Office & Productivity Software forum


Need software to do a Text search through directories

by Jeffma--2008 / November 15, 2011 7:32 AM PST

I finally have to give up on a 21 year old program that has been the mainstay of my search tools. The program was called Magellan and you could point it at a folder and all the sub folders under it, and it would index every word in them.

I could then search by just typing a text string, and it would go to the first hit in the first document that matched the string in the folder and I can hit the Plus key and it just moves on to find the same string again in the current or another file keeps going until it is at the end of the directory.

Very handy when looking up technical info that has been saved over time.

I really need to find something that can do the same sort of search. Must have auto Word wrap on Txt files as well.

I don't need it to be free, I just need something that will do this.

I have looked at a number of text editors with search capability but can't seem to find anything close...they won't move from file to file or only show part of a document..not the whole thing ...stopping just at the string I have entered.

The old program can also see inside Zip files as if there were just another set of files in the folder, and will search through them, as well as any DOC or XLS (or many other formats...though 20 years old) and if it finds a match just bring up the document so I can read it.

Anyone know of a tool that will do this. I really want to start using Windows 7 64bit but am stuck with 32bit until I find a replacement for this.

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All Answers

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Might check with the folks at Avanquest about PowerDesk 8.
by VAPCMD / November 15, 2011 10:25 AM PST

It's what Windows Explorer should have been along with a big bunch of feature including a really great search capability....for files, for folders over the path, the drives and e-mail. You can capture, save and print a list of files,'s great in my experience

Believe you can download a free version up to PowerDesk 6 to check and or a current version with a trial period.

Give it a try and let us know.


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Magellan just works so much better
by Jeffma--2008 / November 18, 2011 12:59 AM PST

Tried Powerdesk 8, it just does single window text files, can't search through a folder like Magellan looking for text.

The major thing I like about Magellan (bought by Lotus then killed) is that you are always viewing inside the files, if you go to a folder it has a folder view window and a document view window. ...and you can view both, or either one with a quick toggle. If you are in file view only it just shows the file starting from the top. type a word or string, it goes to the first hit in that first file in the directory that matches that word/string.

Hit the Plus key it goes to the next, if the string isn't matched, it goes to the next document and then the next, automatically. It will stop at the next document in the folder that has that string. Very fast, and you always see the full document that matched, not just a few lines and you don't have to do a find in each document as it pops up to get to the string, it is automatic and moves from file to file.

If a file is zipped it just treats it as files in the same directory and searches each file inside the zip is searched and shown as if it were not in a zip.

If a file is in word perfect, or PDF or Word or Excel format (or many others) it can just display and search through it like a text file.

Magellan is a REALLY powerful program.

None of the other options mentioned work like this.

I can't believe someone has not seen and copied this type of interface, it is so user friendly.

Any more ideas? I really appreciate people trying to help.


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Have you ever thought
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 15, 2011 8:08 PM PST

of Windows own Indexing Service?

I know a few people here who use it extensively for searching though data such as technical information and data in files.

Under Windows 7 it is now called Windows Search and is a Service which I believe is enabled by default on a new machine. If yours is already on, it will scan in the background when the system is idle, slowly building up an index and catalog of data over a protracted period. It is a very powerful tool for those who need such.

Here's Microsoft's description of Windows Search,

And this is a "How to" which hopefully gives more guidance on what it does and how to use it to its fullest capabilities;

Does that help?


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Google Desktop Search
by KenHusveg / November 15, 2011 8:57 PM PST

Google Desktop Search works pretty good.

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by xl Q lx / November 18, 2011 3:20 PM PST

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