How do I search my computer for words within a file?

  1. Nisko's Avatar
    Posts : 940
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    How do I search my computer for words within a file?


    Couldn't follow the instructions on Google. I'm looking for a file with the words "Richard" and "quality" in it. Should be simple - but not for me. Could someone please guide me (exactly) on how to perform this search with screenshots? By the way, this file could also be the results of a scan in which the words wouldn't show up - but I'm hopeful I can find it. Thank you.
      My Computer

  2. retexan599's Avatar
    Posts : 77
    Windows 10 Home Version 20H2
       #2

    Nisko said:
    Couldn't follow the instructions on Google. I'm looking for a file with the words "Richard" and "quality" in it. Should be simple - but not for me. Could someone please guide me (exactly) on how to perform this search with screenshots? By the way, this file could also be the results of a scan in which the words wouldn't show up - but I'm hopeful I can find it. Thank you.
    You need to set up your Indexing Options. It's in the Control Panel. And look for tutorials on this forum which have reference to 'Indexing'.
      My Computer

  3. Soapm's Avatar
    Posts : 264
    Win10
       #3

    I'll look for the tutorial but my problem with indexing is I've seen it take over a machine.
      My Computer

  4. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,636
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #4

    Nisko,

    Please explain exactly what this file is and where it is. Both are essential for giving you suitable guidance.

    Denis
      My Computer

  5. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,412
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #5

    Example of success:
    How do I search my computer for words within a file?-snap-2019-03-05-07.19.04.png

    What has to be true for such a search to succeed (using Windows search):
    a. Windows search has to be functioning
    b. The folder in which the document exists must be in selected as to be indexed by Windows search - that's specified in Indexing Options in the Control Panel.
    c. Content indexing must be enabled both on the document and in Indexing Options
    d. There must be an appropriate ifilter (indexing filter) available for the document types you want to index and search.

    What are the document types of interest?
    txt? pdf? doc? rtf? docx? etc
    @Soapm - disabling Windows search has become Windows mythology going back to XP. Only if there is disk corruption and e.g. chkdsk fails is it likely that Windows search will use noticeable resources.

    Normally indexing, when it does happen, backs off (pauses) at the least user activity. Once the selected folders are indexed, only changes there cause indexing activity.

    Here's a Cortana result, but note I had to select Documents to get a result from files.
    How do I search my computer for words within a file?-untitled.png

    However I can't use the syntax 'quality AND mercy' here.

    Tutorials:
    Search in File Explorer in Windows 10 | Tutorials
    - includes this list:

      My Computers

  6. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,412
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #6

    Indexing Options:
    How do I search my computer for words within a file?-snap-2019-03-05-07.31.57.png
    Indexed locations- your target document must be in these.
    Be careful not to change the defaults- or you could end up with a slow search of Settings e.g.

    How do I search my computer for words within a file?-snap-2019-03-05-07.33.19.png

    Here you can see an example of an ifilter- I have Sumatra installed as my pdf default reader, so text-based pdfs (not image-based) can be indexed.

    For example if you want to index .doc files, there must be a suitable ifilter installed. Office suites typically install these.
      My Computers

  7. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,437
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    In File Explorer search field, type the following to find all documents containing words Richard and quality in current folder and all its subfolders:

    content:Richard AND content:quality

    Type the following to find all documents containing word Richard or word quality:

    content:Richard OR content:quality

    Type the following to find all documents containing word Richard, excluding files which also contain word quality:

    content:Richard NOT content:quality

    Notice that logical operators (AND, OR, NOT) must be written in uppercase.

    Kari
      My Computer


 

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