1

I search an alternative to Windows Search for fast indexed fulltext search in text files, source code, ebooks (pdf, fb2, djvu) and, maybe, office formats.

I don't want to use standard Windows Search, because this is a very heavy load on the system and drive.

If possible, the program must be free/gratis and portable.

What I found

  • I found very fast tool Everything, but it doesn't create index of file content (only names), and the author has no plans to add this functionality.

  • I found very good index searcher DocFetcher, but it needs Java.

  • There are some commercial apps like Copernic and Archivarius, but these programs are closed source and not free, besides, they are rather difficult to use.

2

I use Agent Ransack. I think it's a nice complementary to Search Everything and I use both in parallel, because they serve different things: file content search and file name search.

Agent Ransack does not maintain an internal index. Instead, it searches the contents of the files on the fly. It will read file contents as fast as it can and do the searching multithreaded (8 threads on my machine), so it's still very fast. I'm using it for years and I'm very happy with its speed.

It's not directly portable, but you can install it once and then copy the installation directory.

It's gratis, not open source, and you need to register for free.

Agent Ransack Screenshot

If you want even faster searches with indexing, they have File Locator Pro for ~50 USD. But it seems you dislike such solutions.

  • Unfortunately, this is not a free tool. Furthermore, the index search does not work with most types of plaintext files (like .ini, .cpp) automatically. I have to manually specify all the file types that can contain text, this isn't comfortable. Mode *. * Indexing works very slowly and inaffective (index size can be more, than size of indexed folder). Besides, FLP can't work with archives (like .zip, .rar) – WallOfBytes Jan 28 '17 at 14:07
  • Agent Ransack is the free tool. The paid tool of the same company is called File Locator Pro. – Thomas Weller Jan 28 '17 at 17:40
  • Yes, i know. Agent Ransack is very very very slow searches (in content) among a large amount of information, so i don't consider, that is a variant for those who need fast fulltext search. But Agent Ransack can automatically find plain text files and search in them, while FLP (indexed search) can't. – WallOfBytes Jan 28 '17 at 18:04
-1

Try UltraSearch. It is extremely fast when searching for files on the disk, but you'd have to check its speed for searching in the files (I never used it for that).

Quoting features from the site:

UltraSearch does not maintain an index which is stored on your harddisk, but achieves its speed by working directly on the Master File Table (MFT) of the NTFS partitions. UltraSearch even identifies NTFS hardlinks.

Simply enter a file name or a pattern like *.exe and see the first results while you are still typing. In addition, UltraSearch supports regular expressions and will search file content.

Additional information like file size and file dates (last changes, last access and file creation) will be shown for all listed files. Naturally, the Explorer context menu is available inside UltraSearch.

UltraSearch enables you to exclude folders, files or file types from searches via an exclude filter. The search results can be sorted according to different criteria, printed or exported as text, RTF, HTML, CSV, and Excel file.

Define file groups (such as movie files, text files etc.) and search for all file types the group contains.

The recently used search patterns can be saved and selected from a dropdown list. UltraSearch can suggest patterns or autocomplete manually entered patterns automatically.

  • 2
    Unfortunately, this program (such as its analog - Everything) hasn't a quick search in the contents of files. Only in file/folder names. – WallOfBytes Nov 14 '16 at 23:25

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