Visual Studio adds ability to edit code in all-in-one search • The Register

Microsoft has added the ability to edit code in Visual Studio’s all-in-one search UI.

The function is included in Visual Studio 2022 17.3 Preview 2 and tracks changes to search functionality in the development suite. At the beginning of the year, Microsoft introduced Indexed search in files to speed up the already fast search (compared to Visual Studio 2019 anyway).

Indexed search in files triggered a ServiceHub.IndexingService.exe process when loading the solution or opening the folder, which went through the files to create an index. Fears that the indexer would slow performance like some other Microsoft indexing services were alleviated somewhat by using the lower operating system priority than normal.

In April, with Visual Studio 17.2 Preview 3a new all-in-one search experience appeared, which merged existing Visual Studio Search and Go To functionality into an unnecessary popup in the IDE.

It’s fair to say that the idea hasn’t been universally welcomed as users have been asking the Visual Studio team to “stop wasting [their] time with research,” remarked that they “don’t understand what’s wrong with current research” and wondered “if the VS team is working on anything other than adding new research.”

Slightly concerning, one user said that they “would rather Visual Studio just follow the way VS Code has implemented their search.”

Visual Studio Code is the open source elephant in the room, considerably less weighed down by the demands of its sibling’s legacy. VS Code consistently tops the charts for favorite development tools, followed by Visual Studio Full. As one user noted last month: “I will only open VS for the good old Winforms designer…”

So what to do? Keep adding items to the search, of course! The new feature is intended to allow developers to edit code directly in the search window through the familiar editor experience (think IntelliSense and Quick Actions). One can configure the code/results layout to be either vertical or horizontal or simply disable code preview altogether.

The new search experience remains a preview and must be enabled via Tools > Options > Environment > Feature Preview. After trying the feature, we can confirm that it works as described and was very handy when dealing with massive solutions. However, we doubt that will do much to stop the developers from jumping ship for something a little less bloated when they get the chance. ®

Briana R. Cross