fields, the _id field is the only field that you can explicitly exclude.

Cursor Handling

Executing db.collection.find() in the mongo shell automatically iterates the cursor to display up to the first 20 documents. Type it to continue iteration.

To access the returned documents with a driver, use the appropriate cursor handling mechanism for the driver language.

Read Concern

To specify the read concern for db.collection.find(), use the cursor.readConcern() method.

Type Bracketing

MongoDB treats some data types as equivalent for comparison purposes. For instance, numeric types undergo conversion before comparison. For most data types, however, comparison operators only perform comparisons on documents where the BSON type of the target field matches the type of the query operand. Consider the following collection:

{ "_id": "apples", "qty": 5 }
{ "_id": "bananas", "qty": 7 }
{ "_id": "oranges", "qty": { "in stock": 8, "ordered": 12 } }
{ "_id": "avocados", "qty": "fourteen" }

The following query uses $gt to return documents where the value of qty is greater than 4.

db.collection.find( { qty: { $gt: 4 } } )

The query returns the following documents:

{ "_id": "apples", "qty": 5 }
{ "_id": "bananas", "qty": 7 }

The document with _id equal to "avocados" is not returned because its qty value is of type string while the $gt operand is of type integer.

The document with _id equal to "oranges" is not returned because its qty value is of type object.

Note

To enforce data types in a collection, use Document Validation.

Examples

Find All Documents in a Collection

The find() method with no parameters returns all documents from a collection and returns all fields for the documents. For example, the following operation returns all documents in the bios collection:

db.bios.find()

Find Documents that Match Query Criteria

To find documents that match a set of selection criteria, call find() with the <criteria> parameter. The following operation returns all the documents from the collection products where qty is greater than 25:

db.products.find( { qty: { $gt: 25 } } )

Query for Equality

The following operation returns documents in the bios collection where _id equals 5:

db.bios.find( { _id: 5 } )

Query Using Operators

The following operation returns documents in the bios collection where _id equals either 5 or ObjectId("507c35dd8fada716c89d0013"):

db.bios.find(
   {
      _id: { $in: [ 5,  ObjectId("507c35dd8fada716c89d0013") ] }
   }
)

Query for Ranges

Combine comparison operators to specify ranges. The following operation returns documents with field between value1 and value2:

db.collection.find( { field: { $gt: value1, $lt: value2 } } );

Query a Field that Contains an Array

If a field contains an array and your query has multiple conditional operators, the field as a whole will match if either a single array element meets the conditions or a combination of array elements meet the conditions.

Given a collection students that contains the following documents:

{ "_id" : 1, "score" : [ -1, 3 ] }
{ "_id" : 2, "score" : [ 1, 5 ] }
{ "_id" : 3, "score" : [ 5, 5 ] }

The following query:

db.students.find( { score: { $gt: 0, $lt: 2 } } )

Matches the following documents:

{ "_id" : 1, "score" : [ -1, 3 ] }
{ "_id" : 2, "score" : [ 1, 5 ] }

In the document with _id equal to 1, the score: [ -1, 3 ] meets the conditions because the element -1 meets the $lt: 2 condition and the element 3 meets the $gt: 0 condition.

In the document with _id equal to 2, the score: [ 1, 5 ] meets the conditions because the element 1 meets both the $lt: 2 condition and the $gt: 0 condition.

Query Arrays

Query for an Array Element

The following operation returns documents in the bios collection where the array field contribs contains the element "UNIX":

db.bios.find( { contribs: "UNIX" } )

Query an Array of Documents

The following operation returns documents in the bios collection where awards array contains an embedded document element that contains the award field equal to "Turing Award" and the year field greater than 1980:

db.bios.find(
   {
      awards: {
                $elemMatch: {
                     award: "Turing Award",
                     year: { $gt: 1980 }
                }
      }
   }
)

Query Embedded Documents

Query Exact Matches on Embedded Documents

The following operation returns documents in the bios collection where the embedded document name is exactly { first: "Yukihiro", last: "Matsumoto" }, including the order:

db.bios.find(
    {
      name: {
              first: "Yukihiro",
              last: "Matsumoto"
            }
    }
)

The name field must match the embedded document exactly. The query does not match documents with the following name fields:

{
   first: "Yukihiro",
   aka: "Matz",
   last: "Matsumoto"
}

{
   last: "Matsumoto",
   first: "Yukihiro"
}

Query Fields of an Embedded Document

The following operation returns documents in the bios collection where the embedded document name contains a field first with the value "Yukihiro" and a field last with the value "Matsumoto". The query uses dot notation to access fields in an embedded document:

db.bios.find(
   {
     "name.first": "Yukihiro",
     "name.last": "Matsumoto"
   }
)

The query matches the document where the name field contains an embedded document with the field first with the value "Yukihiro" and a field last with the value "Matsumoto". For instance, the query would match documents with name fields that held either of the following values:

{
  first: "Yukihiro",
  aka: "Matz",
  last: "Matsumoto"
}

{
  last: "Matsumoto",
  first: "Yukihiro"
}

Projections

The projection parameter specifies which fields to return. The parameter contains either include or exclude specifications, not both, unless the exclude is for the _id field.

Specify the Fields to Return

The following operation returns all the documents from the products collection where qty is greater than 25 and returns only the _id, item and qty fields:

db.products.find( { qty: { $gt: 25 } }, { item: 1, qty: 1 } )

The operation returns the following:

{ "_id" : 11, "item" : "pencil", "qty" : 50 }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("50634d86be4617f17bb159cd"), "item" : "bottle", "qty" : 30 }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("50634dbcbe4617f17bb159d0"), "item" : "paper", "qty" : 100 }

The following operation finds all documents in the bios collection and returns only the name field, contribs field and _id field:

db.bios.find( { }, { name: 1, contribs: 1 } )

Explicitly Excluded Fields

The following operation queries the bios collection and returns all fields except the first field in the name embedded document and the birth field:

db.bios.find(
   { contribs: 'OOP' },
   { 'name.first': 0, birth: 0 }
)

Explicitly Exclude the _id Field

The following operation excludes the _id and qty fields from the result set:

db.products.find( { qty: { $gt: 25 } }, { _id: 0, qty: 0 } )

The documents in the result set contain all fields except the _id and qty fields:

{ "item" : "pencil", "type" : "no.2" }
{ "item" : "bottle", "type" : "blue" }
{ "item" : "paper" }

The following operation finds documents in the bios collection and returns only the name field and the contribs field:

db.bios.find(
   { },
   { name: 1, contribs: 1, _id: 0 }
)

On Arrays and Embedded Documents

The following operation queries the bios collection and returns the last field in the name embedded document and the first two elements in the contribs array:

db.bios.find(
   { },
   {
     _id: 0,
     'name.last': 1,
     contribs: { $slice: 2 }
   }
)

Iterate the Returned Cursor

The find() method returns a cursor to the results.

In the mongo shell, if the returned cursor is not assigned to a variable using the var keyword, the cursor is automatically iterated to access up to the first 20 documents that match the query. You can set the DBQuery.shellBatchSize variable to change the number of automatically iterated documents.

To manually iterate over the results, assign the returned cursor to a variable with the var keyword, as shown in the following sections.

With Variable Name

The following example uses the variable myCursor to iterate over the cursor and print the matching documents:

var myCursor = db.bios.find( );

myCursor

With next() Method

The following example uses the cursor method next() to access the documents:

var myCursor = db.bios.find( );

var myDocument = myCursor.hasNext() ? myCursor.next() : null;

if (myDocument) {
    var myName = myDocument.name;
    print (tojson(myName));
}

To print, you can also use the printjson() method instead of print(tojson()):

if (myDocument) {
   var myName = myDocument.name;
   printjson(myName);
}

With forEach() Method

The following example uses the cursor method forEach() to iterate the cursor and access the documents:

var myCursor = db.bios.find( );

myCursor.forEach(printjson);

Modify the Cursor Behavior

The mongo shell and the drivers provide several cursor methods that call on the cursor returned by the find() method to modify its behavior.

Order Documents in the Result Set

The sort() method orders the documents in the result set. The following operation returns documents in the bios collection sorted in ascending order by the name field:

db.bios.find().sort( { name: 1 } )

sort() corresponds to the ORDER BY statement in SQL.

Limit the Number of Documents to Return

The limit() method limits the number of documents in the result set. The following operation returns at most 5 documents in the bios collection:

db.bios.find().limit( 5 )

limit() corresponds to the LIMIT statement in SQL.

Set the Starting Point of the Result Set

The skip() method controls the starting point of the results set. The following operation skips the first 5 documents in the bios collection and returns all remaining documents:

db.bios.find().skip( 5 )

Combine Cursor Methods

The following statements chain cursor methods limit() and sort():

db.bios.find().sort( { name: 1 } ).limit( 5 )
db.bios.find().limit( 5 ).sort( { name: 1 } )

The two statements are equivalent; i.e. the order in which you chain the limit() and the sort() methods is not significant. Both statements return the first five documents, as determined by the ascending sort order on ‘name’.