Where would we be without the Find and Replace tool, which is one of the unsung heroes of the word processing world? You suddenly realise you’ve misspelled someone’s name, who just happens to appear 20 times in a single document, and all you need to do is open the Find & Replace tool to quickly correct it in a fraction of the time it would have taken you to go through the document manually.
Now imagine that you’ve accidentally misspelled that name in 15 separate documents. Suddenly Find & Replace doesn’t seem quite the time saver it once was, and the clock is ticking. What now?
This is where Quick Search and Replace comes in: it’s designed to perform Find and Replace across multiple documents. The documents in question have to be formatted in ASCII, which rules in most word processing document types as well as plain text and HTML.
It’s not just a simple Find and Replace tool either: select your parent folder (all sub-folders are searched by default, but this can be switched off from the Options dialogue box), choose a mask to filter the files searched by name or type and then enter your search terms: you can look for individual words, phrases, multiple lines and regular expressions (for advanced users only). Search using AND/OR operators, or perform a full search-engine like search using a range of operators.
Matching files are listed in the left-hand pane: select a file to view all the matches within that file. Switch to the Search and Replace tab, and you can opt to replace the text, insert a phrase before or after each instance of the match or simply delete it. This can be performed on all the search results or individually selected files (use the Ctrl key to select multiple files). Make a mistake? Just click the Undo button to reverse all your changes.
The program goes even further, making it the perfect tool for advanced users looking for complex search-and-replace operations. Novices may struggle a little bit, but there’s a Help file on hand to guide you through the basics – and don’t forget that Undo button!
Note, after downloading and running the program installer it will unzip two files: double-click quicksearchreplace.exe to install the actual program.
A powerful and versatile tool that could prove a real timesaver – the only downside is it’s not as user-friendly as it might otherwise be.