What is Quick Launch in VS 2012

In my previous article, we discussed the "Code Structure Windows" in Visual Studio 2012. Today we will see the Quick Launch Search option in Visual Studio 2012.

In Visual Studio 2010, it is difficult to get the way to change the IDE visual appearance like font color, size etc., but Visual Studio 2012 provides a better way to easily customize those things.

What is Quick Launch Search

Quick Launch Search is an option given in Visual Studio 2012 to search the Actions for the IDE options like Menus, Options, Documents etc. We can find the Quick Launch box at the right corner of the IDE i.e. near to Control Buttons [Close, Maximize and Minimize] and it is accessible by pressing the Keys Ctrl + Q.


We can't use the Quick Launch Search option to search for the Code and Symbols.

If you want to search the Menu or Documents which starts with @, here the @ symbol can be used as an escape sequence character. For example, if you want to search the Menu which starts with @ like @Service, then you need to type like @@Service in the Quick Launch Search box.

How to Enable/Disable Quick Launch Search

By default, the Quick Launch Search option will be enabled in the Visual Studio 2012. If you want to disable it then you need to go to Tools –> Options –> Environment –> Quick Launch.


In the Options, Under the Environment node, you can find the Quick Launch [#1] option. If you want to disable the Quick Launch Search option then just uncheck the Enable Quick Launch [#2] option in the window.

There are four categories [#3] e Search Result namely Most Recently Used, Menu, Option and Document

If you enable the Show search results from the previous search when Quick Launch is activated [#4] you will be getting the search results from the Previous Search results i.e. the Search Results will be retained. There are four kinds of Quick Launch Providers in the Quick Launch option. Let us see in details about the Providers.

Categories in Quick Launch Search Results

As we know, there are four categories in the Quick Launch Search Results, they are:

@mru It will display Most Recently Used 5 items of Visual Studio 2012 IDE assets
@menu @menu option displays only the menu items available in the IDE
@opt It displays the settings in the Option Dialog box
@doc It searches the source files and documents in the solution but the code in the source file.


The preceding figure shows the Quick Launch Search Results categories Most Recently Used [#1], Menus [#2], Options [#3] and Documents [#4].

Quick Launch in Visual Studio Windows

In Visual Studio 2012, we can access the Quick Launch Box in various types of windows like Solution Explorer, Team Explorer, Tool Box, Error List, Reference Manager, New Project/File and Find Results windows.

Quick Launch Box in Solution Explorer

Solution Explorer windows can be found in one of the following three ways: View –> Solution Explorer or Ctrl + Alt + S or Solution Explorer Icon on the Tools Ribbon.


Here the Quick Launch searches the entire solution for the criteria given in the box. The Quick Launch box can be accessed by pressing the keys Ctrl + ;

Quick Launch Box in Team Explorer

We can get the Team Explorer window in one of the following three ways: View –> Team Explorer or Ctrl + \ + M or Team Explorer Icon on the Tools Ribbon.


The Quick Launch Box in the Team Explorer can be accessed by pressing the Ctrl + ' keys.

Quick Launch in Error List

The Error List window can be accessed in one of the following two ways: View –> Error List or Ctrl + \ + E.


Quick Launch in Toolbox

The Toolbox can be accessed from the View –> Toolbox or Ctrl + Alt + X.


In the past it was difficult to find a particular control in the toolbox, but in VS 2012 the Quick Launch box makes it easy.

Quick Launch in Reference Manager

Don't be confused about the word '"Reference Manager". Its nothing but the Add Reference Dialog box. The VS 2012 team has changed not only the Look & Feel but the name of the Window.


Quick Launch provides the option here to search all the assemblies in the solution as well as the GAC.

Quick Launch in New Project/File

If we want to create a new JavaScript file, definitely we need to go through all the Nodes in the template panel. But VS 2012 provides the Quick Lunch Search option.


We can invoke the Quick Launch box by pressing the Ctrl + E key combinations.

Quick Launch in Find Results

If we are use the Find & Replace with Find in Files option to search the term in the Source file, it will give you the search results in the Find Results window.


In VS 2010 or previous versions, there is an option to search for the term within the Search Results but in the VS 2012 version, its available by using Quick Launch box.

Well, we are done with Quick Launch!


Today, I have given you the ways to use the Quick Launch option in the Visual Studio 2012. If I have missed something or taken you in wrong way, please accept my apologies.

Thanks for spending your precious time here. Please provide your valuable feedback and comments, which make me to give a better article next time.