Sando Code Search Tool


Search your C, C++, C#, XAML, and any text file instantly. Form a better query with auto-complete. Get ranked results powered by Lucene.NET.

(23) Review
Visual Studio
2015, 2013, 2012, 2010
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Reviews (23)
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by david21742 | January 07 2016

Not yet fully mature, not worth the trouble.

In one project the indexer wasn't able to find the exact name of a function
and therefore should have the ability to manually add directories along
with a re-index button that indexes in the background.

If the search results window displayed a snippet of the content, along with
the file name and line number, AND moved you to that line of code in the
editor after double clicking on it -- then the tool would be mature enough
to use.

by Franck QUINTANA | October 13 2015

Useless for me with CTRL + $

David C. Shepherd October 14 2015
| Edit |

Sorry for the issue! What do you mean CRTL + $? The keyboard shortcut is CRTL + F by default. Is the keyboard shortcut not working for you? Or is the whole search failing? Let me know and we can try to fix it for you.

by ehues | June 24 2015

The functionality seems really useful, but VS 2012 often crashes when I click a search result.

David C. Shepherd October 14 2015
| Edit |

Do you have a project that is public that this happens on so we can reproduce? So sorry for the delayed response!

by rkosta | October 17 2014

Cool extension but needs to be more usable:

- setting for excluding specific folders
- setting for excluding specific file extensions

The search is quick but it has lots of garbage from files/folders that I don't want to be indexed

David C. Shepherd October 17 2014
| Edit |

Thanks for the review and especially the specific suggestions. I have added them to the backlog!

FYI, to search for specific file extensions you can use 'file:cs'. You can also search for only methods or classes via 'type:method'.

BTW, if you're looking for an open source project to contribute to, let me know ;)

by Adam Plocher | October 09 2014

Concept and core tech is great. I will give it 5stars if it becomes more usable. Main prob is the user experience. I prob wont replace VS search until its more polished

-Needs option to search files in the solution and/or proj. Now it searches every subfolder in the SLN dir (I think), but I get tons of results I'm not looking for
-I'm having a hard time figuring out what the results actually are and how they are sorted. I get results for the same file scattered all over the results list
-Keyboard navigation should allow me to navigate the sub-results. Up/down keys navigate the results, but the sub-items could be navigated with left/right or something
-Dark theme UI is less polished than light theme. Icons have white pixels around them. Hovering over column headers looks bad. Focus in Adv. Options uses black box and hard to see

Smaller issues:
-Help tooltip always showing under textbox when focused would be nice
-Vertical scrollbars when window is too short so results are accessible
-Took me a while to realize it groups results by class member. Would be nice to let user choose grouping

I may submit a pull request with some of these issues addressed

David C. Shepherd October 09 2014
| Edit |

Hi Adam,

Thanks so much for the feedback! It's helpful to have concrete issues to look into.

I really like this one:
> -Help tooltip always showing under textbox when focused would be nice

If you're looking for an easier one to submit as a pull request this looks ideal. Great idea!

BTW, I'll submit the other issues you identified to the Sando mailing list to see if I can get any resources on them.

by mbcline | June 03 2014

Waited ten minutes, did not finish indexing. Moderate size console game codebase; maybe 1 million lines of C++.

David C. Shepherd September 03 2014
| Edit |

Just fixed in latest release. Can now index entire Linux kernel in 50 min. Should handle most projects in seconds. See

by Zhaph - Ben Duguid | February 28 2014

Great tool, works really nicely. Would be great if it properly supported the "Dark" theme in VS2013 however:

The buttons are "white on light grey", and the "3D" effect on the rollover/selection in search results needs to be turned down a bit/turned off.

David C. Shepherd February 28 2014
| Edit |

Hi Ben,

Thanks for taking the time to give a review, much appreciated!!

Also, thanks for the theming example. Because we support VS2010 (i.e., before the current theming constants were introduced) we have always struggled to get this right. I'm forwarding your screenshot to a contributor that is looking into this issue.

Again, thanks for the review and detailed feedback!

by SanilSingh | January 30 2014

by Todd Schiller | June 06 2013

A great complement to Visual Studio's built-in search and navigation tools. The autocomplete feature is extremely helpful when working with unfamiliar code.

The presentation of the search results could be improved a bit, though, by including more information in the result, and by showing the result context in the snippet (as opposed to showing the start of the class/method in which the result was found).

by J.C.Kodel | June 05 2013

Not working so far:

Sando is experiencing difficulties. See log file for details.

2013-06-05 15:33:50,427 ERROR DefaultSandoLogger - Sando.UI.View.SearchManager:
Message: Key cannot be null.
Parameter name: key
StackTrace: at System.Collections.Hashtable.get_Item(Object key)
at Lucene.Net.Analysis.PerFieldAnalyzerWrapper.ReusableTokenStream(String fieldName, TextReader reader)
at Lucene.Net.QueryParsers.QueryParser.GetFieldQuery(String field, String queryText)
at Lucene.Net.QueryParsers.QueryParser.Term(String field)
at Lucene.Net.QueryParsers.QueryParser.Clause(String field)
at Lucene.Net.QueryParsers.QueryParser.Query(String field)
at Lucene.Net.QueryParsers.QueryParser.Clause(String field)
at Lucene.Net.QueryParsers.QueryParser.Query(String field)
at Lucene.Net.QueryParsers.QueryParser.Parse(String query)
at Sando.Indexer.Searching.IndexerSearcher.Search(SearchCriteria searchCriteria)
at Sando.SearchEngine.CodeSearcher.Search(SearchCriteria searchCriteria, Boolean rerunWithWildcardIfNoResults)
at Sando.UI.View.SearchManager.Search(String searchString, SimpleSearchCriteria searchCriteria, Boolean interactive)

David C. Shepherd June 06 2013
| Edit |

Thanks for filing feedback. I'm so sorry it isn't working for you! Can you share some details about your query? Does it have quotes in it or is it just plain search terms? Note that I have updated this work item regarding your issue:

Also, next time, please consider filing any bugs on We work hard to deliver a great extension with limited resources, and would love a chance to fix the issue prior to a review.

by chris.parnin | April 05 2013

Was useful for exploring an unfamiliar C# project and estimating how much it would cost to add new features.

by Manoj Parashuram | April 02 2013

Normal Search gives you all the references but again it is tedious to go to the relevant section of the code . Sando Search has provided some filters to filter by Element Type (Class,Methods etc. !!!) which will help me in reducing my search time.

During Code Inspection it helps me a lot as it gives me a code snippet where i can do my reviews without even going to the code files

Each time you change the filter you need to Click on the search Button which can be improved ...!!! search can begin after i apply the filter.

by mitach | April 01 2013

A great search companion! Conceptual autocompletion is pretty handy for exploring unfamiliar code. Thanks.

by WouterKl | March 29 2013

Nice tool, works as expected.
It's now my standard search tool

- I would add mouseover for detailed results.
- Add filetype to the advanced options seperate box. This would allow you to do multiple searches with the same advanced settings

David C. Shepherd March 29 2013
| Edit |

Very encouraging to hear Sando is your standard search tool now! Thanks for the comments, I've made tasks to address them:

by sanjap1 | March 28 2013

Speed is search is much faster than before. I liked that.
It is simple and easy to use and very useful addition. Thanks!

David C. Shepherd March 28 2013
| Edit |

Thanks for the review sanjap! My colleague Zhao Li is responsible for the 200-300% performance improvement (in indexing), I'll pass your compliments onto him!

by Judson White | January 11 2013

by WarrenDB | October 30 2012

Finally doesn't die on large solutions/files, and XAML indexing!

David C. Shepherd October 31 2012
| Edit |

Thanks for the review! I'm glad it is working for you now...

by Lucas_Moffitt | October 30 2012

by F2dk | October 30 2012

I really love the idea of this plugin. However, I don't believe it replaces any of the existing searches. But it is a very useful addition.

David C. Shepherd October 30 2012
| Edit |

Thanks for the review F2dk! My colleagues that have put lots of sweat and tears into this plugin are especially thankful ;)

I agree, this may not replace existing searches (everyone still has the occasion that they need the regex-based search of Find-in-Files). I find this plugin to be most useful when working with slightly unfamiliar code (e.g., someone else's project, someone else's sub-component, or really old code) because I can just type out some general search terms (e.g., "open file", "monitor solution", or "show results") and I usually get pretty good search results.

Thanks again,

by Isak Savo | August 13 2012

This is so much better than the standard "find in files" function that comes with Visual Studio.

1 - 20 of 23 Items   
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  • How to exclude for some directories or files from search?
    2 Posts | Last post October 12, 2016
    • I don't want to search a word from some files generated by precompilers, how to do subj?
    • If you click on the folder name (right above the search box) you should be able to add and delete folders. Basically add all folders *except* the one you want to exclude. Hope this helps.
  • "Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation"
    1 Posts | Last post September 07, 2016
    • Hello, I installed this extension on Visual Studio Professional 2012 Update 5, but, when I try to use it, clicking on VIEW > Other windows > Sando Search, I get
      "Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation"
      and nothing happens.
      How can I solve this issue?
      Kind regards
  • Suggest to move the repo to GitHub or use Git in Codeplex
    1 Posts | Last post January 27, 2016
  • Ctrl + shift + f
    4 Posts | Last post December 02, 2014
    • Hi 
      is there a way to change the keyboard shortcut so it doesn't replace VS standard advanced search?
      thanks Darren
    • ok thick 5 minutes figured it
    • Glad you figured out how to revert. Sando only remaps your shortcut once, so if you've fixed it Sando should never remap it again.
      Note: Our rationale behind remapping the advanced search shortcut was that Sando is a replacement for that search. We remapped the normal advanced search to Alt+Shift+S. However, I can understand for some users this may not work and they may want to revert. For these users I'd recommend setting Sando to Alt+Shift+S.
    • This feature is annoying. Please set Sando to any shortcut other than this of Visual Studio file search.
  • Does it work for javascript file ?
    5 Posts | Last post September 29, 2014
    • I saw in the option that .js file is indexed. But when I search for some texts, it doesn't return the result from any js file
    • JavaScript seems to get indexed fine for me. I can think of two things to try:
      1) Check the Indexed folder popup at the top of Sando. Does it contain the location of your file? If not, you can add it there.
      2) Try adding "file:js" to your query, which should limit the results to only JavaScript extensions. 
      Note also that Sando indexes JS as plain text, so no fancy stemming or tokenizing is performed.
    • Thanks. I can query it with that "file:js"
      By the way, what do I need to put in query if I want to find exact match for example "testWord" ?
      Because it seems that if I have a variable in js called "testWord", and when I type "testWord" (without double-quote), it tries to find any word with "test" first.
      And in my case, this "test" exists in a lot of .cs file. So I guess that's the reason why I can't see the search result of "testWord" in any .js file
    • Sando will split certain queries (e.g. if they are in camelcase) into their constituent words and add those terms to your query. If you want to query for that exact string only, the best thing to do is to put it in quotes. 
      Sando does weigh complete word matches matches several times higher than matches on the split terms, but if your query word occurs frequently in some methods the weighing may not help.
    • Ok, thanks for the explanation
  • Does not work with MFC C++ solutions?
    7 Posts | Last post October 23, 2013
    • I am working in native C++/MFC in VS2012. Sando works with C# projects, but when I open an MFC solution, Sando panel shows "Currently Indexing" without further information and search does not work. Description says that Sando supports C++. Do I need to configure something for Sando to work with native C++ or Sando does not support MFC/C++?
    • Hi Alex, 
      It should work for any C++ code. A few questions. When you open a solution does a folder name appear beside "currently indexing"? It should list the folders being indexed. Try clicking on the space beside "currently indexing" to set the folders, although they should setup automatically. Also, what extension are your cpp files, just to make sure they are on the list? Finally, I assume you're using the latest? If not, what version?
      We'll get it working for you!
    • Hi Dave,
      I appreciate your quick response. I am using Visual Assist X  - may be this causes the problem? I am using the latest version of Sando and my file extensions are standard (*.h and *.cpp). Since my solution is huge, I tried generating a small dialog-based app via VS wizard. 
      Here is what I see:
      - Without adding a folder by clicking to the right of "Currently Indexing", I see nothing in the Currently Indexing in VS2010 and I see "Currently Indexing in folder" in VS2012 when I open the solution
      - I can add a folder in VS2010, then I see Currently Indexing <my folder>
      - In VS2012, when I click to the right of Currently Indexing, I see a check mark with no text. If I click Add Folder, I see a new folder below empty check mark. If I click Apply and try to see the folders again, my added folder is not shown - only the first line with check mark and no text.
      - Currently Indexing <my folder> (or Currently Indexing in folder) stays forever
      - Any search shows No results found.
      Very nice add-on and works with C#. I will try to use Lucene in my own C# projects.
    • Alex,
      We've seen other issues with Visual Assist X. You might try either disabling Visual Assist X or re-installing it. Can you send us a copy of your VS activity log (located at %APPDATA%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\ActivityLog.xml)? The best way to do that is to create a new issue on codeplex and attach it to that (
    • Vinay,
      I created a new issue on Codeplex. 
      I was wondering if I can debug Sando locally. Do you have instructions on how to build, setup and debug Sando?
    • Hi Alex,
      You probably saw the update on already, but for the benefit of others, the latest Sando should correctly index C++/MFC solutions.
      > I was wondering if I can debug Sando locally. Do you have instructions on how to build, setup and debug Sando?
      Directions are available here:
      But, as you can see, extension development in Visual Studio can be a bit tedious to set up. Let me know if you get stuck and I'm happy to help.
      All the best (and thanks again for the feedback!),
    • Hi David,
      Thanks for the quick fix. I updated Sando and now it works with my MFC project.
      Many thanks,
  • XAML files aren't indexed
    3 Posts | Last post October 21, 2013
    • :|
    • Just raised the priority on this bug.  Thanks for reporting that it was a problem for you!  
    • XAML files are now indexed! Let me know if you notice any problems when using this feature.
  • VS2012 version anytime soon?
    4 Posts | Last post October 21, 2013
    • Is a version for VS2012 coming soon?
    • Yes, we are working on this.  It is almost done, and a working version can be downloaded here: 
      The only *known* issues with this *pre-release* is that the "expand" button on the right needs to be styled properly.  Let me know if you find any problems with it, as we are still in the testing stages.... full release VS2012 in next two weeks or so. 
    • The current version supports VS 2010 and VS 2012.
    • VS 2010, VS 2012, and VS 2013 now supported!
  • Local Code Search
    4 Posts | Last post October 21, 2013
    • This would be hugely useful if it was possible to add additional local directories to search for code, and perhaps show in a separate results list. There are no really good tools for searching a local machine for usages of a symbol, and lucene would be perfectly suited to the task.
      I'd be interested in helping make this happen, as it would make my life hugely better.
      Also, the labels and box backgrounds don't work well with the 2012 dark theme - might need to style them differently based on the theme selected.
    • Hi George,
      We'd be happy to work with you to create this feature.  There will be some challenges because we currently use Visual Studio's file events to keep our index up-to-date, but we could likely find a workaround. Feel free to start a discussion on if you want to collaboratively sketch out a solution.
      > Also, the labels and box backgrounds don't work well with the 2012 dark theme - might need to style them differently based on the theme selected.
      Yes, we're aware of this annoyance (sorry!), but haven't had the resources to fix it yet.  We'll be getting more help this summer on the project so you  can expect this issue to be fixed in early summer at the latest.
    • Update: support for searching additional folders in progress, should be released in the next month
    • Hi George, 
      You can now add arbitrary folders to the index. Just open a solution with Sando open. You'll see a "Currently indexing: <folder>" label. Click it and you can add folders to this list. Be careful though, if you add a folder with 1000s of files it will take a while to index. For 4000 files, a mixture of C# and C++ it takes about 20 minutes. 
      All the best,
  • Sando toolbar seems to not remember where it is pinned
    6 Posts | Last post August 30, 2012
    • Is this me, or is it everybody?  I notice it showing up floating over the main window when I open VS quite often.
    • I believe this is the same issue, or caused by the same problematic code as this:
      I'm on vacation this week but hope to look into this next week. Thanks for reporting this problem!  I'm really glad that you're still using Sando, let me know if we can fix anything else.  FYI, we pushed out an update last week (0.2) which you can get by hitting update in the extension manager (i.e., Tools > Extension Manager).
    • FYI, this is fixed in version 0.21 which is available in the Visual Studio Gallery.  Let me know if the fix doesn't work for you.  Thanks again for reporting the problem!
    • FYI, this problem is actually not fixed.  I will try to fix it soon.
    • Sando v0.23 now only automatically shows the Sando View one time. So, it will show Sando once, when you open a solution after installing it, and then it should not reopen it (assuming normal usage).  See for details.
    • Will, thanks again for reporting this bug. It exposed a serious threading issue that I think I've finally fixed in Sando v0.24.  Let me know if you experience this problem again.
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