One text search & replace to rule them all

We currently have 27 questions tagged , and none of them really satisfy my requirements.

So, let's try for the one all-encompassing text search & replace program for 2021.

Must have/do/be

  • gratis
  • Windows 10
  • user defined file name extensions
  • no indexing of files required (not usual for search/replace, but way too prevalent in search apps)

Highly desirable

  • operate on binary files (search & replace texts must be the same length)
  • operate on MS Office files
  • operate on PDF files
  • operate on archive files
  • two step operation; search for files containing search text and choose which to operate on in the replace phase (as FAR - Find And Replace does
  • wildcards (?, *, etc)
  • regular expressions
  • replace multiple lines, as per this question this ought to be doable with wild cards/regular expressions, if the app will operate on new lines (it looks like the free MultiCommander can do this)

Bonus features are welcome

  • show (user definable number of) lines around the search text before replacement. Agent Ransack shows the line numbers and text of of matches in each file, but not surroundings lines. SearchMonkey lets the user define how many lines before/after a match should be shown; alas, it does not have a replace function
  • operate on Libre Office files
  • anything that benefits coders e.g recognizing comments, etc
  • cross platform
  • can perform multiple, different substitutions in one action (e.g. replace all "cat" with "dog" AND all "horse" with "cow" in the single opened document)
  • can save the set of actions for future use, so the user can just load&launch instead of defining dozens of substitutions again
  • 1
    A couple of cautions - there are 2 fundamental types of pdf files files that contain the text plus layout instructions (very common for generated PDFs and reasonably so for print to pdf) and files that contain pictures of the pages - the latter type need to be OCRed to be searchable. There are also 2 basic types of MS Office files .doc & .docx, etc. both are a bit of a pain to search. Mar 30, 2021 at 18:12
  • I will take what I can get. Agent ransack (URL in question) seems to search them OK. I may bot get my complete wishlist, but 80/20 would make me happy Mar 30, 2021 at 19:03


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.