I am looking for some free Windows software which will allow me to specify a directory and a filename mask, some text and some text to replace it it with and then to perform the replacement, optionally recursing through sub-directories.

It would be a bonus if there were a preview, preferably showing a few (user definable number) of lines before and after each match.

Multiple line / regexp would be nice.

Text files are a must, other formats a bonus.

4 Answers 4


You can use text-editors SynWrite / CudaText for this. They are gratis, and CT is cross-platform.

  • For SynWrite just call command "Search - Find/replace in files".
  • For CudaText need to install plugin and call it. In "Plugins - Addon Manager" install plugin "Find in Files". Example view of dialog (on Linux):

CudaText FIF plugin


You can use Notepad++:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • gratis
  • GUI
  • open source
  • has a preview
  • can replace a string or regular expression in all files in a directory

You can use sed:


You can use gawk:

  • cross-platform, gratis, open-source, CLI
  • can find and replace.

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