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I'm looking for a tool which can search/replace within file contents for a broad range of file types (i.e. it should, if possible, process the maximum possible number of file types like .txt, .sql, .xls, .doc, .r, .c, etc.). It should handle multiple files in multiple folders/subfolders. Just searching the file contents is not enough for me, it should also have the replacing capability.

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closed as off-topic by Jens Erat, random Jul 29 '14 at 4:14

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

grepWin (not to be confused with Windows Grep) can do this. It supports text-based search and replace, as well as regular expression search and replace:

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grepWin is free and open source.

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I like UltraEdit, but if money counts, you can try NoteTab Light.

Hope this helps.

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Can UltraEdit handle files like .xls, .doc? – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jan 15 '10 at 11:45
It will, but if you open a .doc or .xls in Notepad.exe, you will see some text is stored in ASCII, but you probably wouldn't want to edit those documents from a text editor. That said, if you needed to do a simple search and replace (change one name to another) it may work, but before working with .doc and .xls files I would run a test or run it on duplicates just in case editing the docs that way damages them. At the very least UltraEdit will give you a list of the docs with the search term and you can edit those hard to modify docs with their programs. – Scott McClenning Jan 16 '10 at 20:44

Windows Grep will probably do what you want. It searches and replaces text in files, including subdirectories.

The primary feature of Windows Grep is to search the contents of one or more files on your PC for occurrences of text strings you specify and display the results. Once found, it can replace matches with other strings.

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