LibreOffice is a free, open-source office suite that is used by tens of thousands of people across the globe. It’s also known as a successor of OpenOffice, and it offers feature-rich tools and a clean interface, which you can use to improve your productivity and unleash your creativity. LibreOffice suite comes with multiple applications, which make it one of the most diverse open-source suites in the market.
LibreOffice Writer is completely compatible with Microsoft Word, and that’s why many people prefer using it. However, things get really complicated when it comes to searching for a specific word or a combination of words in multiple documents. That’s why we have come up with this guide to present some software tools that allow you to solve this problem effectively.
By far the easiest and most effective way to search multiple LibreOffice files is SeekFast. It’s a user-friendly, reliable, and stable software tool that has a free version. Follow the three easy steps mentioned below to search your desired text in multiple LibreOffice files:
- Download, install, and launch SeekFast.
- Click on the “Browse” button and select the folder containing your LibreOffice files.
- Type the text you are searching in the search field and press "Enter."
All the results will be shown within a second.
If you’re a Mac user, SeekFast also offers a macOS version.
- SeekFast is a powerful tool that you can use to search tens of thousands of documents at once.
- It always shows the most relevant results on the top.
- It can search different combinations of words that are not next to each other.
- It allows you to view the results without opening the file.
- Apart from LibreOffice, you can use this tool to search many more formats such as Word, Excel, OpenOffice, PDF, RTF, TXT, LaTeX and others.
- Supports both Windows and macOS operating systems.
- If you want to search more than 50 documents in a single go, you’ll need to buy the paid version. Then you’ll be able to search up to 20,000 documents simultaneously.
2. Windows Search
On Windows you can use the Windows Search tool, which is integrated in the File Explorer. Windows comes with the Search indexing options that you can customize. Here’s how you can achieve it:
- Open the Control Panel, find "Indexing Options" and click on the "Advanced" button.
- Choose "File Type" tab and scroll down to "odt" file type. Make sure that it is checked.
- At the bottom of the windows, click on "Index properties and file contents."
- Click OK.
Now you’ll be able to perform searches in multiple LibreOffice files.
- No need to install any third-party application.
- You can set up additional filters, such as by file date and file size.
- You will need to make the appropriate settings in Windows.
- You cannot see the text that is found – you will see only the file names.
- You cannot search for different combinations of words.
3. Office Search
If you are looking for another free alternative, you may try Office Search. It is an open-source Windows application, which supports multiple file formats, including LibreOffice. You’ll need to follow the steps below to perform a search across multiple LibreOffice files:
- Download, install, and launch Office Search on your computer.
- Write the text that you want to search in the "What to search" field.
- Select the folder containing your LibreOffice (ODT) files (or other types of documents) by clicking on the "Browse" button.
- Click on the "Search" button to start the search process.
- In the results window you can see only the names of the files that contain your searched word. If you would like to see the text, you will have to double-click on the file name to open the file and search again inside it.
- The application is completely free.
- Supports various popular document formats.
- Easy to install and portable.
- You’ll need to open the file to see the text of the result.
- Does not offer search of combinations of words.
- Does not remember the last search folder.
PowerGREP is yet another tool that you can use to search for the desired text in multiple LibreOffice files. This tool is also well-suited to software developers because of its advanced features. You’ll need to follow the steps mentioned below to get started searching with PowerGREP.
- Download PowerGREP, install it on your computer, and open the program.
- In the search section, type the word or a combination of words you want to search.
- Select the folder containing the LibreOffice files that you want to search. You can select the format of the files as well.
- Press the "Search" button and the software will show you the results in a minute.
- Allows you to limit the search by file date and file format.
- You can copy, replace, and move files from the results.
- Offers portability – you can carry it on your USB drive.
- Allows you to split and merge files easily.
- Supports multiple file formats.
- PowerGREP has no free version, so you will have to buy the program, which costs about $160.
- It’s specially made for programmers, so the interface is complicated.
- Cannot search for words that are not next to each other in the text.
- Search is rather slow when you have a large number of files in the folder.
- Doesn’t support macOS.
- You’ll need to open the files to see the results.
Windows users generally prefer Office 365 and G Suite, so LibreOffice's market share for Windows is not large – less than 1%.
However, this is not the case for Linux users, who prefer free office suites such as OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Especially for Linux users, we have prepared the article How to Search Text in Multiple Files in Linux, in which you can find how to search your LibreOffice files.
There are a wide variety of office tools for Mac OS. Of the paid ones, Office 365 for Mac is most often used, and of the free ones, OpenOffice and LibreOffice. If you are a Mac user, you can find a lot of useful tips about searching LibreOffice files in the article How to Search Text in Your Documents on Mac.
I’d love to hear what you think about the tools presented in this article. If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know in the comments section below.