Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks Begins!


I'm happy to announce that the New Year marks the beginning of my endeavor to carry on Sara Ford's great work with Visual Studio Tips and Tricks for the Visual Studio product  (  After many discussions between us on how best to move the effort forward we decided that continuing the love with 2010 was a good idea.  With Sara's help I have managed to get a good idea of her approach and added elements of my own style to the mix. 


Additionally, in conjunction with Scott Cate (, I am pleased to say almost all tips will include a video showing the tip in action.  Many thanks to Scott for stepping up and doing the past and future videos related to this series.  


I haven't decided to crank out the book proposal yet for a new edition and probably won't for a while yet but am thinking the updated version will include versions 2005, 2008, and 2010 as well as (per Sara's suggestion) some new sections on extending Visual Studio with macros and the new extensibility model.


There was some debate over whether to wait until VS2010 launches or begin with the New Year.  As you can see, I decided to begin on January 1.  This is important for a couple of reasons:


1.  The tips published until RTM will be based on Beta 2 and RC builds.

2.  It is possible (though unlikely) some of the tips may not be valid in the RTM build when it ships.   I will be retesting all tips when VS2010 ships to make sure they work as advertised :)


The plan is to have a tip a day posted on this blog with a few extra items thrown in for good measure.  What you will see is a healthy mix of new tips in Visual Studio 2010 and some of the old favorites as well (tested to make sure they still work).  To be absolutely clear:  These are Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks so what you will see are the details on how to leverage old and new content with our latest product.  To get things started, and through the inaugural weekend, let's take a look at the #1 tip from Sara's Tips and Tricks:



How to behold the power of Incremental Search


Tip Code:   vstipFind0001

Keyboard Shortcut:   CTRL + I


Menu Command:   Edit -> Advanced -> Incremental Search



Incremental search is a powerful search to use when you want to keep both your focus and your cursor in the editor when searching in the current document. It is powerful because it allows you to keep typing, meaning the search is driven by keystrokes. And you don't need to interact with any UI.


To conduct an incremental search, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+I.

  2. Start typing the text you are searching for.  You'll see the cursor jump to the first match, highlighting the current search string:


  3. If you look in the lower-left corner of your screen you will see an indication that you are doing an Incremental Search:


  4. Press Ctrl+I again to jump to the next occurrence of the search string:

Here are all the options you can leverage while in this mode:



Move to the next match in the file


Reverse the direction of the search


Remove a character from the search string


Stop the incremental search