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We are working on a project that is quite big, and its stored in an SVN repository under different folders with many files all over the place. Quite often, it is hard to locate the document that has a certain keyword or phrase.

Does anyone know of any program that will generate and index the metadata of all the files that are in these documentation folders? (most filetypes are: xls, doc, ppt).

Windows Search and Google Desktop could be an option but that would generally index the whole hard drive, emails, etc and thats probably much more than what we need and would not be suited for something more folder specific.

Example of what im looking for: a program or webpage where i enter "John Doe" and it will show me all files in MyProjectFolder/ that contain the keyword "John Doe". This of course will already be indexed somewhere so searches should be almost instantaneous.

Is there such a tool or i am asking too much?

Thanks in advance!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Both Windows search and Google Desktop allow you to configure which folders are indexed.

The article Three free desktop-search alternatives face off also introduces a third option which may have a more intuitive interface: Copernic.

[Windows Search] As you can see, every indexable location (including mail) has a check box next to it. "Local Disk" may be expanded and each sub-folder has a check box:

alt text

[Google Desktop] Add each folder you want to index to the "Search these locations" section, ensuring all other folders are removed. (Not sure if this will work...)

alt text

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I am assuming you're using Windows, so it sounds like what you want is Grep for Windows.

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i stated clearly i want something that indexes the contents of my files, i do not want to have to grep all files (over 1 GB) every time im looking for a keyword and wait 10 minutes until its done. – nmuntz May 17 '10 at 14:28
grep is 90% there (it'll find the files) but it doesn't use an index. – Joshua May 17 '10 at 14:29

I use a tool during my textmate session that accomplish a part of what you need: Ack in project I think that combining its output with other tools, maybe creating a script, It can achieve something close to what you need.

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The X1 desktop search was really good, mostly because of its user interface.

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