If you want to search for a text string in a number of files on a Linux system, then you can use the grep tool through Terminal. Windows users also have a grep port called grepwin which works more or less the same way except through a brilliantly designed user interface. These tools can search through all the files on your computer for a text string and show you the results.
But you can have quicker results in Windows using AnyTXT Searcher – an index based file searching utility for Windows. The reason why AnyTXT Searcher is faster than grepwin because it maintains an index of all the files. When you search for text within files, AnyTXT Searcher has to lookup in the index without having to actually search all the files. This saves time but also leaves out very recently created files since it will be included in the index only after a couple of hours.
Another big difference between grepwin and AnyTXT Searcher is that the latter can search within only the files having text content such as CHM, TXT and Microsoft Office documents. All other type of files are ignored. In a way this also speeds up the text searching using this tool.
After installation and launching AnyTXT Searcher, you should pull up the index manager and make it index all the supported files on your hard drive. This can be done from the menubar Tool → Index Manager → Update Now or through the use of hotkey Alt+U. This will ensure that all the files are indexed and available for searching through.
For using AnyTXT Searcher, you can simply type in the keyword or phrase and click on the Go button. It will display the results from the index almost instantly. But you can narrow down the search by choosing a partition of the available storage drives and the file type. When you select the files in the results, it will also show the contents of these files on the right side along with the highlighted keywords.
While AnyTXT Searcher is really fast text string searching utility, it uses an index of all the files for searching. The results will not be as accurate as grepwin because the latter searches through the files in real-time instead of depending on an index. On the other hand, you can store the file index on a portable drive and use it for finding text in the files located on hard drives that are not even connected to your PC.
You can download AnyTXT Searcher from https://anytxt.net/.