All you know how to search for files in Windows; you just click Start and type your keywords. Many users knows search for files based on certain properties by using search filters.
Great! But what if you want to search for specific text or phrase inside all files? Is there a way to do that in Windows 7?
Yes, you can search for the content inside files. You can search for text inside of word, excel, PowerPoint, html, php and other text based files.
Here first let’s see advanced search using Windows Search and then some great free third party tools.
1) Using Windows Search:
By default, in Windows Search can find only files names, but you can enable it to search the contents of all files.
- Go to - Start -> Control Panel -> Folder Option
- Click on Search Tab.
- Here select "Always search file names and contents".
- Then Click Apply and Ok.
In this way you can find content inside Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. But what about searching for text inside other file type like .html, .php, .js, and other text based web and scripting files. Windows search also allows you to include other file extensions with a few simple clicks.
- First, go to your control panel and open the indexing options.
- Now click on advanced and then file types in the new window.
- Next, choose the File Types tab you want.
- Make sure that the radio button of Index Properties and File Contents is selected.
- You also can add any extension from Add new extension to list option.
- Now finally click on Ok.
Now you can search for files, text within the file types of the extensions selected by you.
2) Agent Ransack:
Agent Ransack is a freeware professional file-search tool with a number of parameters that aren't a part of the Windows search utility. This program's interface is plain and intuitive and it finds information quickly and efficiently.
You can search with file names or the text within files. Also you can set parameter for searching like file size, range of dates that the file was modified, created, or last accessed and match cases. It gives you immediate result in one pane and search statistics for the number of items searched and found, and the length of the search in another. This tool also tell you exactly line number for your search term appear on within a file.
2) Instant Document Search:
Instant Document Search is a powerful Google-like search engine that finds local documents. You can search for contain a specified text or keyword within a file. Instant Document Search supports most of the popular document types, has flexible configuration options, convenient user interface and other useful features. But you have to create zone and add a location in it, then it starts indexing process which takes a bit too long.
ScanFS is a fast file locator and disk cataloging utility with easy user interface. This program offers a real-time search as well as an option to create a disk catalog that stores all file information in a database for offline searching.
You can search for files by name or keywords in the file contents. The program supports several search filters, including file name, directory, date and size. The search results are presented with file contents previews, highlighted keyword matches and thumbnail previews for images.