The search for a search utility
March 23, 2014 5:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a great utility that will let me search for text strings within MS Word and PDF documents. Specifics within ...

I use Windows 8.1. I'm not a computer super user, so I suspect this question will be easy for many of you. I want a utility that will let me search for text strings within MS Word and PDF files. I do lots of searches like: "fear of crime", socioeconomic, "perceived risk". I'd like a tool that would then pull up all files that have these terms in them. Being able to search within specific folders or sets of folders, and being able to specify things like case sensitivity or how far apart two particular strings are in a given document would be a bonus. Free is great. Free and portable is super great. But I'd pay a small fee for a really terrific utility. I despise hitting the start button to search that way, because the "metro" crap fills up my entire 30" monitor, and I'm often typing the search screens off a document in another window. That's why I'd like a stand-alone utility.
posted by Crotalus to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Agent Ransack is a pretty good grep utility which works on doc, pdf, etc. Not tried it on W8 specifically.
posted by wilko at 5:33 PM on March 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have Agent Ransack pinned to both my Windows 8 Task Bars (on my Asus Notebook and my tower PC) at home. I second wilko that it is a great utility. I have been using it since Vista days. I cannot say enough positive things about it. But I can say that at work we don't have it and I am stuck using Microsoft's Search in Windows 7 which I find psychologically (if not physically) painful.
posted by forthright at 7:24 PM on March 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Try Copernic Desktop Search.
posted by tra at 9:14 PM on March 23, 2014

I'm not a huge fan of trying to reinvent the wheel. I agree that Metro/Modern is stupid on a large monitor. Try one of these two things:
* Search from Windows Explorer instead. Windows Key + E opens Explorer. F3 goes to the search box.
* Install Start8 or a similar utility and you can search directly from the Start Menu, like you did on Windows 7.
posted by cnc at 11:20 AM on March 24, 2014

Thirding the recommendation for Agent Ransack.
posted by dhens at 3:15 PM on March 24, 2014

« Older Does TSA ever just wave people through?   |   Introduction to Heuristics. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.