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What is the best/fastest way to open a file in Visual Studio knowing only its name? In Eclipse there is "Open Resource" which allows you to interactively search for all files in the workspace, but I cannot find a similar good function in Visual Studio. The normal "open file" function in Visual Studio opens the Windows file dialog, which is pretty useless since I have to know exactly where the file is.

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closed as off-topic by World Engineer Aug 6 '13 at 18:48

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Have you tried DPack? You can navigate by file name, class name and etc... –  Codism May 16 '12 at 15:28
Which version of VS? –  StuperUser May 16 '12 at 15:54
Care to explain the downvote? –  sebastiangeiger May 16 '12 at 16:29
Visual Studio 2008 (unfortunately). Also, I'm only interested in C++ (at the moment). –  JesperE May 16 '12 at 16:30
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the direct use of an IDE. –  World Engineer Aug 6 '13 at 18:48

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Visual Studio 2012 now has a search bar in the file explorer. The shortcut is Ctrl-;.

VS2012 Solution Explorer

Another solution is the default shortcut for "Edit.NavigateTo", Ctrl-,.

For what it's worth, I highly recommend getting Resharper.

Ctrl-Shift-T corresponds to Eclipse's Ctrl-Shift-R.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Yes, Resharper is nice. But the price tag is a bit too much for my taste for something that ought to come with the IDE. Anyway, thanks. –  JesperE May 31 '12 at 7:35
This is not the answer the author should've marked though, it's a workarround ;) –  Kjellski Aug 6 '13 at 14:29
@Kjellski: I agree. I up-voted the other answers, but felt this could also be a valid answer that other people might be interested in. Anyway, to improve the answer quality, I just updated it with information about Visual Studio 2012. –  StriplingWarrior Aug 6 '13 at 15:59
@StriplingWarrior and that's an upvote! I've added the "Edit.NavigateTo", CTRL + , too. –  Kjellski Aug 6 '13 at 20:33

There are some plugins (like resharper mentioned in another answer) that provide this, but did you know a fast and effective way is built in? I like this method because you don't need anything special installed.

The Command Window has lots of awesome stuff. View > Other Windows > Command Window. Ttype in open [file name]; you will even get auto completion! Oh, and here is the kicker. press ctrl + W, A as a quick shortcut to bring the window up for you. It makes the flow really nice.

ctrl + W, A open program.cs Enter

The only down side I have seen is that if you have multiple files with the same name (web.configs in sub-dirs) sometimes it gets confused and doesn't know which one to open.

enter image description here

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It is nice that this is built-in, but unfortunately it requires you to write the full source files name; there is no support for wildcards or similar. –  JesperE May 31 '12 at 7:33
@JesperE it does support auto completion. all you need to do is press tab to fill in the rest –  Joe May 31 '12 at 16:06
Yes, but it doesn't support wildcards or searching. Resharper does that, and so does Eclipse. For example, you can type "Foo*.cpp" and it will show you all *.cpp files beginning with "Foo". –  JesperE May 31 '12 at 19:08

The Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools (which comes built in to the next version) provides a Solution Navigator that lets you search for types, identifiers, and even files.

Solution Navigator

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