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Visual Studio: Microsoft Working on New Improved Search Tool

All-in-One-Search in Visual Studio combines various search capabilities into a single interface for more efficient searches.


is one of the most popular development platforms for programmers, but it is not the perfect integrated development environment (IDE). Sure, is always rolling out improvements and updates for Visual Studio, but there are still gaps. One of them is the current search functionality, but Microsoft says it is now working on an improved search tool.

Known as “All-in-One Search,” the new tool integrates all the search capabilities on Visual Studio into a single functional component. For example, it combines classes, code files, methods, options, and features into one interface.

Microsoft points out that the new approach will give developers more control over their search while also making finding answers more efficient. According to the company in a blog post, All-in-One-Search will increase productivity by streamlining searches.

Visual Studio's new search is currently in preview and available via Tools > Options > Environment > Preview Features > New Visual Studio Search Experience. Users must be running  Visual Studio 17.5.0 preview versions to access the tool.

How it Works

All-in-One-Search appears in the Search button in the title bar. However, to use the Feature Search and Code Search ability, users need to use Ctrl + Q or Ctrl + T respectively:

  • “Results for files, types, and members are prioritized in the Code Search tab (Ctrl + T) to help you navigate directly to the places where symbols are used. You can further narrow your search to just one of these filters with the buttons below the search bar or by prefixing your search with “f:', “t:”, or “m:”.
  • In addition to fast symbol navigation, the Feature Search tab (Ctrl + Q) provides easy access to the various tools, options, templates, and components available in Visual Studio.”

Microsoft does not say when it expects the new search to leave preview and be widely available on Visual Studio.

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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