Visual Studio .NET Tips & Tricks

Helpful information for Visual Studio .NET developers

Tip: Incremental Search

Posted by Ion Toma on April 17, 2006

To search, ussally you have to enter a CTRL+F and type the whole string and the search through the results.
Incremental search has a different behaviour: when you type CTRL+I, the code editor will move around as you type in and find any instance of the code you type in.

How to use it

Press Ctrl+I for incremental search mode. You can then enter text and drill down to the selection in the file that matches what you have typed.  The  incremental search can be initiated with Ctrl+I to see the last search pattern. Ctrl+Shift+I initiates a reverse incremental search, or switches a forward search to a reverse search.
Search - Image 5

Advantages
 – There aren't any dialogs in incremental search interface, where the interactive search indicator is a cursor change after you press CTRL+I.
 – Less time is lost to search.  The search begins as soon as the first character is typed. You know immediately when you've got a good enough match and you can stop typing.
 – It's interactive, immediate search feedback alows you to adjust your search strategy in real time.

Disadvantages

Incremental search doesn't look for text in hidden regions, but an regular search does it.

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