Use the Search pane (preview)

[This article is pre-release documentation and is subject to change.]

You can now use the Search pane to locate objects—like media files, variables, collections, and data sources—across your app. You can also use the Search pane to find repeated instances of strings in formulas. For example, using the Search pane, you can look for each instance of HoverColor to determine the setting for that property in other areas of your app. You can use the Search pane to learn more about what's being used by your app, where, and you can go right to those results to make any necessary updates. In addition, you can use the replace capability to update one or more instances of text, variables, collections, or formula references.

Important

  • This is a preview feature.
  • Preview features aren’t meant for production use and may have restricted functionality. These features are available before an official release so that customers can get early access and provide feedback.
  • This feature is being rolled out, and—depending on your region—it might not be available for your tenant yet.

Prerequisites

Enable the Search pane

The Search pane is enabled on new apps by default. However, you need to manually enable it on existing apps.

To enable the Search pane on existing apps:

  1. Open an existing app in Power Apps Studio.

  2. Select Settings at the top.

  3. Select Upcoming features.

  4. On the Preview tab, select Search.

    The Search feature listed in the preview section of upcoming features in settings.

The Search pane is enabled.

The Search pane visible inside Power Apps Studio.

Open the Search pane

You can open the Search pane by selecting Search Search icon. You can also use shortcut keys by selecting Ctrl+F when your cursor is outside the formula bar, or selecting Ctrl+Shift+F when your cursor is inside the formula bar.

You can also open the Search pane directly to the Replace functionality by selecting Ctrl+H when your cursor is outside the formula bar, or selecting Ctrl+Shift+H when your cursor is inside the formula bar.

Note

Selecting Ctrl+F or Ctrl+H inside the formula bar will open the Find and Replace capability inside the formula bar.

Filter search results

You can filter search results by selecting one or more categories. These categories help you focus the search by narrowing down the areas within the app—such as screens, media, and collections.

To select the categories you want to search on, use the filter option next to the search box. The default selection is All, which searches across all categories within the open app.

The following example shows search results filtered for the search term Snow with the selected categories of Variables and Collections.

Filter option selected on the Search pane.

You can use more search options to further refine your search. These options are available inside the filter option named More search options (below the Categories section).

More search options under Categories in the filter option.

  • Match case returns search results that only match with the specified case.

    In the following example, instances of Snow (uppercase) will appear as a match, but snow (lowercase) won't.

    An example of matching the case for search results with results for the uppercase keyword.

  • Match Whole Word returns search results for exact matches of the entire sequence of characters.

    In the following example, Snow returns only a few results although Snow appears within names many times across all app objects.

    An example of matching the whole word in search result that limits search for the exact word only.

  • Use regular expression (RegEx) returns search results for matches conforming to the regular expression specified within the input area.

    In the following example, using the regular expression search capability with Snowboarding( Mountain | Dashboard) formula returns matches for Snowboarding when it appears together with either Mountain or Dashboard.

    An example of matching regular expression syntax while searching for text.

Work with search results

Selecting search results in different areas of the Search pane will behave differently depending on the context of the result. The search results can be classified under two broad categories—Definitions and Instances:

  • Definitions describe the object being referred to in your app, usually in a formula.

    There are several category headers inside the Search pane that you can use to navigate through the results. Categories such as Variables, Collections, Data, Media, Flows, and Components are referred to as definitions.

    Selecting the results under such definition category headers takes you to the appropriate definition screen backstage (such as for Variables and Collections), or to the appropriate pane where that object is available in your app (such as Data, Media, Flows, or Components).

  • Instances describe the search results that are tied to an individual app, screen, or control property in the formula bar. All these results are tied to the Screens category based on the structure found inside the Tree View. When you select a result under this Screens category, you'll be taken to that specific formula bar reference or the related control, as applicable.

Variables

Selecting a global or a context variable under the Variables header in the search results will take you to the information screen backstage for the selection.

As shown below, you're taken to the definition of the global or context variable depending on your selection from the search results available.

Search result:

Global and context variables available in search result.

Depending on the selected global or context variable, you're taken to the backstage for the selected type of variable.

Global variable selected:

Selecting a global variable takes you to the backstage of the selected global variables.

Context variable selected:

Selecting a context variable takes you to the backstage of the selected context variables.

Collections

Selecting a collection under the Collections header will take you to the information screen backstage for that collection.

Collections selected from search results showing the relevant collection details.

Data

Selecting a result under the Data header opens the Data pane, and prepopulates the search input for that pane by using the selected result text.

Data selected from search results showing the relevant data connection details.

Media

Selecting a result under the Media header opens the Media and prepopulates the search input for that pane with the selected result text.

Media selected from search results showing the relevant media details.

Flows

Flows header only appears if you've enabled the Power Automate pane (preview). Selecting a result here opens the Power Automate pane and prepopulates the search input with the selected result text.

Flow selected from search results showing the relevant flow details.

Components

Selecting a result under the Components header takes you to the components section in the Tree view pane, and prepopulates the search input for that pane with the selected result text.

Component selected from search results showing the relevant component details.

Screens

Selecting a result under the Screen header selects the appropriate control or screen on the canvas, and opens the property for the result in the formula bar. The selected result also gets highlighted in the formula bar.

Screens selected from search results showing the relevant screen details.

Refreshing the search results

If you make changes within the app, you'll need to refresh the results pane to see the change reflected in your search results.

Use the Refresh button to refresh the search results based on changes inside the app elements.

Clear the search term

Search terms and results are kept until you no longer need them. To clear the search term and results, select the X sign to the right of the input area.

Clear the search terms.

Replace

You can replace one or more instances of certain types of search results, including variable names, collection names, any formula text including strings, or other formula references.

After you perform a search, the replace pivot shows the list of search results that can be replaced.

List of search results that are eligible for replacing.

Replace results

All results that can be replaced are selected by default. You can refine the list of results to replace by deselecting individual results or entire categories by selecting the checkbox next to the result or category heading.

Refine the list of results to replace.

You can also filter the result list to only show selected categories of results.

Filter the result list to only show selected categories of results.

As you refine the list of results to replace, the replace button at the bottom of the panel keeps track of the number of replacements to be made. If all items are selected, the button reads Replace all with the total count of all replaceable items.

Results showing total replacements found.

If you've selected results from the list, the button is updated to read Replace selected with the total count of selected items.

Replace selected button showing total number of items to replace.

You can also interact with individual results in the results list directly to perform replacements by selecting the ellipsis to the right of each individual result in the result list.

Select the ellipsis to replace an individual result.

Replacing Variables results

Performing a replacement for results in the Variables category replaces the variable name at the definition level, meaning all instances of the matching variable name will be replaced across the entire app. You can also view the variable details backstage to review the usage before making the replacement.

Screen showing replacing variables results.

Replacing Collections results

Similar to variables, replacing a result in the Collections category replaces the collection name at the definition level, replacing all matching instances of the collection name across the app. You can view collection details backstage prior to making the replacement.

Screen showing replace collections results.

Replacing Screens results

The Screens category shows individual replaceable results following the structure in the tree view, so you can replace text in formulas, formula references, and control names. Replacements made in the Screens category only replace the single instance of the selected matching result, so you can pick and choose what you'd like to replace. You can also review the formula match before making the replacement.

Replaceing Screens results.

Completing the replacement and undoing replacements

After you've refined your selection to the items you'd like to replace, selecting the button prompts you to confirm the operation.

Select Replace to confirm to replace and undo replacements.

Confirming the operation performs the replacement, and a notification indicates whether the replacement was successful.

Confirmation of replacements.

The replacement operation might fail if a control name is already in use or unsupported characters are included.

Replacement operation has failed.

After the replacement is complete, you can undo the replacement by using the undo button or by selecting Ctrl+Z.

Limitations

The Search pane is limited to returning a maximum of 2,000 results. A notification appears if you exceed this limit.

Maximum number of results reached.

See also

Use Find and Replace in the formula bar