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What's the best way to search the C++ API documentation?

I'm pulling my hair out trying to navigate through the API docs. Is there a simple, direct, concise way to find documentation of a function (or all matching functions if there are multiple functions with the same name) without knowing the class in which the function(s) is defined? For example: How would I find the API documentation for "FindObject()", not knowing what class(es) implement it?

I'm looking for a programming reference, not a tutorial, not a getting started guide, not answers to previously posted questions.

Any suggestions appreciated, thanks!

Product Version: UE 4.13
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asked Dec 31 '16 at 02:04 AM in C++ Programming

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Hey ChuckAtNomadic,

So the best way to do this, and what I do when I need to reference something in the API, is to visit our documentation page, perform a search for the function I'm looking for, and then select the API filter that will appear under the search bar after you enter your text and press the search button.

Check the screenshot below for an example of what I'm talking about. Once you've performed your search, you'll see those filters appear. Then, select the highlighted API category to filter the results to strictly API reference.

alt text

Let me know if you have any further questions regarding this.

Have a great day

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answered Jan 03 '17 at 04:40 PM

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Sean L ♦♦ STAFF
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avatar image ChuckAtNomadic Jan 03 '17 at 05:32 PM

Thanks Sean, but that appears to be a hit or miss solution. Your example, BeginPlay(), lists the API docs right at the top, but FindObject() (the specific call that was frustrating me so) yields no useful results at all, even when filtered for the API. In the end I had to search through the sources, using (Cygwin) grep.

avatar image Sean L ♦♦ STAFF Jan 03 '17 at 06:05 PM

Another thing you can try is to use Find All References in Visual Studio. That's another method that I'll use to search the code base whenever I am looking for something specific. Unfortunately, there isn't a super easy method to search the API, but if you use the combination of the documentation and the Find All References that I've mentioned, you should be able to find what you're looking for.

avatar image ChuckAtNomadic Jan 05 '17 at 05:57 PM

That's what I was afraid of. I was hoping I was missing something. It does look like some searches are going to yield far higher-quality results than others. I see in the sources markup for auto-generated docs, but in the specific case of FindObject, it's a template, so that could be why it's apparently impossible to find real API documentation for it.


avatar image darkgaze Aug 30 '18 at 03:06 PM

I suggest you add: Tools->External Tools->Add ... and add a new external command. The command app is the Chrome exe file. Then under params add options to open Chrome: -incognito and --app=https://www.unrealengine.com/bing-search?keyword=$(CurText)&filter=C%2B%2B+API where $(CurText) is the selected text in the editor. Then, Tools -> Customize --> Context menus... Code windows and add the option External Command X where X is the number of the item in the list of the External Tools window. That way if you right click you will see the option in the list to automatically go to the website to search for that: ^_^

avatar image Hattoff Dec 31 '18 at 09:47 PM

darkdaze, This is an excellent solution! It is helping me immensely thank you!

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