Subject: TOOLS: TS.EXE
From: Gen Whitt <Gen -dot- Whitt -at- SDINC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 10:17:28 -0800

Hi everyone.

There's a little tool that I've been using for years and years, and I find
it extremely useful. I wonder if anyone else uses anything similar, or,
even better, knows of upgrades or of better options along the same lines.

It's a DOS-based text search program named TS.EXE. I believe it was part of
Norton Utilities. The notice that comes up when I run it says it's
copyrighted 1987-88 by Peter Norton. I was given it as a tool in my second
tech writing job, about nine years ago, and have been using it ever since.
(I really didn't know, at the time, that you weren't supposed to do that...
I have since bought Norton Utilities for Windows 95, but don't see anything
similar in there.)

Anyway -- it allows me to search for a string of text through any defined
range of files including subdirectories. So, for example, TS *.FM /S
"on-line" will search through all the Frame files in our documentation
subdirectories to make sure we haven't inadvertently used on-line when our
corporate style guide says use "online." Just an example, but I'm sure you
get the idea. It's good for checking for certain standards throughout. It's
also good for locating information on a subject.

I recently did an evolution on a pretty big, multiple-document help
project, where I replaced all included bitmaps with popups -- several
hundreds of them. I used TS.EXE to figure out which documents within the
help project referenced which graphics.

Explorer has a somewhat similar function hidden in there, but it just
brings up a list of files. TS.EXE shows one-liner occurrences, which can be
useful if the appropriateness depends on the context.

At one place I worked we used GREP, which has similar capabilities, but
it's not standalone.

I wouldn't be without this utility. Does anyone use anything similar, or
know of even better products along the same lines?

Have a great Christmas, y'all.



Geraldine Whitt
Senior Technical Writer
Software Dynamics, Inc.
Chatsworth, CA

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