Regular Expressions (or RegEx in short) became very popular in 1980s when Perl came up with some very strong tools to do string searches with the help of RegEx. Since then RegEx has only expanded and improved. Now RegEx is available everywhere. Even if you are trying to search for strings inside a number of text files, then there are tools like Vovsoft RegEx Extractor or grepWin.
While grepWin is a much more advanced tool and is based on the grep tool available for Linux, Vovsoft RegEx Extractor is much simpler in nature. Using RegEx Extractor, we can search through a number of files and find the text which matches the RegEx pattern.
In the RegEx Extractor window, we have to first select a folder from which all the files are to be searched for a selected RegEx pattern. We can set a file mask (such as *.txt) so that it avoids searching binary files. We can also choose to search through all the sub-folders.
If you do not want to search an entire folder then it also gives options to search the file list. In this file list, we have to add all the files that we want to search using the RegEx pattern. You can also use a text file containing the list of all the files to be searched.
Next, we have to enter the RegEx pattern for searching. The tool comes with some very common RegEx patterns such as dates, email addresses, filenames, IP addresses, letters, numbers, phone numbers, quotes, social security numbers, URLs, and ZIP codes. We can make the search case-sensitive.
To make the search even more accurate, it can filter the results by parameters like a string that it starts with, a string that it ends with, and some string that it contains.
In the results it display all the files in which the matching strings were found along with the text strings that were found. There is also an option to remove the duplicates from the results.
You can download Vovsoft RegEx Extractor from https://vovsoft.com/software/regex-extractor/.