Main menu - File - Search... - tab Location


Activating the menu item "File → Search..." or the shortcut "Ctrl+F" opens the "Search files/folders" dialog.


Under the tab "Location" search criteria can be entered concerning:



File name

In the combo box "File name" the name (including extension) of the files and/or folders to be searched can be entered. The following possibilities are offered:

  • Manual editing
    The file name can be typed directly.
  • Using wildcards
    Wildcards can be used at any position of the name. The wildcard "*" represents  zero or more alphanumeric characters.
    "?" represents one alphanumeric character.
  • Searching different files
    Separated by ";" can be searched for different items. Example: "*.doc;a*.docx;*.txt"
  • History

After activating the button a selection list is shown, with the last inputs in this field. Clicking a row in this selection list overwrites the contents of the input field with the contents of the clicked row. This is only possible, if the option "Save history" is checked and the command "Clear history" was not activated most recently.

  • Using regular expressions
    If the option "Advanced mode" is checked, the option "Regular expression" is shown. If this option is checked, the content of the field "File name" is interpreted as a regular expression.

If the field "File name" is empty when the search is activated, all files and folders are listed that are found according to the entries under "Search file content" and "Search in".

The field "File name" can be used also to enter other search criteria. Examples are found in chapter "Main menu → File → Search...→ Examples".

Search file content

The number of found files can be further limited by searching a file content.

  • Containing text
    The string entered in the combo box "Containing text" is searched (considering the options below) in the found (according to the "File name") files.
    • Manual editing
      Any string can be typed directly
    • History
      After activating the button a selection list is shown, with the last inputs in this field. Clicking a row in this selection list overwrites the contents of the input field with the contents of the clicked row. This is only possible, if the option "Save history" is checked and the command "Clear history" was not activated most recently
  • Case sensitive
    If this option is checked, the string of the field "Containing text" has to be found in the analyzed file considering case sensitivity.
  • Whole words only
    If this option is checked, the string of the field "Containing text" has to be found in the analyzed file as a whole word (not as only a substring of a word).
  • Exclude files containing the text
    If this option is checked, only files are found that do not contain the string of the field "Containing text".
  • Regular expression
    If the option "Advanced mode" is checked, the option "Regular expression" is shown. If this option is checked, the content of the field "Containing text" is interpreted as a regular expression.
  • HEX-mode
    If the option "Advanced mode" is checked, the option "HEX-mode" is shown. If this option is checked, the content of the field "Containing text" is interpreted as a hexadecimal number.
  • Encoding
    If If the option "Advanced mode" is checked, the option "Encoding" is shown. If this option is checked, after clicking the field "Encoding" an encoding method can be selected. This makes only sense, if the "Contained text" should be found in files encoded with a method known by the user.

Search in

Under "Search in" can be defined, in which folders should be searched for files and folders.

  • Folders
    The combo box "Folders" is active only, if the option "Search in selected files/folders" is not checked. In the combo box "Folders" the name of folders to be searched in can be entered. The following possibilities are offered:
    • Manual editing
      The folder name can be typed directly.
    • Searching in different folders
      Separated by ";" can be searched in different folders. Example: "C:\Program Files (x86)\FreeCommander XE;C:\Windows".
    • History
      After activating the button a selection list is shown, with the last inputs in this field. Clicking a row in this selection list overwrites the contents of the input field with the contents of the clicked row. This is only possible, if the option "Save history" is checked and the command "Clear history" was not activated most recently
    • Selecting folders
      After activating the button a menu is shown, that helps to insert folders in the field "Folders". The following menu items are offered:
      • Browse...
        After activating this menu item the standard dialog "Browse for folder" is opened. Selecting a folder and confirming it with "OK" adds the folder (separated by ";") to the end of the actual entry in the field "Folder".
      • All local drives
        After activating this menu item the current entry in the field "Folder" is replaced by the list of local drives (separated by ";").
      • All drives
        After activating this menu item the current entry in the field "Folder" is replaced by the list of all drives (separated by ";"). "All drives" includes the local drives, the CD drives, the USB drives and the network drives.
      • Active panel: paths from all tabs
        After activating this menu item the current entry in the field "Folder" is replaced by the list of all paths (separated by ";") that are assigned to the tabs of the active panel.
      • Inactive panel: paths from all tabs

After activating this menu item the current entry in the field "Folder" is replaced by the list of all paths (separated by ";") that are assigned to the tabs of the inactive panel.

      • Paths from all tabs
        After activating this menu item the current entry in the field "Folder" is replaced by the list of all paths (separated by ";") that are assigned to the tabs of both panels.
  • Search in selected files/folders
    If this option is checked, it will not be searched in the folders specified in the field "Folders", but in the files and folders selected in the active panel of the FreeCommander main window. On opening the "Search files/folders" dialog this option is checked automatically, if more than one file and/or folder is selected in the active panel of the FreeCommander main window.
  • Search in folders up to level
    If this option is checked, it will not only be searched in the folders specified in the field "Folders", but also in their subfolders.
    • Number of levels
      In the filed "Number of levels" can be defined how many sub levels should be searched in.
      "Number of levels" = 0: the folders of all sub levels are searched in.
  • Search in archives
    If this option is checked, it will also be searched in archive files for folders and files (and their contents). This is possible only, if the extension of the archive file is assigned to at least one (checked) archiver under the menu item "ToolsSettingsArchivePlugins" in the tab "WCX". Under the tab "Filter" (in the "Search files/folders" dialog) the search in archive files can be limited to archive files with specified extensions.
  • Search in Office xml (docx, xlsx, odt)
    MS-Office xml-files in docx-, xlsx-, odt-files will be searched for the containing text.