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Searching and Replacing

You can find and replace text using a variety of techniques. For example, you can use the Find, Replace, Find in Files, or Replace in Files dialog boxes. You can also search without a dialog box by using incremental search or the Find/Command box. These techniques allow you to control the scope of find and replace and choose the method of reviewing search matches and replacements.

You should consider the following information when you search and replace text:

  • Options set in the Find, Replace, Find in Files, and Replace in Files dialog boxes are global; certain options selected in one dialog box are selected for all the dialogs. These options are Match case, Match whole word, Search all open documents, Wildcards, and Regular Expressions. This rule also applies to the Find/Command box.
  • Undo is available only for documents left open after a replace operation.
  • Undo for a Replace All operation that spans more than one file is considered a single, bulk action across all the affected files that were left open.
  • Generally, you cannot search items with graphical structural views, such as Design View of the HTML editor.

In This Section

Searching an Active Document Incrementally
Searching for characters as you type them.
Searching Interactively
Searching and replacing text in one or more open documents.
Searching Using Results Lists
Searching and replacing as well as viewing search matches and replacement information in a separate window.

Related Sections

Searching for Symbols: Objects, Definitions and References
Locate references, objects, and definitions included in code.
Find Dialog Box
Search for text within the current document or window or in multiple open files and then interactively review matches.
Replace Dialog Box
Make text substitutions in the current document or window as well as within multiple open documents.
Find in Files Dialog Box
Allows you to search within various scopes and review search results in report format.
Replace in Files Dialog Box
Make text substitutions in the current document or window as well as within multiple documents.
Find/Command Box
Search and replace text and execute commands and use the Find/Command box to issue single Visual Studio .NET commands, if you preface them with a greater than (>) character.
Find Command
Search files using a subset of the options available on the Find dialog box.
Replace Command
Replace text in files using a subset of the options available in the Replace dialog box.
Find in Files Command
Search files using a subset of the options available in the Find in Files dialog box.
Replace in Files Command
Replace text in files using a subset of the options available in the Replace in Files dialog box.
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