Search everywhere in Visual Studio 2012

One of the most annoying thing when using IDE in version of Visual Studio prior to Visual Studio 2012 was lack of search capabilities. For instance it is very useful when using non Visual Studio IDE to search for properties of options or preferences stuff in development environment. But now, with new Visual Studio 2012 everything is changed.

Now, we have ability to search for everything from everywhere literally. So, the main search capabilities are:

  • Quick launch
  • Quick find
  • Search Solution Explorer
  • Search Error List
  • Search Enabled Toolbox
  • Search in New Add Reference Dialog

Quick launch

Quick Launch

Use Ctrl+Q to get this search. With quick launch you can search every Tools/Options properties or menu items in Visual Studio:

Quick Launch1

It’s really time saver.

Quick find

It is classic Ctrl+F search but now as part of coding space and not as separate dialog. And, finally Current Document is default choice.


With quick find you can search for search terms in you code using non regular and regular expressions as well. You can find help for regular expressions if you use Find in Files options:


and then button (a)+ in dialog Find and Replace:


Regex help:

Regex help

Search Solution Explorer

If you have very large solution with plenty of project and class files then searching only in Solution Explorer is right tool for you.


The shortcut is Ctrl+; and you can easily find and filter only file that you are searching for:


Search Error List

If you have a large number of errors in you code and want to find specific error then you can use Search Error List text box:


Search Enabled Toolbox

You can search in for item in Toolbox using Search Toolbox search box:


Search in New Add Reference Dialog

And finally we can search in new Add Reference Dialog (Reference Manager) for right assembly:


This is really nice search help in Reference Manager.

Hope that you find this new Search capabilities useful in new Visual Studio 2012.


About Spaso Lazarevic

Spaso Lazarevic is Senior Software Developer working with Microsoft technologies. Leader of .NET User Group Bijeljina, speaker at Microsoft events, writter and blogger. Microsoft MVP for Visual C#.
This entry was posted in Programming and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s