If you are using Windows 7 or the newer version, then searching for a specific text, number or string of words among your text files is fairly easy.
Windows Explorer Search
The Windows Search option which can be found in top right corner of Windows Explorer, where you can see a search option where you just need to enter the text or other content you are looking for. You will have to open the folder or directory you want searched.
The search for text in multiple files is limited in Windows by default, but you can easily expand the types of files to be searched by rebuilding the files which are indexed in the search index.
This can be done by going to the Control Panel, and choosing the Indexing options.
Then click on Advanced.
You can them pick the types of files you want indexed and which you don’t by clicking on the extensions you want to be included in your next search. For Word, the extensions are doc, docx, docm, dotx, dotm and docb.
If you prefer that the files and their content in a particular directory or folder are indexed in the Search Index, then you can easily do that by navigating to a particular folder with Word or other files, and go to the organize menu option, and then click Folder and search options. Choose the Always search file names and contents button for this folder. Next time the index is rebuilt, this specific folder will be included in your text search.
Advanced Query Syntax (AQS)
In Windows 7 and newer version, the Advanced Query Syntax feature was added to the Search option. This means that similar to Google, you can customize your searches to certain types of files only, and omit other types from the search too. This is done by adding the file types you want to be included with a “+” and extension type or omitting them with “-“ and extension. You can also search for an exact phrase and string of words by adding quotation marks around the text in the Search box.
Another method to pick the type of files you want to search is click on the Kind or Type options which pop up every time you enter a new query in the search box of Windows Explorer.
You can search only files which have been modified on a particular day or in a particular period of time. Just add “datemodified” after your Search query, and a calendar will pop up, for you to choose the period to search.
Search with SeekFast
If you still find these Search options and methods confusing or inconvenient, you can try out a standalone search tool such as SeekFast, which offers many useful features. SeekFast displays all sentences containing your search terms. In addition, like search engines, it ranks most relevant results on the top of the list.
The tool is performing quick searches for text, numbers or phrases in multiple Word files as well as in other types of files, such as Excel, PDF, RTF, OpenOffice and others.
SeekFast is very easy to use and provides quick and exact search of all your files in a given folder without the need to keep indexing them. Today, more than 15,000 users from around the world use SeekFast.
Windows Grep is an universal tool for searching for a particular text and text string in text files and old format of word documents (doc). It also allows for easy and quick replacement of the text with another. Unfortunately, it does not support newer versions of MS Word files such as docx.
However, unlike SeekFast, it can not display sentences where the text was found, it only lists file names.