Visual Studio 2005 includes a great feature that they call Incremental Search, but I like to call “find as you type”, because that’s really what it does.

To start using this feature, just hit Ctrl + i once, and you will see the cursor change to an arrow with binoculars. At this point, you can just start typing, and Visual Studio will automatically start finding.

It’s tough to show this off in a screenshot, but here’s the basic idea:

To start an “Incremental Search” you just hit Ctrl + i, but there’s more keys that work with this:

  • Ctrl + i – Start Incremental Search \ Find Next Instance
  • Ctrl + Shift + i – Find Previous Instance
  • Esc – Cancel Search
  • Backspace – Works just like you’d expect.

This is a heck of a lot more quick than using the normal file search dialog.

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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