Windows Find dialog and wild-card searches

Subject: Windows Find dialog and wild-card searches
From: "Chris Knight" <cknight -at- attcanada -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 19:01:40 -0800

Peter Kleczka asked:
I looked at the online help and it says that you can type any part of a
file's name and it will display.
However if you type ".htm" it won't find anything unless you add an asterisk
like "*.htm".
Case sensitive searching doesn't seem to work consistently either.
In fact, it changes my query to lowercase even if I type it in upper case.

"Wild card characters":
You can use an asterisk to represent a string of (arbitrary) characters, and
a question mark to represent a single (arbitrary) character.
Within a *filename specifier* (e.g. "splat.htm" or proj19*.doc), a wild card
does not extend beyond the *separator* (the dot).
Examples: If you type "*", then Find searches all files with names that
contain no dot. As you noticed, "*.htm" matches all files with the "htm"
file extension. But not a file with an "html" extension. To have Find search
those too, you would need to type "*.htm?", but note that will only match
files with 0 or 1 characters following the "htm". To search files with more
than 1 character after the "htm", you would need to type "*.htm*"

Case sensitivity:
As you have found, Find accepts, but ignores, lower-case within a *filename
specifier*, because Windows itself treats filenames that way. It accepts
lower-case, but case alone is insufficient to distinguish file names.
Windows will not allow you to create "Splat.txt" if "SPLAT.TXT" already
Yes, I agree, Find should NOT ignore case. I should be able to specify
"proj*.doc" and NOT get files like "Proj123.doc" (the upper-case P should
not match).
Find is a very old program that (as of Windows98 at any rate) Microsoft
doesn't seem to want to update to reflect the fact that the OS allows both
upper- and lower-case in filenames.
The Find command CAN be set to take case into account (or ignore case) for a
*target string* (the text typed in the "Containing text" field). This you
set using the "Case Sensitive" toggle on the Options menu.

This is all very old hat, but I'm in a generous mood.

Christopher Knight, Technical Communicator
E-mail: cknight -at- attcanada -dot- ca
Phone: (604) 877-0074

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