Ever had to find some text inside a bunch of different text files? If you’re in IT, this issue can come up quite often. Maybe you are looking for a particular phrase in log files or maybe you are a programmer and need to find some code that is inside many different code files.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to search through multiple files for a certain piece of text. Personally, I like using a free program called Windows Grep. It basically is a visual grep program, which makes it really easy to search files for text strings.
Once you install the program and run it, you’ll get a window like the following:
You type in the string of text that you want to search for and then choose the type of search: Normal, Sounds like, and quick. Note that you can use full regular expressions in the search box.
Click Next and now you will be able to choose which folder or folders you want to search within. The great thing is that you can choose as many folders as you like. Note that it does not automatically search sub-folders, so you will have to add each subfolder.
Also, make sure to select the folder and then click the right arrow to move it into the Include list.
Next, you will choose what kinds of files you want to search. If a directory has text files, video files, etc, you can specify the file type by either typing it in the Custom file specification box or choosing from the pre-defined list.
Click Next and then click Finish. Now the main window will become active and the search will begin. After a few seconds, you should see the results of the search in the main window.
Click on any of the results and you’ll get the actual line numbers and the text as it is in the file.
That’s it! Pretty easy eh? And probably the easiest way to search inside multiple files for text. Enjoy!