"Search and Replace across text files."
Anyone who has ever had to use a word processor on a regular basis will undoubtedly be familiar with the 'find and replace' function. Now imagine that function working across multiple files instead of just single documents and you'll start to have an idea what TextCrawler is all about.
The latest version of TextCrawler supports Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista as well as 7 and utilizes the .NET framework. Installing it should be fairly simple and there's no reason to worry about any additional software packaged along.
Although the TextCrawler interface looks fairly clean at first glance, a closer inspection will reveal just how many options there are.
The top section of the interface provides the 'input' options while right below it is the 'find and replace' selection. Below both of these are the buttons to initiate the search and finally there are two boxes where the results will be generated.
It may take a little bit of time to become accustomed to the interface, but it is relatively intuitive in nature.
The truth is that TextCrawler is a very accomplished software. Though it performs a simple task, the range of features that it provides makes it both versatile and thorough.
Not only are you able to find and replace certain words and phrases, but you are also able to use regular expressions, perform a 'fuzzy' search, and carry out batch find and replace processes.
Some of these features do have a little bit of a learning curve (particularly figuring out how to use regular expressions) but fortunately the included help files provide ample guidance, as does the regular expression tester.
Even when handling large numbers of files and folders, TextCrawler carries out its task very quickly. All of this is even more impressive when taking into account the fact that it is freeware.
Frankly speaking, the only weakness in TextCrawler is that the file formats it is able to handle are limited. Most notably, TextCrawler is unable to handle *.doc files, which are probably the most popular type of document.
The formats that are supported by TextCrawler are: *.ini, *.txt, *.html, *.php, *.js, *.bat, and *.css.
Because of this drawback (and based on the list of supported formats), TextCrawler is generally a more useful tool for programmers, web developers and so on, as opposed to writers or others who use word processors.
Generally there are very few alternatives that perform the same task as TextCrawler, but the two that come close are Funduc Search and Replace and TexFinderX. The former isn't freeware however, and the latter doesn't have anywhere near the amount of options that TextCrawler provides.
Barring its limitations in dealing with some of the more popular document file formats, TextCrawler is the ideal find and replace tool. There isn't much that it can improve upon and if you're looking for a way to find and replace even the most loosely defined strings of text across multiple different files and folders - TextCrawler should be your first and only port of call.
Requirements: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 (Installer will check)
What's new in this version: -Various fixes.
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