Multipurpose Find Combo Box in Visual Studio

Most of the time we use Visual Studio find combo box (6 ) only for search contents with in the solution. But the find combo box is something more than what we  know. We can use the find combo box in different purpose like create file, open files, create project, print, open watch windows etc. As for example you can close all the open files by just typing  “>CloseAll”  with in find combo box followed by a  “Enter”.  Fundamentally we can execute all the commands from Find Combo box which are available from Visual Studio Command Window. Like Command Window,  In Combo Box, if you type “>” and aliases and press enter result will be the same.

I am listing few examples which will help you to know more about using find combo box.

Use Find Combo Box to Add New Project

Instead of  File > New Project, if you  type “>AddProj” and press “Enter”, it will launch “Add New Project” window.


Use Find Combo Box to Close All Open Documents

Use Find combo box to close all the open files at a time by just typing “>CloseAll”.



Use Find Combo Box to Open Task List

Just type “>TaskList” and Press enter to open to task list from combo box.


Use Find Combo box to add variables in watch windows

You can type >?? <VariableName> to add a variable in watch window from find combo box.

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Similarly use can use all the predefined command aliases in visual studio.  You can check and try all of them from Predefined Visual Studio Command Aliases .  Apart from the available predefined aliases you can create your own aliases for visual studio by just following How to: Create Custom Aliases for Visual Studio Commands

You do not need to remember all these commands as they are all auto populated in find combo box. Just type “>”, you will able to see the list of all commands available.


Hope this will help you to take some more advantages of Find Combo Box !

Thanks !


Shout it


  1. Pingback: DotNetShoutout
    1. Thanks Kunal. Yes, shortcut keys are useful. But sometime it’s also handy. Like you have a object and want to explore it with in watch window. You can either select object and press the Ctrl+D+Q to add that object to watch window. But you can do that samething just by typeing, >?? even, >?? .

      I will be adding this example here. 🙂


  2. You can map a keyboard shortcut to Tools.GoToCommandLine (I like Ctrl + /) to put the cursor in the quick find box with the > already inserted for you. I love “> of ” for Open File which does autocomplete for all files in your solution.


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