I have someone that has a laptop several years old. They want to switch to a new laptop, and have not been very good about using their user home directory. I'm looking for some tool that will traverse their drive(s), identify all documents with various configurable extensions (with an initial recommended set) and allow moving / copying right from the interface. Sounds like explorer, right? But maybe something a tiny bit smarter.

closed as off-topic by Twisty Impersonator, Máté Juhász, Ramhound, Wes Sayeed, n8te Dec 5 '17 at 6:42

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  • 1
    1. software recommendation questions are off-topic here. 2. If somebody replaces a computer, he needs a complete backup (maybe excluding Windows folder, and program files), and not rely on document types. – Máté Juhász Dec 4 '17 at 13:43
  • "Software" could be categorized as ANY solution that is: 1. determined by hand or command line to work, 2. Scripted so that it can work with one click, and then perhaps, 3. Compiled into an EXE. Yes, "software recommendations are "off topic". However, I personally consider ANY question here on this site to fit that definition of off topic, once you think about what software actually is. START will figuring out WHAT ANY script of compiled "software" would have to do, not WHICH PACKAGED and NAMED "software". – DaaBoss Dec 4 '17 at 14:24

You need some search utility with option for using regular expressions. Personally, I use Agent Ransack.

Then, you need to enable regular expressions:

enter image description here

And add one of them in search bar:


This one will find any docx, txt and markdown (md) files.

enter image description here

  • What if he has also older Word documents (.doc)? What if he has also Excel files, will he loose them? And if he has received something created in OpenOffice? Or a drawing in PhotoShop? CAD? I don't think it's possible to create a comprehensive list of document extensions. – Máté Juhász Dec 4 '17 at 13:45
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    @MátéJuhász Not a big problem. If it's not very convenient to have one long regex, just create several ones - one for docs (doc, docx, txt...), one for images (jps, png...), one for executable (exe, msi). Anyway, I don't see any alternative ways here. – john c. j. Dec 4 '17 at 13:49
  • My issue is not the length of the regex, but how you know what type of documents are there on a computer? – Máté Juhász Dec 4 '17 at 13:53
  • @MátéJuhász Well, it's on a responsibility of user. Yes, it takes some time to recollect which file types you may need. I agree, it's not very convenient. – john c. j. Dec 4 '17 at 14:04
  • "Well, it's on a responsibility of user" - the question is about finding a tool, which can identify those document, not to suggest some workaround which is very difficult (impossible) to use perfectly. – Máté Juhász Dec 4 '17 at 14:08

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