Find and Replace

Use the Find and Replace dialog box to locate text within a file and optionally replace it. Versions of the Find and Replace dialog box with slightly different options can appear, depending on how the dialog box was opened. On the Edit menu, point to Find and Replace, and then click Quick Find to open the dialog box with find options, but without replace options. On the Edit menu, point to Find and Replace, and then click Quick Replace to open the dialog box with both find options and replace options.

Toolbar buttons and shortcut keys are also available to open the Find and Replace dialog box.

Find What

These controls enable you to specify the string or expression that will be matched.

Find what
Type the text to search for. The dialog box attempts to fill in a probable search text, using text selected with the cursor before opening the dialog box, or nearby text, or previously searched-for text. You can reuse one of the last 20 search strings by selecting it from this drop-down list.

[string with wildcards]
If you want to use wildcards such as asterisks (*) and question marks (?) in your search string, select the Use check box under Find Options and then click Wildcards.

[regular expression]
To cause the search engine to interpret your search string as a regular expression, select the Use check box under Find Options and then click Regular expressions.

Expression Builder
This triangular button next to the Find what box becomes available when the Use check box is selected in Find Options. Click this button to display a list of wildcards or regular expressions, depending upon the Use option selected. Choosing any item from this list adds it to the string specified in the Find what box.

Replace With

These controls enable you to specify what will be inserted in the place of the matched string or expression.

Replace with
To replace instances of the string specified in Find what with another string, enter the replacement string in this field. To delete instances of the text specified in Find what, leave this field blank. Select the drop-down list to display the last 20 items entered. To include regular expressions in the string specified in the Replace with box, click the Use check box and then click Regular Expressions. This box only appears if this dialog box was opened by clicked Quick Replace.

Replace with
To replace instances of the string specified in the Find what box with another string, enter the replacement string in this field. To delete instances of the string specified in the Find what box, leave this field blank. Select the drop-down list to display the last 20 items entered. To include regular expressions in the string specified in the Replace with box, click the Use check box and then click Regular Expressions.

Expression Builder
This triangular button next to the Replace with box becomes available when the Use check box is selected in Find Options. Click this button to display a list of wildcards or regular expressions, depending upon the Use option selected. Clicking any item in this list adds it to the string specified in the Replace with box.

Replace
Click this button to replace the current instance of the string specified in the Find what box with the string specified in the Replace with box, and find the next instance within the scope specified in Look in.

Replace all
Click this button to replace all instances of the string specified in the Find what box with the string specified in the Replace with box, in all files within the scope specified in the Look in box.

Caution

Make sure that Look in is set to include only those files that you want to modify.

A reminder is displayed that includes a Keep modified files open option. To retain the Undo option, you must select this option. Undo is only available in files that remain open for editing after they are modified.

Skip File
Becomes available when the value specified for Look in includes multiple files. Click this button if you do not want to search or modify the current file. The search will continue in the next file on the list in Look in.

Look In

Look in
Select the location to look for the text specified in Find what. Options are Current Document, which searches the document window that had focus when the dialog box was opened, and All Open Documents, which searches all document windows that are currently open in SQL Server Management Studio.

Find Options

You can expand or collapse the Find Options section. The following options can be selected or cleared.

Match case
When this check box is selected, the Find Results windows will only display instances of the string specified in Find what that are matched both by content and by case. For example, a search for "MyObject" with the Match case check box selected will return "MyObject" but not "myobject" or "MYOBJECT."

Match whole word
When selected, the Find Results windows will only display instances of the string specified in Find what that are matched in complete words. For example, a search for MyObject will return "MyObject" but not "CMyObject" or "MyObjectC."

Search up
Search from the cursor location towards the beginning of the document.

Search hidden text
Locate instances of the text that are concealed and collapsed text.

Use
Indicates how to interpret special characters entered in the Find what or Replace with text boxes. The options include Wildcards and Regular Expressions.

Regular Expressions
Special notations define patterns of text to match. For a list, see Search Text with Regular Expressions.

Wildcards
Special characters such as asterisks (*) and question marks (?) represent one or more characters. For a list, see Search Text with Wildcards.

Find Next
Begins searching for the text in the Find what box.

Replace
Click this button to replace the current instance of the string specified in Find what with the string specified in Replace with, and find the next instance within the scope specified in Look in.

Replace All
Choose this button to replace all instances of the string specified in Find what with the string specified in Replace with, in all files within the scope specified in Look in.

Caution

Make sure that Look in is set to include only those files that you want to modify.

Find and Replace Views

The tabs at the top of the Find and Replace window include View menus. These menus enable you to choose a set of fields to display in the active pane. You can leave the Find and Replace window docked in a convenient location, and then change from tab to tab and view to view to perform any type of find or replace operation.

Quick Find
This toolbar tab changes the dialog box to a Quick Find dialog box.

Find in Files
This toolbar tab changes the dialog box to a Find in Files dialog box.

Quick Replace
This toolbar tab changes the dialog box to a Quick Replace dialog box

Replace in Files
This toolbar tab changes the dialog box to a Replace in Files dialog box

See Also

SQL Server Management Studio Keyboard Shortcuts