IntelliJ IDEA 2023.1 Help

Search for a target within a file

You can quickly find and replace text strings in the current document. Using different options, you can narrow your search process, use regular expressions in your search, and manage your search results.

  1. Open your file in the editor.

  2. Press Control+F or select Edit | Find | Find from the main menu.

  3. In the search field that opens, enter your search string. IntelliJ IDEA highlights the results of your search in the file. Alternatively, in the editor, highlight the string you want to find and press Control+F. IntelliJ IDEA places the highlighted string into the search field.

    search string

Find in selection

You can search for a text string inside the multi-line selection.

  1. Select a multi-line fragment and press Control+F.

  2. Click the In Selection button and type your search string. IntelliJ IDEA will search for the target inside the selected fragment first.

    If you release the In Selection button, IntelliJ IDEA will switch the search process back to the whole file.

    Find in selection

    If you want to search for the multi-line fragment itself, select it and press Control+F.

    Multi-line selection search

Manage your search

IntelliJ IDEA lets you adjust your search process and perform various actions with the displayed search results.

  • If you want to see the list of previous searches, press ⌥↓ in the search field.

    search history
  • If you want to enter a multi-line string, click the Enter a new line icon in the search field for a new line.

  • With the Regex icon 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.

  • Use the Previous occurrence and Next occurrence arrows to navigate to the previous or the next occurrence.

  • Work with the list of occurrences Alt+F7 in the Find tool window, where you have other options, for example, to group your results or to open them in a separate window.

    Found Occurrences in the Find tool window

  • Click the Add selection for the next occurrence or unselect the previous occurrence icon to add a selection of the next occurrence or deselect the previous occurrence Alt+J or Alt+Shift+J.

  • If you want to quickly replace the target of your search in the whole file, press Control+Alt+Shift+J and type a new string.

    Replacing all occurrences

  • You can narrow your search when you click the Words icon, the Match case icon in the search field, or click the filter icon to select a scope for your search.

  • You can press ^⌥X (previously known as ⌥G) to quickly toggle the Regex icon the Regex option. You can use regular expressions to opt for more challenging searches.

  • Press Control+F7 to see usages of any element in the opened file.

    If you don't want IntelliJ IDEA to highlight all found usages in the file, open the Settings dialog (Control+Alt+S) and on the Editor | General page clear the Highlight usages of element at caret option.

    Press Alt+F7 to search for usages beyond the current file or Control+Alt+F7 to open the search results in a separate popup. If you need to configure some options before the search, press Control+Alt+Shift+F7 to open the Find Usages dialog.

Replace the search string in a file

  1. Press Control+R or select Edit | Find | Replace from the main menu to open the Replace in File window.

  2. In the top field, enter your search string. In the bottom field, enter your replacement string. If you need to preserve the case, click the Preserve Case icon located in the replace field.

    Replace in file pane

    Click Multi-line for a multi-line replace. For example, if you want to replace a comma with a comma and a new line, enter a comma in the search field and a comma and the new line in the replace field.

  3. Click Replace to replace items one by one, Replace all to replace all items in your file, and Exclude to omit some items from replacing.

The options that appear in the Replace window, are similar to the Find window and you can refer to the manage the search results section.

Last modified: 09 June 2023