I'm looking for any software that can search keywords in documents (at least text files, but hopefully PDFs) in a folder (or even within a single file) and show the result in snippet view like Google Books (search "From inside the book").

Do you know anything about this?

Google Books - from inside the book

  • What OS, free or commercial?
    – Tom
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


I'm going to recommend AstroGrep which has a very similar layout to the Google Snippet view. It supports plain text files. It is based of the UNIX utility "grep" and is completely free to use. It also contains a numerous amount of options as well for searching.

AstroGrep (free)

AstroGrep is a Microsoft Windows grep utility. Grep is a UNIX command-line program which searches within files for keywords. AstroGrep supports regular expressions, versatile printing options, stores most recently used paths and has a "context" feature which is very nice for looking at source code.

Here's a screenshot of it in action:


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