Performing Searches with Find in Files

Contents of Article





The Find in Files command FF is issued from the File Manager, and is used to search all currently displayed file names for a string value.  You can search a directory list, the Recent Files File List or any other File List.  

The FF command searches every file that is displayed in the current list.  You have a number of options to manage and selectively search File Lists.

If the FF command finds at least one matching file, it creates (or updates) the Found Files File List and then displays it.  

You can issue the FF command starting from the Found Files File List itself, to search files that were found by a prior FF command.  If you do this with different search strings, you will successively refine the list.  That is, if you issue FF ABC, then FF DEF, then FF XYZ, you will end up with a new Found Files File List that only shows files that contain all three strings ABC, DEF and XYZ.  No matter how many times you use the FF command, there is only one Found Files File List.

The Find in Files command FF uses a syntax similar to the editor FIND command.

Note: The new FF alias for the edit FIND command should not be confused with the File Manager Find in Files command FF, which is completely different, and has nothing to do with the Edit FIND and FF commands.


FF string [ start-col [end-col] ]  [ CHARS | WORD | PREFIX | SUFFIX ]  [ NF ]



Any string value accepted in an edit session is permitted here.  The string may be unquoted, or quoted without a string type, or may be quoted with a string type of C, T, X, P or R.  

Unquoted strings, or string quoted without a string type, will be treated as either C or T, depending on the Case C/T code that appears on the SPFLite status line.  The Case C/T code for the File Manager can be changed by the CASE C/T command, as in an edit tab.


Left column of a range (with end-column) within which the search-string value must be found. If no end-column operand, then the search-string operand must be found starting in start-col.


Right column of a range (with start-column) within which the search-string value must be found.


Specifies the ‘search context' for the string, the same as is done for the FIND command in the editor.  

If not specified, a CHARS search is done if the status line shows C or T, and a WORD search is done if the status line shows C W or T W.  These two defaults can be set by the FIND CHARS and FIND WORDS commands, as in an edit tab.


If the NF option is used, a search is made for files that do not have the string present on any line.


Let's say you have three files in a Named Favorites File List called PROJECT, and you want to know which files have the string ABC in them.  Click on the File Manager tab and then on the line with PROJECT File List.  You will see a display something like this:

Assume that only FILE2.TXT has the string you are looking for.  You would issue a File in Files command:

       FF ABC

You will see a popup window while the search is going on.  When finished, the popup will go away, and you will see a display like this, as SPFLite now displays the Found FIles File List:


You can now use the Found FIles File List to issue any File Manager line command, or click on the name to open the file for editing.

Created with the Personal Edition of HelpNDoc: Full-featured multi-format Help generator