Find/Command Box


This article applies to Visual Studio 2015. If you're looking for the latest Visual Studio documentation, see Visual Studio documentation. We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Visual Studio. Download it here

You can search for text and run Visual Studio commands from the Find/Command box. The Find/Command box is still available as a toolbar control, but is no longer visible by default. You can display the Find/Command box by choosing Add or Remove Buttons on the Standard toolbar and then choosing Find.

To run a Visual Studio command, preface it with a greater than (>) sign.

The Find/Command box retains the last 20 items entered and displays them in a drop-down list. You can navigate through the list by choosing the arrow keys.

Find/Command Box Find/Command Box

Searching for Text

By default, when you specify text in the Find/Command box and then choose the ENTER key, Visual Studio searches the current document or tool window using the options that are specified in the Find in Files dialog box. For more information, see Finding and Replacing Text.

Entering Commands

To use the Find/Command box to issue a single Visual Studio command or alias rather than search for text, enter the Visual Studio command, prefaced with a greater than (>) symbol. For example:

>File.NewFile c:\temp\MyFile /t:"General\Text File"

Alternatively, you can also use the Command window to enter and execute single or multiple commands. Some commands or aliases can be entered and executed by themselves; others have required arguments in their syntax. For a list of commands that have arguments, see Visual Studio Commands.

Escape Characters

A caret (^) character in a command line means that the character immediately following it is interpreted literally, rather than as a control character. This can be used to embed straight quotation marks ("), spaces, leading slashes, carets, or any other literal characters in a parameter or switch value, with the exception of switch names. For example,

>Edit.Find ^^t /regex

A caret functions the same whether it is inside or outside quotation marks. If a caret is the last character on the line, it is ignored.

See Also

Command Window Finding and Replacing Text