Thread: MSDN Searching Tips

  1. #1
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    University of Waterloo

    MSDN Searching Tips

    I'm going to post some tips here for searching msdn, as it seems a lot of people have trouble finding their way around msdn.

    Finding Functions
    Believe it or not, but the best way to search msdn, isn't with msdn, but with google. For example, say you want info on the GetWindowText function, let's try this query at google:

    GetWindowText msdn

    Type that in to google, hit "I'm feeling lucky", and bam! Up pops the msdn page for the GetWindowText function. Now, you could even get rid of the 'msdn' part of the query, and still get to msdn with that search, but there are functions that, if you don't put the msdn at the end, you will end up elsewhere (which may or may not be a bad thing).

    For example:


    would bring you to a site describing atof, but

    atof msdn

    would bring you to the msdn version for that function. In other words it's merely a matter of preference.

    Win32 Messages
    Finding win32 messages is just as easy as finding functions, you still use google, but this time you do:



    etc....The exact same concept, and it's really not that hard to figure out at all! If you want to make sure you get directed to msdn, just add an msdn at the end of the search query.

    API Information
    Let's see if you can figure this one out....let's try and find an OpenGL function, got any guesses?

    glLoadIdentity msdn

    wow! Not any different than anything else!

    So, yah, there's no point in adding any other ones, I just wanted to get the point across that it's incredibly easy to find information on msdn, just as long as you don't use msdn's search options (they suck compared to google).

    And here's some good quick links that are worth bookmarking:

    OpenGL Reference
    Individual Control Reference (Win32 API)
    DirectX Documentation

  2. #2
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Hannover, Germany
    Note that even on Dev days and other Microsoft events, people suggest Google for searching the MSDN. Don't use the MSDN search itself

    She was so Blonde, she spent 20 minutes looking at the orange juice can because it said "Concentrate."

    When in doubt, read the FAQ.
    Then ask a smart question.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    I love that "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. If you enter Weapons of Mass Destruction or something like that and press "I'm Feeling Lucky", you got a really funny modified 404 Message. "WMDs Not Found".


  4. #4
    Interested Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    That one is so old, but still funny!

  5. #5
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Another little trick is to use the "site" qualifier with google...

    Say for instance you wanted something less distinct that a function name (say "file opening", "excel automation" or "Bill's fetishes for furry dolls") then you can enter your search and the domain you want it searched under;

    "file opening"

    This will list all pages with a reference to file opening under the microsoft sites. Very handy.

    edit: Next Week, Govtcheez will share his his tips for removing gopher blood stains from your hair, carpet & clothing

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