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I am using Version: Juno Service Release 2 and salesforce plugin and I made a local copy of my sandbox but am unable to find the validation rules in my eclipse copy. any suggestions are appreciated.

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You can find validation rules in the .object file for the custom object in question, look for <validationRules>. You'll need to make sure that the custom object is selected in the "Add/Remove Metadata Components...." dialog in Eclipse. You can find documentation for all of the metadata files, including .object files, in the Metadata API Guide. In particular, here is the documentation on validationRules

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