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Find Dialog Box

The Find dialog box allows you to search for text within the current document or window or in multiple open files and then interactively review matches. You can access the Find dialog box by choosing Find and Replace on the Edit menu.

The Find dialog box searches through a document from the insertion point down or from the insertion point up, depending on which search direction you choose. In addition, the search automatically continues when it reaches the beginning or end of a file. The status bar displays a message when the beginning or end of a document has been passed. A message box appears when you have reached the starting point of the search.

The Find dialog box provides many standard search options to help you improve the accuracy of your search.

Find what
Enter the text, along with wildcards or regular expressions, for which you intend to search. Select the drop-down list to display the last 16 items entered. Click the button to the right of the Find what box to view a quick reference list of select wildcard or regular expression syntax. This button is available only when the Use option has been selected.
Match case
When selected, the search operation looks only for occurrences that match the uppercase and lowercase characters you enter in the Find what box.
Match whole word
Searches only for whole words, rather than matching the text as it occurs within words.
Search hidden text
Specifies that the search includes concealed and collapsed text, such as the metadata of a design-time control, a hidden region of an outlined document, or a collapsed class or method.
Search up
When selected, files are searched from the caret to the top of the file.
Note   A message box appears when you have reached the starting point of the search.
Use
When selected, indicates that certain characters entered in the Find what text box match text patterns. The type of pattern matching applied depends on what is selected in the adjacent drop down list, either wildcards or regular expressions.

Wildcards

When selected, indicates that the use of certain characters in the Find what text box represent a class of character or sequence of characters. For a complete list, see Wildcards.

Regular expressions

When selected, indicates that the use of certain characters in the Find what text box represent notations for patterns of text rather than the literal character. For a complete list, see Regular Expressions.

Search
Allows you to define the scope of the search.
Note   Files that are listed under Miscellaneous Files in Solution Explorer have limited search options. For example, the Selection only and Only: <current block> options might not be available.

Current window

Searches only the currently active window for the text entered in the Find what box. Available only when a tool window, such as the Web Browser window, is open.

Current document

Searches only the currently active document for the text entered in the Find what box. Available only when a document or file is open in an editor.

All open documents

Searches all open documents as if they were one document. When the starting point of the search is reached in the current file, the search automatically moves to the next file and continues until the last open file has been searched.

Note   Open documents in certain views might not be searched when All open documents is selected. Some graphical or designer views of documents might not support search and replace although the textual view of the document does. For example, Design view of HTML documents cannot be searched, but HTML view of the document can. Be sure to open the files in the appropriate view before you attempt to search.

Only: <current block>

Searches only the current procedure, module, paragraph, or code block indicated by the location of the caret in the editor.

Selection only

Searches only the selected text in the currently active document.

Replace
Displays the Replace dialog box, which allows you to make text substitutions.
Mark All
Adds a bookmark in the margin next to each line of code that contains a match for the text entered in the Find what text box.

See Also

Searching and Replacing | Searching Interactively | Searching Using Results Lists | Searching an Active Document Incrementally

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