TIP: How to get rid of /the/really/long/file/path/that/shows/up/in/searchresults

Quick tips to make you more efficient in Visual Studio

Customizing search output in Visual Studio

When you do a Find in Files (CTRL+SHIFT+F), by default the output displays the file path which can fill up the results window.

Did you know you can use a registry key to customize the output of your search?

Create a string value in the registry called "Find result format"

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\Find for Visual Studio 2013
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\Find for Visual Studio 2012
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Find for Visual Studio 2010

Here are the different values you can specify for the registry string. I like to use a string value of $f$e($l,$c):$t\r\n

  • $f is the filename
  • $e is the extension
  • $l is the line
  • $c is the column
  • $t is the text on the line
  • \n      newline 
  • \r carriage return

The end result? Simpler search results (as long as you don't need the file path)


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Comments (6)

  1. Schoon says:

    Is there a way to do this with Visual Studio Express (2013)?  The 'Find' folder does not appear under the registry entry (in fact most of those folders in the video don't).

  2. Susan Ibach says:

    @Schoon – I honestly don't know if there is a way to do it with the Express versions, maybe see if you can locate where in the registry Visual Studio is registered and if there is a Find Folder within that path . You could search for VisualStudio in the registry editor e.g. HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftVisualStudio12.0

  3. Schoon says:

    Wow, thanks for the quick reply.  I might have actually just found it, I'm going to try this registry location and see if it works:


  4. Susan Ibach says:

    Please let us know if it works!

  5. Schoon says:

    @Susan – Yup, that was the registry path, it works now.

  6. Susan Ibach says:

    Awesome! Glad it works, and now I know how to do it in VS Express too!

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