"GREP for Windows."
dnGREP is a tool used to search for strings in files. There are many variations of GREP (e.g. Windows Grep, PowerGREP, Baregrep, etc.) and dnGREP is the one we’ll be reviewing here. It provides a fast regular expression, text and XPath search that is stable and accurate. It has shell integration, which means that you can search using Windows Explorer, perform phonetic search and copy/move/delete actions as well as import plugins.
After you run the installer, follow the instructions to complete the process. At some point you’ll be asked whether you want to perform Typical, Custom or Complete installation. In Typical mode only the most common features will be installed, and in Complete mode all features will be installed. In Custom you can manually choose the features you want installed. The available features are Shell integration, Accelerated startup and Plugins (PDF search, Word search and Archive search).
The program can work under operating systems which have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 installed.
The main window is not overloaded with buttons and functions, but has all its features organized neatly to make space for the search results, which are shown on the lower half of the window. From the results, found strings are highlighted. On the upper half is the search field (for entering the string you want to search for), a replace field and a search location field. You can also define what type of search you want to perform (regex, XPath, text or Phonetic) by clicking on the corresponding choice, as well as make several other settings.
No need to open the program every time you want to search a file. Simply right-click on it and select the “dnGREP” item from the context menu.
You can either search for regular expression, plain text or XPath pattern. Phonetic search is also supported, which uses Bitap and Needleman-Wunch algorithms to provide results. In a few words, this type of search returns results approximate to the string you searched for, but for further information you can visit Wikipedia’s page for this subject: Approximate string matching.
The files in the results list can be copied, moved or deleted and their names can be copied to the clipboard. The results list itself can be exported to CSV too.
If you included plugins when installing dnGREP, you can use them and search inside archives, Microsoft Word files and PDF files.
Any search pattern can be added to bookmarks so that you can use it at a later time.
The program is quite stable and we didn’t encounter any bugs or problems while testing it. It also doesn’t lack any features (on the contrary it has various unique ones).
A few alternatives are Agent Ransack (free), grepWin (free), PowerGREP (paid), AstroGREP (free) and BareGrepPro (paid). Out of those Agent Ransack does an admirable job when it comes to string searching and replacing.
dnGREP is a first-class software that can be used by everyone, especially since its ease of use attracts many inexperienced users. If you ever need to use a tool like this, be sure to check out dnGREP first.
Requirements: >750MHz Intel Processor
What's new in this version: Updated UI (including Windows 8 styling), brought back "context lines", Ð¸mproved memory usage and performance with large search results, Ð¸mproved XPath search highlighting, Ð°dded support for shebang based file selection, Ð°dded ability to start search from command line by passing in query as a last argument, Ð°dded keyword "%pattern" for alternate editor setup, Ð¸mplemented option to stop after first match, added CSV copy to clipboard, added menu option to always allow opening with either custom or default editor, misc bug fixes