Fun with the Visual Studio Find Combo Box

It's interesting to note all the power of the find combo box in the Visual Studio command bar.  It's easily one of the more useful controls I've ever used, yet it just sits there all quiet and unassuming.  I've run into a lot of people who know one of two tricks that can be done in this box, so I thought I'd summarize them here.

Of course there's the basic find functionality:

  • Find a string -- type the string and press Enter
  • Find the next occurance of the string -- press Enter again

But then things get a little more interesting:

  • Goto a line -- type the line number and press Ctrl + G
  • Goto a file (either in your project or on the INCLUDE path) -- type the name of the file and press Ctrl + Shift + G
  • Set a breakpoint on a function -- type the name of the function and press F9
  • Get help -- type the keyword you want help on and press F1

And my personal favorite:

  • Mini command window -- If you type > as the first character in the combo box, it will turn into a mini command window, complete with Intellisense!   For instance, you could use the > kb command while debugging to get a stack trace.  Or you could use the > nav command to go to MSDN.

Updated: To clear up confusion, I'm not talking about the combo box in the find dialog, but rather the combo box on the toolbar of VS itself.  As one of the comments on this post points out, the keyboard shortcut to get there is Ctrl + D.