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WordLight is a small add-in for Visual Studio 2008. It searches and highlights substrings that are currently selected in a text editor. As a bonus, it works for Output, Command and Immediate windows too.


It is pretty simply: when you selects a text, the add-in highlights all occurrences in a current document.

There is "Freeze search" feature: you can freeze up to three search results in special mark groups, that stay during text editing. Freezing is called by next hotkeys (by default): Ctrl+` , Ctrl+1 and Ctrl+2 for three groups. For example: you select a text, and all its occurences are marked by pink color automatically. Then you press Ctrl+` , and these marks moved to the blue group. To clear a freezing group just press a hotkey when nothing is selected.


  1. Unpack files to a folder for add-ins of your visual studio.
  2. Restart the studio.

Usually, the folder is placed in "C:\Users\UserName\Documents\Visual Studio 2008" (for Win7) or "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\My Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Addins" (for WinXP). It can be checked by "Add-in file paths" settings of the studio (menu Tools > Options > Environment > Add-in/Macros Security).

Please note, the add-in requires installed .NET Framework 3.5 to run.


You can change settings of the add-in by a command "WordLight settings..." under the "Tools" menu.

  • Colors of marks for occurences;
  • Hotkeys to freeze a search;
  • Enable/disable case sensitive searching.
  • Matching only whole words by search.

Tips and tricks

Visual Studio 2008 has various shortcut keys for text search, which look nice with WordLight:

  • Ctrl+Shift+W - selects a word at a text cursor. I recommend to remap it to {{{Ctrl+W}}};
  • Ctrl+F - opens a Find dialog and puts a word at a text cursor into a search field;
  • F3 / Shift+F3 - go to a next/previous occurrence of a search text;
  • Ctrl+D - puts a word at a text cursor into a Find combo-box at a toolbar;
  • Ctrl+F3 / Ctrl+Shift+F3 - puts a word at a text cursor into the Find combo-box and go to a next/previous its occurrence;
  • Ctrl+I - Incremental search: waits for your input and searches as you type a text.