Hddb: Search Done Quickly


Hddb is another option for those seeking to have a lightweight search utility. Hddb stands for Hard disk database and similar to Locate32 in that it builds a database and uses it to present results. The program interface is similar to Everything however.

At first start a database is built and this takes seconds only. There is an option to rebuild the database any time and also to clean it as if to start over. Folders can be set to be ignored by Hddb by adding an empty file called _hddbignore in them. In Tools —> Options —> Database there is an option to exclude files by name. The search itself supports searching paths (use \ to start a search) and using wild cards. Probably the most notable feature of Hddb is the Named Searches accessed via the Search menu. This narrows down the search to file, folder, picture, executable, office, book, video, audio, archive, code or text formats. For example a search for “@video milan” returns only video files which have milan in their title. These can be configured to add or include other file types and extensions.

Hddb has options to show folder sizes and to show file info via a tool tip, see the Results List tab of the program options to enable these features.

The program remembers recent searches. The non portable version of the program can add itself to the system’s right click context menu. Hddb is available in exe and portable versions for both 32 and 64 bit machines.

dnGREP: Content Search And Replace For Windows


In an earlier review  for FileSearchy commenter smaragdus wondered out loud if there are any utilities that support searching in epub (and fb2) files. Indeed the search for such a tool seems to confirm that it is a rare feature. I stumbled upon dnGREP, however.

dnGREP searches inside most text files and some like pdf  require a plugin which come with the program and reside in the program’s folder. It integrates with the right click menu, can search plain text, Word documents, inside archives and more. It wasn’t clear at first if the latter includes epub files, then I found a support question or feature request that was answered:

You can enable this by modifying C:\Program Files\dnGREP\Plugins\dnGREP.Engines.Archive.plugin file.
Just add epub to the list of extensions.

The result can be seen in the screenshot above. dnGREP provides a a preview and highlights results, supports regular expressions and xpath. The user can also filter the search (icon to the far right of the Search in section) to restrict the search to specific path or type of files. Replace is supported and the >> button to the right of the Replace button provides custom actions such as Copy files, Move files, Delete files and File names to clipboard, Save as CSV and CSV to clipboard to copy the result file names for use elsewhere. The bookmark saves search queries for the future.

The program’s options includes such settings as Show file path in results, Show results tree expanded and Show result lines in context X before and X after.

Version 2.7.1 beta 2 used for this review, version 2.6.3 stable is also available for both 32 and 64 bit systems. Unfortunately, because it is usually better but difficult to avoid, dnGREP requires the .NET framework 4.0. dnGREP can be launched via the command line.

FileSearchy For File Names And Content


FileSearchy is a new beta software that searches and indexes Windows drives. It can also search in files including Office and pdf formats and present highlighted results. It features a tabbed interface to keep multiple searches open.

FileSearchy indexes attached drives automatically unless this is unchecked in its options. The program has an Instant mode to show search results as you type but the Advanced mode – wait until Enter is clicked – is the default. Also by default is FileSearchy’s use of a built-in pdf converter that it uses to look in pdf files.


The program interface is divided into searching for file names with support for substrings, dates, size, case restriction, whole words and regular expressions. There is support for ; to separate words or folders and ! to exclude them. FileSearchy supports a whole set of regular expression patterns to narrow down searches. Searches can be restricted to directories as well. For the In directory and In content options the right most buttons allow the user to exclude folders or words from the search via a pop up window.

FileSearchy runs on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. As of this 0.9 beta version I was not able to browse to a folder when using the In directory option, the program would browse to a file instead.

Wise JetSearch: Freeware Search Tool

Wise JetSearch (Version: 1.22.63) is a freeware search tool that searches a local machine and attached drives. It starts after a short delay as it scans for local drives.

Wise JetSearch

Input a keyword, if necessary include wild cards (* or ?), press enter and it will find the matching results within seconds. The results can be sorted by the usual modified date, path, size and name. Right click on any result to open it, open its containing folder, copy it, copy its path or copy its directory.

The program can be minimized or even closed but still have the ‘Quick Search’ auto hide bar remain on the desktop for faster access to it (see image.) WiseJetHelp.exe in addition to its own WiseJetSearch.exe process belong to this quick search option.

Wise JetSearch works on Windows XP and newer and there is a portable version available as well.

Quick Search: Freeware File Search

Quick Search (Version: is a simple and fast freeware tool to list and search for files on a local machine and storage devices attached to it such as USB keys or external hard drives. It is very fast with all files indexed within seconds. Its interface is clean and straight forward. It starts with a floating search bar or its non-full mode, it can be expanded or maximized to show the program window and all its options and menu.

Quick Search

Find or filter for a file as you type and either search within all files or narrow down the results from Show All to any one of Shortcuts, Folders (and files within them), Documents, Pictures, Videos or Music. Other filters can be added via its settings by telling Quick Search which file extensions should belong to the filter.

Quick Search

Any list of files can be exported to a txt file and the list can be arranged by type, date modified, size and name. Files can also be selected to copy, cut or paste. They files are also clickable, Quick Search opens their containing folder.

The settings has an option – on by default – to show and hide the full program window by clicking the Ctrl button twice.

Quick Search should run on all Windows versions.

DtPad: Interesting Freeware Text Editor

DtPad (Version: is a text editor with an interesting and potentially useful set of features.


The file menu can open a new document and paste the contents of the clipboard into it automatically. It can open a web page source by typing the address inside DtPad. There are options to save file(s) in zip format, save one as pdf or get or save documents in Dropbox using DtPad’s internal browser.

The edit menu can append text to existing files and ‘swap’ highlighted text with the contents of the clipboard. One can select text by multiple rows too.

The view menu is the place to launch the command prompt, hide or show an annotation panel (see image), launch a hexadecimal viewer/editor or a Windows hosts file editor.

DtPad also has a session feature that is not just save or restore but also can list ‘lost’ (those that were part of a saved session but may not exist anymore) files and more.

The search feature is a powerful one, options like highlight results are there so are number of occurrences and  find or replace last and next occurrence. All come with regular expressions support. DtPad can also look for patterns like duplicate rows, capitalized words, html tags, IP addresses and email addresses. Not forgetting searching selected or highlighted words using google or wikipedia.

The actions menu is where tabs (different open files) can be merged and compared, indentation added, rows moved up and down, case converted, html converted to text and vice versa, space converted to tab, date inserted and lots more. Other interesting features like validating html and translating selected text too.

Options is the menu to toggle word wrap, choose file encoding and font plus export or import DtPad’s settings.

Tools is the place for launching external programs. Notepad and Internet Explorer are available by default but others can be added.

DtPad’s side panel has a notes section to keep text or notes that don’t belong in the files themselves, a tab explorer to move or sort open files, a file explorer to navigate and browse the system, a clipboard monitor, a calculator, a calendar, and another location for searching inside files.

The program settings (Options—>Settings) include options for the looks and feel of the program and others to add DtPad to the Send To, Open With and Windows 7 jump list menus.

DtPad requires Microsoft Windows XP or newer and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4. It is available in a portable version.

Search My Files Is Search Unlimited

SMF or Search my Files is as its name indicates a search utility and a good one at that but the developer’s site mentions ‘duplicate files finder’ first. Of course that is not important as SMF does both and is also a copy and erase tool.

After an initialization during startup one finds a busy interface. It presents one of the most number of options and checkboxes seen in one window. A search begins by choosing the desired search path in the tree and optionally including network drives. The search filters are then checked and include the common date modified, created and others, additionally one can use the ‘pre-filter files to search’ button to narrow these filters down further by size, attribute and specific date. Then come the almost dizzying number of options available for the results. The search results can include almost everything about the files or folders, for example if ‘file islocked’, ‘filepath is ansi’ or its ‘associated exe’ (see image).

Search my Files

The search itself is available for both files and folders and contents, with search string regex and wild card support. A check mark activates the duplicate search feature.

The progress tab is visible when an operation is in progress and presents information about the directory being searched, number of files being worked on and a live match or results count.

The show report window provides comprehensive information and is configurable to show as many as the information collected as possible, in columns (see image below). As SMF is SQLite based a lot can be done with the results. Right click on the results grid to send to clipboard, delete, copy, open with, create a zip file of and many more. SMF features third party tools to view files in a hex editor, split them using HJSplit or to rename them.

Search my Files

The results tab also shows some of the other features available such as export results to HTML or XML or save them in a SMF database.

The settings tab has options to set CPU priority for the program, add IrfanView integration and more. There is also a pick of two file erase methods but, as with the copying feature, it is not very clear where the files to be deleted are chosen. There is really no indication if the results window (via right click) is the only place  or not.

Search my Files is open source, should work on XP and newer versions of Windows.

AstroGrep, Open Source Search

AstroGrep is a simple search tool. It searches within files for matching text. The program supports regular expressions to search for near matches, it also supports searching within one of several files types only and has options to match whole words and within subfolders. It presents a preview of the line containing the match with the option to show line numbers and also a configurable number of lines above and below where the match is located. The Negation option reverses the search where the results are files that don’t have a match in them. AstroGrep also remembers recent paths and search queries.


Program’s options (Tools menus) include file type exclusion and specifying an external text editor (default is Notepad) that will open when double clicking on a search result. A ‘plugin’ section enables searching within Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) files.

AstroGrep is open source, requires Windows XP, Vista or 7 and .Net Framework v3.5 SP1.

Makagiga: Multi-Featured Free Open Source Utility


Makagiga has a simple interface where it attempts to provide an everything at your finger tips type of experience. It comes with widgets to populate its window. The widgets include To-do, Notes, Calendar and Internet Search. Additional widgets can be downloaded (Edit—>Get More Widgets) and include the likes of a Digital Clock and Countdown timer, among others. Somewhat confusing it also supports plugins and no real distinction is made with its widgets. A separate menu (Tools—>Add or Remove Plugins) and window is used to download and use plugins such as an advanced text editor but then to get even more plugins one can click the Get More Plugins link on this same Add or Remove Plugins window. These additional plugins include such things as a chart generator, a Wolfram|Alpha query and others.

The ability to subscribe to RSS feeds comes already built-in and therefore Makagiga can be used as a news feed as well.

Makagiga requires Java and Windows XP at a minimum. Separate portable (use the run-portable.exe file) and Linux versions are available as well.

MemPad: Freeware That Is A More Than A Note Organizer


MemPad calls itself a text outliner. It is more precisely a freeware 140KB download which is a notes organizer, one which stores notes in a tree structure.

It offers basic features for fonts and colors, auto save – in minutes increments and/or automatically as text is entered – search (and replace) across all notes and the ability to export notes. It does have some more advanced features like internal linking between notes (highlight and right click to create links) and linking to system files or programs which can be used to launch anything from web links to executables from within MemPad.

With a F6 click (or Page —>Diary Page) MemPad creates a diary page for the current day and therefore it can be used as a structured diary program. It is also possible to move nodes and child nodes or pages up and down to restructure the tree. Additionally a page can be locked to provide temporary protection against accidental edits, a sort of read only format. It is also possible to encrypt a page to keep it away from prying eyes.

MemPad can do more via the Lookup.txt and Launcher.txt files found initially in its Examples folder. The chevron button on the far right of MemPad’s toolbar can be turned into a launcher by populating the Launcher.txt file with statements like Calculator;calc.exe for example – to launch the system calculator. Lookups, done via right clicking highlighted text, can be added with entries like Wikipedia;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/$ for example – to look up the highlighted word in Wikipedia. Note that to use the lookups and the launcher the Lookup.txt and Launcher.txt files must be moved from the Examples folder to Mempad’s root folder.

MemPad is more powerful than its size or ‘text outliner’ description may indicate. Its help file has more, from how to modify text margins and date formats to how to more efficiently work with its launcher and lookup features.