Witzend ReplaceInFiles Add-in for Visual Studio .NET

File search and replace done better. Much better.

April, 2011 -- Witzend Software has greatly improved Visual Studio’s ability to search and replace in project files. The Witzend ReplaceInFiles Add-in for Visual Studio .NET uses the same tested search technology as its sister add-in for Visual C++, bringing new power and convenience to Visual Studio’s suite of languages: C++, C#, and Visual Basic.

As an add-in, ReplaceInFiles integrates seamlessly into the Visual Studio environment, becoming a part of the normal Visual Studio command set. The only outward change to Visual Studio is a new Witzend Replace in Files command added to the environment’s Tools menu. Behind the scenes, the ReplaceInFiles Add-in communicates with Visual Studio via COM interfaces. The Witzend ReplaceInFiles Add-in queries for search parameters and in a single step replaces text in all indicated files.

The ReplaceInFiles Add-in incorporates search technology from Witzend’s own Search Library product. Thus all of the Add-in’s core functions are written in highly-optimized assembly language, ensuring that the component remains small and amazingly fast. Hundreds of replacements in a dozen source files take less than a second on a typical mid-range machine.

ReplaceInFiles gives the developer plenty of control over the search process. Date and size filters allow the user to confine a search to files that fall within a specified range of size or date — for example, only those files between 10K and 50K in size and dated within the last month. The user can specify case sensitivity (find Abc but not abc) and whole-word filters (find any but not anywhere), and can choose whether or not to confirm each replacement before it is made.

In letting the user specify where to begin searching, the ReplaceInFiles Add-in offers two views, named Project and Browse. Project view displays a list of files contained in every project of the currently opened solution. This approach is convenient for developers who work with large multi-project solutions, allowing global replacement in a single step regardless where source files are physically located on disk. The project list isn't possible with stand-alone search and replace utilities, since only add-ins can query Visual Studio directly for a list of current projects.

Browse view, as its name suggests, presents an Explorer-like navigation window in which the developer can browse to a specific location, even to a folder not associated with a Visual Studio project. Regardless which view is used to select the search location, an important feature of ReplaceInFiles is that it creates its own backup repository. This ensures that at any time changed files can always be reverted to earlier versions.

The Witzend ReplaceInFiles Add-in license has been reduced to $39.95 USD. Still included is a 30-day warranty and free technical support. Licensing for multiple sites is available at significantly reduced cost.

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