Windows 7, searching for all files containing a text string

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Matty F, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Matty F

    Matty F Guest

    Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find function
    so that all files containing a text string can be found.
    The folders to be searched can be specified, and the date range and
    file types. I have used this function often. The way to use it is very
    simple and obvious.

    Windows 7 seems to have dispensed with this useful tool. Looking at
    the Help is no help at all. The process for finding the files is very
    very clumsy. What were Microsoft thinking? By using Google I discover
    that there is a Content search option. Why is this not in the MS Help
    for Windows 7?

    Using Google to find out how to do this simple function takes me to a
    number of sites where gormless MS Support Engineers misunderstand the
    question completely.

    Please will Microsoft sack the people who keep changing things that
    were working perfectly well.
     
    Matty F, Jul 16, 2010
    #1
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  2. Matty F

    Squiggle Guest

    On 16/07/2010 7:23 p.m., Matty F threw some characters down the intarwebs:
    > Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find function
    > so that all files containing a text string can be found.
    > The folders to be searched can be specified, and the date range and
    > file types. I have used this function often. The way to use it is very
    > simple and obvious.
    >
    > Windows 7 seems to have dispensed with this useful tool. Looking at
    > the Help is no help at all. The process for finding the files is very
    > very clumsy. What were Microsoft thinking? By using Google I discover
    > that there is a Content search option. Why is this not in the MS Help
    > for Windows 7?
    >
    > Using Google to find out how to do this simple function takes me to a
    > number of sites where gormless MS Support Engineers misunderstand the
    > question completely.
    >
    > Please will Microsoft sack the people who keep changing things that
    > were working perfectly well.



    Hold down the windows key and press F.

    type the term in the box at top right, and adjust options in the drop
    down from that text-box.
     
    Squiggle, Jul 16, 2010
    #2
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  3. Matty F

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 21:45:18 +1200, in message <4c402a34$>
    Squiggle wrote:

    > On 16/07/2010 7:23 p.m., Matty F threw some characters down the intarwebs:
    > > Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find function
    > > so that all files containing a text string can be found.
    > > The folders to be searched can be specified, and the date range and
    > > file types. I have used this function often. The way to use it is very
    > > simple and obvious.
    > >
    > > Windows 7 seems to have dispensed with this useful tool. Looking at
    > > the Help is no help at all. The process for finding the files is very
    > > very clumsy. What were Microsoft thinking? By using Google I discover
    > > that there is a Content search option. Why is this not in the MS Help
    > > for Windows 7?
    > >
    > > Using Google to find out how to do this simple function takes me to a
    > > number of sites where gormless MS Support Engineers misunderstand the
    > > question completely.
    > >
    > > Please will Microsoft sack the people who keep changing things that
    > > were working perfectly well.

    >
    >
    > Hold down the windows key and press F.
    >
    > type the term in the box at top right, and adjust options in the drop
    > down from that text-box.



    A. There is a Windows setting which can affect whether this searches
    file contents.

    [Windows Explorer] : Tools >> Folder Options >> Search

    What to search
    ( ) In indexed locations, search file names and contents.
    In non-indexed locations, search file names only.
    ( ) Always search file names and contents (this might take
    several minutes)


    B. There are also 3rd party tools, if Windows doesn't have the search
    tool which the OP wants.

    Here are some of the 3rd party tools
    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/87350/what-are-good-grep-tool-for-windows
    http://www.google.com.au/search?num=25&q=grep tool for Windows


    --
    Regards
    Ralph
     
    Ralph Fox, Jul 16, 2010
    #3
  4. Matty F

    Matty F Guest

    On Jul 17, 11:38 am, "impossible" <> wrote:
    > "Matty F" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    >
    >
    > > Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find function
    > > so that all files containing a text string can be found.
    > > The folders to be searched can be specified, and the date range and
    > > file types. I have used this function often. The way to use it is very
    > > simple and obvious.

    >
    > > Windows 7 seems to have dispensed with this useful tool. Looking at
    > > the Help is no help at all. The process for finding the files is very
    > > very clumsy. What were Microsoft thinking? By using Google I discover
    > > that there is a Content search option. Why is this not in the MS Help
    > > for Windows 7?

    >
    > > Using Google to find out how to do this simple function takes me to a
    > > number of sites where gormless MS Support Engineers misunderstand the
    > > question completely.

    >
    > > Please will Microsoft sack the people who keep changing things that
    > > were working perfectly well.

    >
    > Don't know what you're on about.
    >
    > CTRL-F=File Search, same as always, except the search engine is much
    > improved. Type your file spec and go. The Date Modified control is right
    > there, and other options (for example, search in sub-folders) can be
    > specified per folder or as the system default from Explorer's Tools | Folder
    > Options | Search.
    >
    > F1=Help, same as always, but with improved capability to find exactly what
    > you want. Typing "search" or "file search" in the text box brings up all the
    > information you need.


    So what happened to the excellent GUI interface of early Windows
    sysems? Win98 has all of the search options in an easy to understand
    form, including a search for files containing a specified string.
    Now you are tellling me that users, rather than selecting from a menu,
    have to know to press Ctrl-F, and to search for text have to know to
    type 'Content:"string"'. They never had to know that before.
    So Windows is moving away from a proper GUI interface and back to a
    command line interface. I'm glad somebody told us. We may as well go
    and get Linux - it's cheaper and faster.

    P.S. I'm not talking about myself as a user here. I can learn any old
    crap that OS suppliers push out. I'm talking about non-technical users
    who are are regularly forced to upgrade to later versions of Windows,
    and Microsoft making unnecessary changes.
     
    Matty F, Jul 17, 2010
    #4
  5. Matty F

    Gib Bogle Guest

    Matty F wrote:
    > Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find function
    > so that all files containing a text string can be found.
    > The folders to be searched can be specified, and the date range and
    > file types. I have used this function often. The way to use it is very
    > simple and obvious.


    There must be something screwed up about that Search capability, because it
    doesn't work any more on my XP machine at work. It used to work. The IT guys
    don't know what's happened to it.
     
    Gib Bogle, Jul 17, 2010
    #5
  6. Matty F

    Matty F Guest

    On Jul 17, 3:30 pm, EMB <> wrote:
    > On 17/07/2010 1:59 p.m., Matty F wrote:
    >
    > > So what happened to the excellent GUI interface of early Windows
    > > sysems? Win98 has all of the search options in an easy to understand
    > > form, including a search for files containing a specified string.
    > > Now you are tellling me that users, rather than selecting from a menu,
    > > have to know to press Ctrl-F, and to search for text have to know to
    > > type 'Content:"string"'. They never had to know that before.

    >
    > They still don't now. Just have explorer open and type the search
    > string in the box at the top right - it will automagically search within
    > files as well as by name.


    Are you saying that when I am searching for a file with "the" in the
    name, I will also get 100,000 files that contain the word "the"?
    Sorry but that's not what I want. I don't want the OS making
    assumptions about what I want done - I want to tell it what I want,
    with the fewest keystrokes possible.
     
    Matty F, Jul 17, 2010
    #6
  7. Matty F

    Matty F Guest

    On Jul 17, 2:29 pm, Suzie Wong <> wrote:
    > On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 22:49:26 +1200, Ralph Fox <> wrote:
    > >On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 21:45:18 +1200, in message <>
    > >Squiggle wrote:

    >
    > >> On 16/07/2010 7:23 p.m., Matty F threw some characters down the intarwebs:
    > >> > Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find function
    > >> > so that all files containing a text string can be found.
    > >> > The folders to be searched can be specified, and the date range and
    > >> > file types. I have used this function often. The way to use it is very
    > >> > simple and obvious.

    >
    > >> > Windows 7 seems to have dispensed with this useful tool. Looking at
    > >> > the Help is no help at all. The process for finding the files is very
    > >> > very clumsy. What were Microsoft thinking? By using Google I discover
    > >> > that there is a Content search option. Why is this not in the MS Help
    > >> > for Windows 7?

    >
    > >> > Using Google to find out how to do this simple function takes me to a
    > >> > number of sites where gormless MS Support Engineers misunderstand the
    > >> > question completely.

    >
    > >> > Please will Microsoft sack the people who keep changing things that
    > >> > were working perfectly well.

    >
    > >> Hold down the windows key and press F.

    >
    > >> type the term in the box at top right, and adjust options in the drop
    > >> down from that text-box.

    >
    > >A. There is a Windows setting which can affect whether this searches
    > > file contents.

    >
    > > [Windows Explorer] : Tools >> Folder Options >> Search

    >
    > > What to search
    > > ( ) In indexed locations, search file names and contents.
    > > In non-indexed locations, search file names only.
    > > ( ) Always search file names and contents (this might take
    > > several minutes)

    >
    > >B. There are also 3rd party tools, if Windows doesn't have the search
    > > tool which the OP wants.

    >
    > > Here are some of the 3rd party tools
    > > http://stackoverflow.com/questions/87350/what-are-good-grep-tool-for-...
    > > http://www.google.com.au/search?num=25&q=grep tool for Windows

    >
    > PowerDesk does it all, and a lot more.
    >
    > http://www.avanquest.com/USA/software/powerdesk-pro-8-138876
    >
    > This was reviewed in many Mags that this was the bits the MS left out of
    > Windows..


    Why should we have to use 3rd party software to do what old versions
    of Windows used to do perfectly well?
     
    Matty F, Jul 17, 2010
    #7
  8. Matty F

    Matty F Guest

    On Jul 17, 4:41 pm, Gib Bogle <> wrote:
    > Matty F wrote:
    > > Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find function
    > > so that all files containing a text string can be found.
    > > The folders to be searched can be specified, and the date range and
    > > file types. I have used this function often. The way to use it is very
    > > simple and obvious.

    >
    > There must be something screwed up about that Search capability, because it
    > doesn't work any more on my XP machine at work. It used to work. The IT guys
    > don't know what's happened to it.


    There used to be a Windows program called something like Findfast.
    It used to scream around all the time looking at all your files and
    making an index to all the words in them in case you wanted to search
    for those words. It was so dreadful that we always used to delete
    Findfast.
    I put files in sensible folders and I am happy to search a whole
    folder for a given string if I have to. It's fast enough. For example
    to search all of the CRU emails for "Salinger" takes 4 seconds for the
    first search and 1 second after that.
     
    Matty F, Jul 17, 2010
    #8
  9. Matty F

    Sweetpea Guest

    On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 18:07:40 +1200, EMB wrote:

    > Windows 7's indexing works well, and makes it nigh on instantaneous. And
    > if you're stupid enough to search for all the files containing 'the'
    > you're probably really too stupid to be near a PC ;-)


    One of the first things I do with a new desktop is kill as much
    automation as possible - including any indexing.


    --
    "Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
     
    Sweetpea, Jul 17, 2010
    #9
  10. Matty F

    Sweetpea Guest

    On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 22:43:48 -0700, Matty F wrote:

    > Why should we have to use 3rd party software to do what old versions of
    > Windows used to do perfectly well?


    Because Micro$oft has "innovated" and "improved" the filesystem searching
    capability to the point where it is useless?


    --
    "Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
     
    Sweetpea, Jul 17, 2010
    #10
  11. Matty F

    Sweetpea Guest

    On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 18:37:19 +1200, Suzie Wong wrote:

    > As this does it 1000 times better and added the Bits that MS left out,
    >
    > I use it and its great, try copying a file name or path with Explorer,
    > you cant, but this program can.


    The microsoft stuff must have been exceedingly useless if it could be
    improved by a multiple of 1000!


    --
    "Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
     
    Sweetpea, Jul 17, 2010
    #11
  12. Matty F

    Mark C Guest

    Gib Bogle <> wrote in
    news:i1rcae$8j5$:

    > Matty F wrote:
    >> Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find
    >> function so that all files containing a text string can be
    >> found. The folders to be searched can be specified, and the
    >> date range and file types. I have used this function often. The
    >> way to use it is very simple and obvious.

    >
    > There must be something screwed up about that Search capability,
    > because it doesn't work any more on my XP machine at work. It
    > used to work. The IT guys don't know what's happened to it.


    http://www.petri.co.il/windows_xp_search_bug.htm

    .... I think this might be what I used to fix it for me.
     
    Mark C, Jul 17, 2010
    #12
  13. Matty F

    victor Guest

    On 17/07/2010 5:43 p.m., Matty F wrote:
    > On Jul 17, 2:29 pm, Suzie Wong<> wrote:
    >> On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 22:49:26 +1200, Ralph Fox<> wrote:
    >>> On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 21:45:18 +1200, in message<>
    >>> Squiggle wrote:

    >>
    >>>> On 16/07/2010 7:23 p.m., Matty F threw some characters down the intarwebs:
    >>>>> Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find function
    >>>>> so that all files containing a text string can be found.
    >>>>> The folders to be searched can be specified, and the date range and
    >>>>> file types. I have used this function often. The way to use it is very
    >>>>> simple and obvious.

    >>
    >>>>> Windows 7 seems to have dispensed with this useful tool. Looking at
    >>>>> the Help is no help at all. The process for finding the files is very
    >>>>> very clumsy. What were Microsoft thinking? By using Google I discover
    >>>>> that there is a Content search option. Why is this not in the MS Help
    >>>>> for Windows 7?

    >>
    >>>>> Using Google to find out how to do this simple function takes me to a
    >>>>> number of sites where gormless MS Support Engineers misunderstand the
    >>>>> question completely.

    >>
    >>>>> Please will Microsoft sack the people who keep changing things that
    >>>>> were working perfectly well.

    >>
    >>>> Hold down the windows key and press F.

    >>
    >>>> type the term in the box at top right, and adjust options in the drop
    >>>> down from that text-box.

    >>
    >>> A. There is a Windows setting which can affect whether this searches
    >>> file contents.

    >>
    >>> [Windows Explorer] : Tools>> Folder Options>> Search

    >>
    >>> What to search
    >>> ( ) In indexed locations, search file names and contents.
    >>> In non-indexed locations, search file names only.
    >>> ( ) Always search file names and contents (this might take
    >>> several minutes)

    >>
    >>> B. There are also 3rd party tools, if Windows doesn't have the search
    >>> tool which the OP wants.

    >>
    >>> Here are some of the 3rd party tools
    >>> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/87350/what-are-good-grep-tool-for-...
    >>> http://www.google.com.au/search?num=25&q=grep tool for Windows

    >>
    >> PowerDesk does it all, and a lot more.
    >>
    >> http://www.avanquest.com/USA/software/powerdesk-pro-8-138876
    >>
    >> This was reviewed in many Mags that this was the bits the MS left out of
    >> Windows..

    >
    > Why should we have to use 3rd party software to do what old versions
    > of Windows used to do perfectly well?


    Ooh Oooh I know this one.
    So you don't have to change back to using your ald versions of Windows.
    Is that it ?

    --
    "I'm completely operational, and all my circuits are functioning perfectly."
     
    victor, Jul 17, 2010
    #13
  14. Matty F

    Matty F Guest

    On Jul 17, 6:07 pm, "impossible" <> wrote:

    > > and to search for text have to know to type 'Content:"string"'.
    > > They never had to know that before.

    >
    > I really have no idea what you're on about.


    I am ONLY talking about searching thousands of files in a directory
    for those that contain a certain text string. I'm not talking about
    any other kind of search.
    This is now done in Windows 7 by using the keyword "Content:"
    Not that the Windows help will tell you that, but Google does.
     
    Matty F, Jul 17, 2010
    #14
  15. Matty F

    Gib Bogle Guest

    Mark C wrote:
    > Gib Bogle <> wrote in
    > news:i1rcae$8j5$:
    >
    >> Matty F wrote:
    >>> Windows 98SE and maybe other versions of Windows has a Find
    >>> function so that all files containing a text string can be
    >>> found. The folders to be searched can be specified, and the
    >>> date range and file types. I have used this function often. The
    >>> way to use it is very simple and obvious.

    >> There must be something screwed up about that Search capability,
    >> because it doesn't work any more on my XP machine at work. It
    >> used to work. The IT guys don't know what's happened to it.

    >
    > http://www.petri.co.il/windows_xp_search_bug.htm
    >
    > ... I think this might be what I used to fix it for me.


    I'll check that out when I get a chance.
     
    Gib Bogle, Jul 18, 2010
    #15
  16. Matty F

    Gib Bogle Guest

    geoff wrote:
    > Matty F wrote:
    >> On Jul 17, 3:30 pm, EMB <> wrote:
    >>> On 17/07/2010 1:59 p.m., Matty F wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> So what happened to the excellent GUI interface of early Windows
    >>>> sysems? Win98 has all of the search options in an easy to understand
    >>>> form, including a search for files containing a specified string.
    >>>> Now you are tellling me that users, rather than selecting from a
    >>>> menu, have to know to press Ctrl-F, and to search for text have to
    >>>> know to type 'Content:"string"'. They never had to know that before.
    >>> They still don't now. Just have explorer open and type the search
    >>> string in the box at the top right - it will automagically search
    >>> within files as well as by name.

    >> Are you saying that when I am searching for a file with "the" in the
    >> name, I will also get 100,000 files that contain the word "the"?
    >> Sorry but that's not what I want. I don't want the OS making
    >> assumptions about what I want done - I want to tell it what I want,
    >> with the fewest keystrokes possible.

    >
    > It's not making assumptions. It's following instructions. It can't make
    > allowances for idiot users.


    Steady on. Matty's question is how to request a search for files with name that
    contains a specified string, or a search for files that contain a specified
    string - but not both at the same time. Is this possible? I don't have Windows
    7 so I can't test for myself what is available.
     
    Gib Bogle, Jul 18, 2010
    #16
  17. Matty F

    Matty F Guest

    On Jul 18, 4:50 am, "impossible" <> wrote:
    > "Matty F" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    > > On Jul 17, 6:07 pm, "impossible" <> wrote:

    >
    > >> > and to search for text have to know to type 'Content:"string"'.
    > >> > They never had to know that before.

    >
    > >> I really have no idea what you're on about.

    >
    > > I am ONLY talking about searching thousands of files in a directory
    > > for those that contain a certain text string. I'm not talking about
    > > any other kind of search.

    >
    > OK.
    >
    > > This is now done in Windows 7 by using the keyword "Content:"
    > > Not that the Windows help will tell you that, but Google does.

    >
    > Windows won't "tell" you that no. You have to look in the Help file.


    I, and the owner of the computer, looked in the Help file and found
    nothing of use. As usual for Windows Help.
     
    Matty F, Jul 18, 2010
    #17
  18. Matty F

    Matty F Guest

    On Jul 17, 10:19 pm, "geoff" <> wrote:
    > Matty F wrote:
    > > P.S. I'm not talking about myself as a user here. I can learn any old
    > > crap that OS suppliers push out. I'm talking about non-technical users
    > > who are are regularly forced to upgrade to later versions of Windows,
    > > and Microsoft making unnecessary changes.

    >
    > Nobody forced you to upgrade anything. Enjoy Linux. Hope you can run all
    > yo0ur haedware and apps to their full capability.


    I help other people when they have problems with their computers, no
    matter what crap OS they have..

    > geoff
    >
    > ... happily running XP with the freebie Windows Desktop Search which will
    > happily find anything (ie a one or two word phrase, for instance) in emails,
    > documents, or other files on your whole computer in seconds (after indexing
    > in idling-time).
    >
    > PS , what is the "F" for Matty ? I'm guessing, but probably wrong.


    Yes you are wrong, it's Flebus.
     
    Matty F, Jul 20, 2010
    #18
  19. In message
    <>, Matty F
    wrote:

    > I help other people when they have problems with their computers, no
    > matter what crap OS they have..


    You must have a lot of free time.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 26, 2010
    #19
  20. In message <i1rcae$8j5$>, Gib Bogle wrote:

    > There must be something screwed up about that Search capability, because
    > it doesn't work any more on my XP machine at work. It used to work. The
    > IT guys don't know what's happened to it.


    Which of the following applies:

    [ ] Your IT guys are incompetent
    [ ] Even the most competent IT guys can get stumped by Dimdows
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 26, 2010
    #20
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