NavigateTo powered up with help from Windows Search in NavigateToAll


Recently I highlighted a cool Visual Studio extension that indexes and helps you search your code, Say no to grep, say hello to "real" code searching with Sando Code Search Extension.

When I wrote the post, and played with this extension in the past year, I did wonder about the overhead of doing an additional index, when I already had Windows Search already indexing my code. There's actually a great reason why, which David clearly states in this comment.

Still, wouldn't it be cool to see a Windows Search version of this, full text code searching with in Visual Studio, any way? Funny you should ask...


Instant search all files on your disk right from Visual Studio. Enhance your NavigateTo experience by searching all files indexed by the Windows Search Service.

Search all files indexed by the windows search service right from visual studio. Install this addin, restart VS, and type control+comma; then type your search query in the search box.

  • Hold the shift key and hit enter to open the search result in its default program
  • Hold the control key and hit enter to open the containing folder

Enables searching in files not part of the VS solution. In fact, you can start searching in the IDE without even opening a solution file.


NavigateTo Windows Search

Search all files indexed by the Windows Search Service right from Visual Studio. Install this addin, restart visual studio, and type Control+Comma; then type your search query in the NavigateTo textbox.

As you type your query, the search results are updated.

  • File names that begin with the search query are displayed first.
  • Files that contain that exact phrase that you typed are displayed next.
  • If the exact phrase isn’t found, files that contain strings that begin with the search query are displayed.
  • If none of the above returned results, files that contain all the words that you typed are displayed
    • For example, if you typed ‘hello new world’, files that contain ‘hello’ AND ‘new’ AND  ‘world’ are displayed

When the search results are displayed, press the down arrow to go you your desired result. Once your result is selected,

  • Press enter to open the file in visual studio editor
  • Press control+enter to open the folder containing the file
  • Press shift+enter to open the file in an external program


Windows Search Service

The results are returned from the index created by the windows search service. This comes pre-installed on Windows7 and Windows8 ...

Best of all the source is available too and is being actively worked on...

("Today" happens to be Saturday, 9/13/2014)


The Discussion

  • User profile image

    It's really a shame that I no longer trust the Windows Indexing results.  IMO, the ENTIRE disk/system should be indexed, not just directories which are default and manually added.  So many times I've searched for a filename to find no results but the file is there when I go spelunking with Explorer. Windows indexing is really an epic fail IMO.

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