Working with text documents can involve more than just to fill up pages with text strings. You might need to find particular items and replace them with updated strings, but doing this in multiple documents can be quite the challenge. On the bright side of things, applications like Find And Replace can do this without opening target files.
Easily define search and replace parameters
A cool thing about it is that there’s no setup involved, so you can take the application for a spin as soon as it reaches your computer. As such, it’s possible to store it on a thumb drive, which comes in handy for using its features on multiple computers. Note, however, that the computer you use it on needs to be fitted with .NET Framework.
As far as the interface goes, you have little to no problem accommodating with the set of features. The window is split into a couple of sections, one to manage the find parameters, while the other defines the replace rules. When the process is initiated, the window expands to show a real-time log, as well as appropriate details.
Add filters and select rules
The detection of files of interest can be done in a particular folder, but you can choose to include subdirectories as well. The application doesn’t necessarily target a particular file type, but you do have filters to easily include and exclude formats to narrow down results.
The application mainly looks up text of interest in files based on encoding, which can be automatically detected. Additionally, you can choose to match casing, show encoding, use regular expressions, include files without matches, skip binary file detection, and use escape characters.
A few last words
Bottom line is that not all text editors are fitted with a search and replace function, and even so, they might not be able to perform this operation in multiple files at a time. This is where Find And Replace comes in handy, letting you easily update strings according to various parameters, making it worth your while.
Something that you might find quite annoying when you have several text files which might have a certain name or text string that you want to search for is having to look through each one to try and find what you want. Obviously this just isn’t efficient especially when there are hundreds or more files to look through. It becomes even more frustrating when you want to search lots of files for keywords or phrases and replace them with something else because a tool like Notepad just doesn’t work for anything but the most basic of tasks.
There are several more advanced text editors around that could have some form of function to search and replace text strings, but if you don’t want to use the editor itself, this may seem bit pointless. Thankfully there are tools around dedicated to performing the search and replace function and many are portable meaning if you only want to do it once or twice, there’s no need to install anything. Here’s a selection of 5 search and replace tools with varying functionality for you to look at.
1. Find and Replace (FAR)
The Find and Replace tool has options to simply search for strings inside files, replace the strings inside the matching files and also to find and replace text inside file names. FAR is a cross platform and portable tool because it’s built on Java but that also makes it quite heavy on memory usage. And of course, you’ll need the Java Runtime Environment installed to use it.