Re: search for file contents?

Subject: Re: search for file contents?
From: Beth Friedman <bjf -at- WAVEFRONT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 12:26:26 -0600

In our previous episode, Becca Price said:

> I'm trying to find where a certain little-used parameter might have
> been defined. Does anyone know whether it's possible to do a search
> on the contents of *.doc or *.txt files to locate a specific string
> of characters? If it is possible, how do I do it, please?

In a *.txt file, the classic tool is a DOS utility called grep. It's
capable of exceedingly sophisticated searches, but the simplest way to
use it is to go to the suspect directory and type: grep [phrase you
want in quotes] *.txt. It should be available in numerous places on
the Web, if you don't already have it.

It might work for .doc files, but it's much less likely, given the
kind of binary junk that clogs them.

The other approach I've found useful is more time-consuming.
AltaVista has a free disk indexing tool, comparable to the online
search tools. It takes a while to index the drive, but then file
location if very rapid from there.

Office 95 has a built-in Fast File Find that's ostensibly similar, but
I haven't had much luck with it.

Oh, and if it's a Word file, Word has its own built-in file locator.
Slow, but effective.

*********************************************************************
Beth Friedman bjf -at- wavefront -dot- com
"Long noun chains don't automatically imply security."
-- Bruce Schneier


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