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I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio


:P
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Ironic ain’t it? I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio and I can’t use find to find it. Ok funny, but at the time it didn’t seem too funny because I needed to really find something in a rather large JavaScript source file. But when pressing Ctrl-F (or Ctrl-H for Find/Replace) in Visual Studio rather than getting the familiar Find Dialog I got a slight flicker and a whole lotta nothing else.

At the time I was pretty sure that the dialog was actually there, but offscreen somehow. In fact, I was still able to press Ctrl-F type some text and hit enter and see the find operation work which is kinda freaky. The Master of Puppets at work.

Because I was in a rush, to get the window back I went to Window | Reset Window Layout and that got me back my Find Dialog. It also blew away all of my other window settings which was not so desirable.

Turns out that I sent a quick Tweet out over Twitter and several people responded with the short cut to move a window inside of the VS environment:

Alt – M  (that’s Alt minus M)

which lets you move a window with the keyboard by using the arrow keys. The process for the Find Dialog is to press Ctrl-F to activate the window then Alt – M followed by moving the arrow keys until you find the window in your work space. Hopefully the window is somewhere in a reasonable spot and not at 20,000 pixels out where a keyboard move is unlikely to work. In the worst case you can still use the full Window Reset.

I have no idea what caused my Find window to go into hiding, but given the many Twitter responses it looks like this happens from time to time. Remembering keystrokes like Alt – M is tough though, I suspect I’ll have forgotten the next time this happens. :-)

Posted in Visual Studio  

The Voices of Reason


 

Eber Irigoyen
April 10, 2009

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

that's the value of twitter for me, when you find little things like this, you tweet, and you get an instant response

Rick Strahl
April 11, 2009

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

Absolutely. And thank you since you were the first who tweeted the solution, Eber!!!

@SteveSchoon
April 11, 2009

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

Also, once you Alt-Hyphen-M and use the arrow keys once, you can then move your mouse to drag the window around.

Kevin Dente
April 13, 2009

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

I think my Front and Center utility might be helpful for this problem as well.
http://weblogs.asp.net/kdente/archive/2008/11/21/new-utility-for-dealing-with-off-screen-apps-front-and-center.aspx

James
May 11, 2009

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

Took me a minute to figure out you don't press minus and M simultaneously, but then I got it. THANKS!

Michel
July 10, 2009

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

Nice, also had the same problem and this solution works.
When the Find window is already visible, you can see what alt - M actually does.

Srirenga
January 27, 2010

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

thanks a lot. it works for me

JD
February 24, 2010

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

Much better solution than Tools -> Import and export settings -> Reset settings! That worked, but lost all my fonts, windows etc etc... Then thought would have one more look and saw this - so restored the saved settings & did this instead - Thanks, worked a treat.
I have a dual monitor machine and remote connect to it via a notebook with one screen.
This sometime shifts the Find window into strange positions. Not a problem now.

Paul Brown
March 19, 2010

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

I know this post is stale but it just happened to me. In VS2010, you can use Window -> Dock to dock the window. ALT-M didn't work because it was mapped as a menu shortcut.

eg0man
April 20, 2010

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

Thank you very much, JD ! It is the most simply affective way to break the bug.

Dan
May 31, 2010

# re: I can’t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

THANK YOU!!!! I never would have noticed without that little translation of Alt - M , where you said (alt minus M)

Brian Brane
June 11, 2010

# Mr

Thanks for the tip that keeps on giving! I just had this problem and was able to use <alt minus M> as you suggested.

Ian
February 20, 2012

# re: I can&rsquo;t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

In Visual Visual 2010 you can use Alt-Space, then M to start the move. Works for the Open File Dialog too (where I had the initial problem).

Rich
September 11, 2014

# re: I can&rsquo;t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

I found an alternate solution: open the Find window, then immediately go to the "Window" menu at the top and select "Dock" which will pop it into one of your tabbed window sections. Then you can drag it normally into a position of your choosing.

I suspect my window went missing after I changed my monitor configuration (I work on a dock usually, but occasionally, such as last night, I'll work off my laptop screen and a second monitor at home) so the find window could have been on the screen that was no longer there.

Shahin
January 04, 2015

# re: I can&rsquo;t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

I can't thank you enough. This was such a frustrating one. I would have never figured this one out if not for your post. The worst part is I still do not know the causality for this. Microsoft please please please do something.

Hansson
February 10, 2017

# re: I can&rsquo;t find my Find Dialog in Visual Studio

The "Window → Dock"-tips made my day. Possibly because I don't have english layout on the keyboard. Of course I wouldn't have find it if it wasn't for this website 😃


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