Quickly Find/Open a File in Visual Studio

Here is a cool Visual Studio feature that almost nobody knows about. If you want to open up a file in your solution, but can’t be bothered to dig down through your projects and folders to find it, try this,

  1. Click in the Find box in the toolbar,
  2. Type >of followed by a space, then begin the name of the file you are looking for.
  3. An auto-complete drop down will appear as you type filtering all the files in all your projects in your solution. Continue typing until the list is short enough to fine the one you want. Select it and hit enter.
  4. The file will open in the editor.

Update: After this post made the front page of DotNetKicks, Aaron Lerch wrote a great post on his blog with more things that you can do with the find combo. One thing that is very useful is that with the >, you can issue any command, the alias >of mentioned here is just one of many. For a list of the commands, check out this MSDN page.

Another useful tip is that Ctrl+D or Ctrl+/ will automatically jump to the find box, so your hands don’t even need to leave your keyboard.

Update: This trick was also mentioned on Just Sayin More Words as a part of his Stupid Visual Studio Trick series. Thanks.