A while ago I installed Windows Desktop Search (WDS) both on my machine at work and at home. I had looked at several desktop search engines and for reasons I don’t remember I decided that WDS would best fit my needs.
This morning I got tired of waiting for the file search in Visual Studio 2005 to search for all the files in my project’s directory tree, so I googled if there is something that would allow VS to make use of WDS (You’d think that Microsoft would use WDS in VS if it is installed, but no…).
I came across an interesting article in MSDN magazine where they implement an add-in for Visual Studio that uses WDS. I downloaded it, installed it and it worked – well, kind of. It works, but it searches in all directories that are indexed. Since I work on the same project on multiple branches, I have the same files multiple times on my hard drive, so the same file showed up multiple times.
Well, fortunately the article also provides the source code, so I did a quick hack and added the ability that it only shows results from the root directory of the current solution.
There are some issues with the add-in, e.g. I managed to crash VS when I tried to open a file from the search results while I was debugging – that caused a dead-lock of some kind… And there are occasional error messages when I had selected an entire line. Unfortunately the add-in only displays the files where a match happen, not the lines like VS’s file search does, and you can’t match whole words. If I have time someday I probably make some enhancements…