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Find in Files, Find and Replace Window 

Find in Files allows you to search a specified set of files. The matches found and actions taken are listed in the Find Results window selected in Result options.

You can use any of the following methods to display Find in Files in the Find and Replace window.

To display Find in Files
  1. On the Edit menu, click Find and Replace.

  2. Choose Find in Files.

    —or—

    If the Find and Replace window is already open, on the toolbar, click the triangular View button on the left drop-down and then choose Find in Files.

Find what

These controls allow you to specify the string or expression that will be matched.

Find what

Reuse one of the last 20 search strings by selecting it from this drop-down list, or type a new text string or expression to find.

Option Description

[string with wildcards]

To use wildcards such as asterisks and question marks in your search string, first select the Use check box under Find options and choose Wildcards.

[regular expression]

To cause the search engine to interpret your search string as a regular expression, select the Use check box under Find options and choose Regular expression.

Expression Builder

This triangular button next to the Find what field becomes available when the Use check box is selected in Find options. Click this button to display a list of wildcards or regular expressions, depending upon the Use option selected. Choosing any item from this list adds it into the Find what string.

Find All

Click this button to find all instances of the Find what string within the search scope chosen in Look in. The results are displayed in the Results window chosen under Result options.

Look in

The option chosen from the Look in drop-down list determines whether Find in Files searches only in currently active files or in all files stored within certain folders. Select a search scope from the list or click the Browse (...) button to display the Choose Search Folders Dialog Box and to enter your own set of directories. You can also type a path directly into the Look in box.

NoteNote

If the Look in option selected causes you to search a file that you have checked out from source code control, only the version of that file which has been downloaded to your local machine is searched.

Look in

Select a predefined search scope from this list, or use the Choose Search Folders dialog box to enter your own set of directories.

Current Document

This option is available when a document is open in an editor. Searches only the active document for the Find what string.

All Open Documents

Searches all files currently opened for editing.

Entire Solution

Searches all files in the active solution.

Current Project

Searches all files in the active project.

Visual C++ Include Directories

This option becomes available while editing Visual C++ projects. Searches all files in the Include Directories.

Browse (...)

Choose this button to display the Choose Search Folders Dialog Box, where you can assemble, edit, save, and select named sets of directories to enter in the Look in field.

Include subfolders

Specifies that subfolders of the Look in folder will be searched.

Find options

You can expand or collapse the Find options section. The following options can be selected or cleared:

Match case

When selected, a Find Results search will be case-sensitive

Match whole word

When selected, the Find Results windows will only return whole word matches.

Use

Indicates how to interpret special characters entered in the Find what or Replace with text boxes. The options include:

Option Description

Wildcards

Special characters such as the asterisk and question mark. For a list of wildcards, see Wildcards (Visual Studio).

Regular Expressions

Notations defining patterns of text to match. For a list, see Regular Expressions (Visual Studio).

Look at these file types

This list indicates the types of files to search through in the Look in directories. If this field is blank, all of the files in the Look in directories will be searched.

Select any item in the list to enter a preconfigured search string that will find files of those particular types.

To find a type of file not available from the drop-down list, enter an asterisk (*) wildcard for the file name, followed by a period (.) and the desired file extension. To find more than one file type, enter multiple file extensions separated by a semicolon (;).

Result options

You can expand or collapse the Result options section. The following options can be selected or cleared:

Find Results 1 window

When selected, the results of the current search will replace the content of the Find Results 1 window. This window opens automatically to display your search results. To open this window manually, select Other Windows from the View menu and choose Find Results 1.

Find Results 2 window

When selected, the results of the current search will replace the content of the Find Results 2 window. This window opens automatically to display your search results. To open this window manually, select Other Windows from the View menu and choose Find Results 2.

Display file names only

Displays a list of files containing search matches rather than displaying the search matches themselves.

Toolbar

A toolbar, with two drop-downs, appears at the top of the Find and Replace window. These drop-downs allow you to choose the type of search or replace you intend to perform and changes the options displayed in the window to match.

Drop-down View menu

Find (left drop-down)

Quick Find

Find in Files

Find Symbol

Replace (right drop-down)

Quick Replace

Replace in Files

See Also

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