Linux users have some really powerful commands at their disposal. For example, in Linux you can use the “grep” command to search through the contents of a file or more than one file. Such tool does not exist in Windows and you have to depend on third party tools that might not be as efficient.
But now you can use the same powerful grep command in Windows through an open-source tool called AstroGrep. Even though it is not a command line utility like the original grep of Linux and it does not offer all the features of the original grep, it is still able to help you quickly search through the contents of many files within seconds. It can search inside Microsoft Word Documents too.
In the AstroGrep user interface, you have to simply select a search path, and enter a search string before clicking on the Search button. In a few seconds, it will populate the search results showing you the files that contain that search term. You can use ordinary text, wild cards or regular expressions to make the search more efficient and powerful.
By default it searches all the sub-folders of the specified search location but you can quickly change this settings from the main user interface. From the search options, you can also enable regular expressions, case sensitive search, negate the search (find files that dont contain the search term) and display results once the entire search is finished (as opposed to displaying when each file as it is processed).
In the search results, when you click on the listed items, it displays the contents in the lower-half of the window. By default, it displays only the portion of the files where it has found the search terms. But you can choose to view the entire files. It does not come with any editor but you can configure Notepad or Notepad++ to work with it easily.
You can download AstroGrep from http://astrogrep.sourceforge.net/.