Argh! I wish I had found this one in time for the book. A second edition, maybe? I’d hate to be known as a one-hit wonder. I’m sure there are more people who could use scholarship money.

Ever did a Find in Files and was annoyed that Visual Studio showed the entire file path, forcing you to scroll over just to see the name of the file and the search result?

Find Results 1 before registry change

Here’s what you can do, among some other tweaks. Note: These involve modifying registry settings. Please use at your own risk! Also Note:  You don’t have to restart Visual Studio to pick up on your registry changes. Sweet!!!

  1. Go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Find
  2. Add a new string called Find result format with a value of $f$e($l,$c):$t\r\n where

$f is the filename

$e is the extension

$l is the line

$c is the column

$t is the text on the line

Now let’s take a look at that Find Results window again:

Find Results 1 after registry change

And here’s the full list of items you can specify in the registry


$p      path                       

$f      filename               

$v      drive/unc share            

$d      dir                        

$n      name                       

$e      .ext                       


$l      line                       

$c      col                        

$x      end col if on first line, else end of first line

$L      span end line

$C      span end col


$0      matched text               

$t      text of first line

$s      summary of hit

$T      text of spanned lines


\n      newline                   

\s      space                     

\t      tab                       

\\      slash                    

\$      $                         

If you come up with a great combination of values, please leave a comment and share with the group!