IntelliJ IDEA 2020.1 Help

Search and replace a target within a project

You can search for a text string within a project, use different scopes to narrow your search process, find occurrences, and exclude certain items from the search.

Find the search string in a project

  1. From the main menu, select Edit | Find | Find in Path Ctrl+Shift+F.

  2. In the search field, type your search string. Alternatively, in the editor, highlight the string you want to find and press Ctrl+Shift+F. IntelliJ IDEA places the highlighted string into the search field.

    To see a list of your previous searches, press Alt+Down.

    If you need, specify the additional options.

    Find in path

    IntelliJ IDEA lists the search strings and files containing them.

    To do a multi-line search, click the Multi-line search icon to enter a new line, and press Ctrl+Alt+Down/Ctrl+Alt+Up to browse through occurrences.

  3. Check the results in the preview area of the dialog where you can replace the search string or select another string, press Ctrl+Shift+F again and start a new search.

  4. If you need to see the list of occurrences in a separate tool window, click Open in Find Window. You can use this window and its options to group the results, preview them, and work with them further.

You can use different options in the Find in Path dialog to adjust your search process.

  • Select options such as Words or Match case to find the exact word in a project, or match the letter case.

  • With Regex checkbox selected, IntelliJ IDEA automatically escapes special regex symbols with backslash \ when you search for a text string that contains them.

    Escape regex symbols

    For more details on regex, refer to the search with regex documentation.

  • Click the filter icon to filter your search. For example, you can filter the search to omit comments or search only in comments instead.

  • Select one of the displayed options such as Module or Directory to limit your search. Moreover, you can select the Scope option that offers you a list of predefined scopes for your search.

    For example, you can limit your search only to the open files in your project or you can search in a class hierarchy.

    Search in class hierarchy

    If you work without tabs, the scope Recently Viewed Files or Recently Changed Files option might become quite useful. You can also create your own custom scope, click the Browse icon (ellipsis icon) to open the Scopes dialog.

Search in the specific file types

Use the File Mask option to narrow your search to a specific file type. You can select the existing file type from the list, add a new file type, or add an additional file mask syntax to search for file types with certain patterns.

  1. In the Find in Path dialog, select the File Mask checkbox and from the list of file types, select the one you need.

    File mask

    IntelliJ IDEA limits its search to the specified type.

  2. If you don't find the file type you need in the list, enter your file type in the File Mask field.

    For example, use the following syntax to search only in gradle files: *.gradle.

    Other wildcards besides * are supported. You can also specify several file types by separating them with a comma.

    Add a new file type

Replace the search string in a project

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+R to open the Replace in Path dialog.

  2. In the top field, enter your search string. In the bottom field, enter your replacement string.

    Replace in path dialog

    For example, if you want to replace a variable name with a new name for a large project, use the replace in path instead of rename refactoring since your variable can appear in the config files as well.

  3. Click one of the available Replace commands.

Last modified: 15 April 2020