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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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Like Jeff Atwood, I love incremental search.

I first loved with it in FireFox.  Did you know that it exists in Visual Studio as well (Ctrl-I)? But, where I finally became a huge fan is in Vista.  Incremental search in Vista has made me a keyboard junkie again.  Hardly ever touch my mouse (err, trackball). 

With Vista, you have incremental search on the programs menu.  Just hit the Windows key, and then start typing some part of the name of the application you want to run (like 'fire' (Firefox), 'inter' (Internet Explorer), 'write', (Windows Live Writer)).  As you type, the programs menu displays matches.  You can stop typing at any time and use the mouse or arrow keys to select the one you want, or keep typing until the one you want makes it to the top or is distinct.  Then you just hit enter. This is the one truly useful feature that made it into Vista.  I feel like I'm handcuffed when I set down at an XP box anymore.

Jeff thinks that we'll be seeing it more and more as a navigation tool as applications continue to grow and get more complex.  He may be right.  Overcomplexity of the menu system was one of the reasons for the Ribbon interface in Office 2007 (which I also adore).

Jeff also comments on where else he's found incremental search and where else it's needed in this post. Well worth a read.

Posted on Friday, July 6, 2007 1:01 PM | Back to top

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