Increase the Readability of your Find in Files results!

One of the first tips I always demo in my talks is how to edit the registry to make the Find Results Window more readable. Many thanks to Robert MacLean who has put together this extension that provides you with a dialog box for modifying the Find in Files results.

To Install

The extension can be found on the VS Gallery at http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/7a412596-d9e4-462e-9eed-e00a92024130

It is also hosted on CodePlex at http://findresultstweak.codeplex.com/

To Use

Go to Tools – Find Results Tweak to open the dialog box which display an interactive preview. By default, the tool provides you with some recommended settings

recommended format string for customizing Find Results

which will remove the file path (the most important tweak you can make, IMO) and provide the (line, column) information where the result was found, as shown below

No more file path in search results

To Customize

If you want the full list of customizations, you can check out my old blog post at http://blogs.msdn.com/saraford/archive/2008/11/24/did-you-know-you-can-customize-how-search-results-are-displayed-in-the-find-results-window-363.aspx

To get back to the default VS behavior, you can check Use default Visual Studio formatting. Or, if you are comfortable modifying the registry, you can manually remove that specific registry key as indicated in the link above.