Skip to content

Automatically Search Inside Text Files in One Click

The other day I lost or rather overwrote an important text file. So I fired up my go-to recovery software (Photorec) to try retrieving it. The software found plenty of text files but unfortunately doesn’t allow previewing.

Opening each of the hundreds of texts one after the other quickly took a toll on me and that’s when it dawned on me that I had to find something automated. I had some search programs but nothing could really look inside the files. Then, an epiphany! My less than adequate memory had come to my rescue.

Search Inside Text  Files Using Agent Ransack


The fragment of memory served aptly was none other than Agent Ransack (or more appropriately FileLocator Lite). I had used this search utility a couple of years back before switching to some alternatives that use indexing for searching,  first Locate32 and then Everything.

However, unlike those two, Agent Ransack is more than just a search utility. It not only looks up file names but can also sift through text contained in files and preview them; just the perfect medication for my then woes.

In addition to this you can search by size and date of modification, use Booleans (AND, OR & NOT), save/load commonly used search criteria and export results in Text/CSV.

Searching inside the content of multiple text files is a painless process. All you have to do is:


1. In the Look in box define the location for look up i.e. where your text files are stored. You can include subfolders as well.

A screenshot of Agent Ransack Search Dialog
Agent Ransack Search Dialog (click to enlarge)

2. Then in the Containing text box, input the text you need to look up.

3. Hit the Start button and let the magic begin.

It’s as easy as that. There’s certainly no need to sweat yourself sifting through countless texts when you have something like this. What’s more it comes at a very modest price of free. It’s got a bigger brother called FileLocator Pro which has more features in addition to the ones I mentioned before.

Regarding my situation, it did a stellar job ransacking through the dump of text files, but as my gut had predicted, that file was a done deal.


Leave a Reply

Feel free to share your comments or questions with me. I may not be able to respond immediately so please check later once I've approved your comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kelvin Kathia

Kelvin Kathia is a writer that's passionate about sharing solutions to everyday tech problems. He's the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to leave him comments or questions regarding this post, or by leaving him a message on the contact page. If you found his content helpful, a donation is much appreciated.