How to Search Text in Multiple Word Files


1. SeekFast
2. File Explorer
3. PowerGrep
4. Agent Ransack
5. DocFetcher
6. Conclusion



Microsoft Word is the world's most widely-used document creation and processing program, with a market share of 42%, followed by Google Docs and Microsoft PowerPoint. The main file formats of Word documents are docx and doc.


When you work with a large number of Word documents, finding specific text among them becomes quite difficult, unless you use special software. In Windows 10, you can use the capabilities of File Explorer, but searching with tool has a lot of inconveniences.


Let's look at the top 5 options for searching text in multiple Word documents.



1. SeekFast


The easiest and most convenient tool for searching text in multiple Word files is SeekFast. With this tool, you can quickly and efficiently search for a combination of words or phrases in your documents, and the results are sorted by relevance, similar to search on Google, Bing, and other search engines.


Search Word documents with SeekFast


SeekFast has a free and paid version. With the free version you can search in up to 50 files, and with the paid version up to 20,000 files at a time. The personal license for the paid version of SeekFast costs $47.


Downloading and installing SeekFast from the Download page takes only a few seconds.


You can see how to use SeekFast directly from File Explorer from the screenshot below.


Start SeekFast from File Explorer


The biggest advantages of the program are:

  • You can search thousands of documents in just seconds.
  • You can search for combinations of words that are not next to each other in the text, similar to search engines.
  • The most relevant results are displayed first.
  • You can see all documents and sentences that contain the searched words.
  • You can view the text of the document without opening the file itself by clicking on the sentence in the results list.
  • You can open the document with one click.
  • You can start SeekFast directly from File Explorer
  • It supports all widely used document types, including MS Word, Excel, PDF, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, LaTeX, RTF, and text files.
  • It supports files of all popular programming languages ??such as C, C ++, C #, Java, PHP, Python, Perl, JavaScript, and many more.


Disadvantages of SeekFast:

  • In the free version you can search in up to 50 files at a time (up to 20,000 files in the paid version).



2. File Explorer


File Explorer is the built-in Windows program for working with files. The File Explorer search engine is primarily designed to search in file and folder names, and the search in texts of the documents is limited to certain file types and must be set up in the settings.


To make the necessary settings to search in the text of the files, follow these steps:



1. Open the folder you want to search in File Explorer, select the View menu and click the Options button


File Explorer show search options



2. In the window that opens, click on the Search tab, select "Always search file names and contents" and click "OK"


File Explorer choose to search file names and contents


After adjusting this setting, Windows will start indexing the texts of the documents in the folder you selected and its subfolders. When the indexing is complete, you will be able to search by typing the search words in the upper right corner of File Explorer.


Keep in mind that searching the contents of your Word documents with File Explorer is at a very basic level and has some drawbacks:

  • You do not see the text found.
  • You cannot search for combinations of words.
  • You cannot sort the results by relevance.
  • The search is very slow when you have a large number of files.


You can see more information on the various options offered by File Explorer in our article for searching files in Windows 10 and 11.


3. PowerGrep


PowerGrep is a popular document search program developed by the Thai company Just Great Software. As the name of the program itself suggests, it has features similar to the grep command in Linux. This means that along with searching by words and phrases, you can also use regular expressions. PowerGrep supports various document types such as Word, Excel, PDF, OpenOffice, and more.


Search Word files with PowerGrep


PowerGrep does not have a free version. A license to use the program costs about $170 (139 EUR).


The most significant advantages of the program are:

  • You can use regular expressions.
  • You see the sentences containing the searched words.
  • Wide range of search options.


Disadvantages of the program include:

  • No free version.
  • You cannot search for combinations of words.
  • Complex interface.
  • Slow search in folders with large number of files.
  • You cannot open the files directly from the results screen.
  • You cannot see the context of the sentences found.



4. Agent Ransack


One of the oldest tools for searching text in documents is Agent Ransack, created in 2000 by the British company Mythicsoft. The program supports office documents such as Word, Excel, and OpenOffice. There is a free Lite version with limited functionality and a paid version. A standard license for the paid version costs $60.


Search Word documents with Agent Ransack


Advantages of Agent Ransack:

  • Simple and easy to use interface.
  • There is a free version.
  • Supports regular and Boolean expressions.
  • Displays sentences containing the searched words.


The main disadvantages are:

  • Does not support word combinations โ€“ you can only search for single words.
  • Searching is slow and time consuming for folders with many files.
  • You must click on each file in the result windows to see the sentences containing the searched words.



5. DocFetcher


The last alternative we will introduce is DocFetcher - a free open source program that also has a paid version โ€“ DocFetcher Pro. This tool also has different filters โ€“ you can search by file format, maximum or minimum document size, and location.


Search Word documents with DocFetcher


Although it has a large set of customizations, DocFetcher is similar to File Explorer.


6. Conclusion


In this article, we presented the best software tools for searching Word files in Windows. Many of these tools are not available for Linux and Mac OS, so we have prepared a separate article for each of these operating systems.

Linux users can view our article describing how to search in files on Linux, where you can see the appropriate search tools, some of which can search in Word files.

If you're a Mac user, you'll find a practical guide to the best text search tools in your Word documents in the How to Search on Mac article.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. Which of these tools works best for you? Is there anything I forgot to mention?

Your opinion is very important to me, so I will be happy if you post even a quick comment in the section below.

About the author
Dimitar Stamenov
Dimitar is a software developer and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in software development and online marketing.
  • I have only recently discovered SeekFast. As a manuscript editor in the publishing field, I consider it a godsend. To explain, all of the books I work on are made up of multiple files (chapters, typically). In checking source citations against the bibliography (a major task for any editor), for which I use several macro tools, SeekFast speeds up the process and fills in the gaps of what the other tools cannot address. In checking consistency of spelling and phrases across multiple files, SeekFast is equally a blessing. An immense timesaver. And working efficiently is always imperative in the publishing field. Never mind the convenience of its (SeekFast’s) enabling a quick search across countless publications for a particular (say) source or spelling.

  • Yacov says:

    Seek Fast is great software. I use it to search words in word documents,

  • Anas Zarka says:

    Many thanks for this very informative and clear article.

  • Smit says:

    How about Anytxt? I am using it.

    • Dimitar Stamenov says:

      Hi Smit,

      Many applications perform text searches in documents, Anytxt being one of them. Most of these applications perform indexing of your files, which, however, takes time and resources of your computer.

      When developing SeekFast, we designed it to avoid indexing so that your computer can be free and, at the same time, you can search fast. Also, SeekFast has many valuable features through which we aim to make the application as helpful as possible for your work.

      You can read more about SeekFast features at

  • Vic says:

    Hi Dimitar

    SeekFast looks good but is limited to only 50 files and I need to search 600-ish and as I only do this very rarely it’s not worth the license.
    Unfortunately, you don’t say how many file the others can do with their free versions. FYI

    • Dimitar Stamenov says:

      Hi Vic,
      Thank you for sharing your opinion! If SeekFast is doing a good job for you, I can offer you participation in our partnership program, whereby you will receive a free personal license.

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