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I have a PC application which can receive different types of messages. Those messages can be filtered. One filter is named

All without online messages

which is not an appropriate choice IMHO, but I don't exactly know why. Probably because I wouldn't use the words like that in German

Alles ohne Online Meldungen

Better choices could be

All but online messages

All except online messages

After checking dict.leo.org, all but means something like almost or nearly, so I would even exclude that version and stick with except.

Is it correct that

  1. all without is wrong or at least rare, maybe used by children only
  2. but can have same meaning as except but not if used together with all
  3. except is the best choice here
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Indeed, "all without" is the worst option here. It isn't technically incorrect, but it doesn't sound right and you would never hear or see anybody use it in this context.

"All but" is the second best option, but still it doesn't fit this context that well. You could use it, but it still doesn't sound completely right.

"All except" is, without a doubt, the best and most fitting option. Since you are filtering something out, you're leaving it out - "all except" works the best here.

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