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Author Topic: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?  (Read 1015 times)

mouser

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It occurred to me that often during searching I am looking for some text X that is "near to" some text Y, and I don't know of a tool that can do that..
Where "near" is some configurable distance in bytes.

Does anyone know of such a multi-file search tool with this feature?

Tuxman

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2017, 03:59 PM »
grepWin with a regex.

mouser

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 04:31 PM »
I thought about using a regex, but it seems pretty painful way to do what i want.

I suppose one workaround might be a little tool that would let you specify 2 (or more) literal strings, and a distance value, and generate for you the regex search that will search for occurences of these literal strings within that distance (in any order).

Tuxman

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 04:33 PM »
I thought about using a regex, but it seems pretty painful way to do what i want.

Not really. /word1.{25}word2/ if your distance is 25 bytes.  :huh:
... Still less effort than writing a tool just for this which basically wraps a regex.  ;)

rjbull

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 04:53 PM »
FileLocator Pro (payware version of Agent Ransack) has a NEAR operator that works within a certain number of characters.

mouser

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 05:07 PM »
Quote
Not really. /word1.{25}word2/ if your distance is 25 bytes.

You also need to handle word2 before word1 -- and the situation where these words are literals that need regex escaping; plus a case where you might have more than 2 words (terms).

FileLocator Pro is an excellent tool (as is it's freeware little buddy, Agent Ransack, and i see there is another lite version) -- thanks for reminding me to check it out.

ital2

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 01:46 AM »
Reading this request, I had hoped that someone came by with a solution by one of the indexing search tools - rjbull  correctly mentioning FL Pro (50$) which does this indeed, but if you need this functionality for searching within gigabytes of data, FL isn't the right tool, except for special, not regular use cases, ie when you're willing to wait, and wait, and wait... in order to get half-way-neat search results, instead of then checking much too many search results visually, which time-wise would probably be the same nuisance but which is even less fun, for the following reason:

It's odd that nobody except for me ever mentioned this lack of functionality of some (/all???) search tools: When you have got some "hit list" (with or without indexed search), and when then you visually check the results, one by one, discarding the not-relevant hits by just reading their "context-line" in the hit-table, or needing to look into the preview for that, or even needing to open the respective original files before discarding those files/hits as irrelevant for your current purpose -

so when you do the triage relevant-not-relevant, you would want to discard the non-relevant hits from the hit list, by pressing the "delete" button, in order to visually narrow down that list to an acceptable format (original length perhaps 80 hits, length after narrowing the list down perhaps 12 hits) - some search tools I trialed did NOT react to the deletion button though, while it's evident that this would have been very important functionality.

So, what about the usual searchers here, X1, dtSearch, Copernic, Lokeen (any experiences about the general-search value of this originally OL specialist?), HyperSearch, Archivarius, SearchInform...?

What about InfoRapid, which is said to have "special strengths with plain text files" (which seems mouser's task here and often is the task at hand)?

As for FL, the Lite version is simply what originally had been "Agent Ransack"; the developer renamed it for acceptability reasons (weird, "aggressive" original name), so there aren't but 2 versions but (probably even today) under 3 denominations; it's correct that the FL Lite version doesn't have "vicinity search" - the developer wants to sell the paid version, understandably.

With FL (Lite AND Pro), you always must bear in mind the possible problem of them not finding special/European/Asian characters, depending on the file format; it's a similar problem for indexer-searchers which most of the time will not even those file formats in question while in fact, you would prefer them to at least index, even wrongly for the special characters, those files, in order for them to at least find/list search terms without special characters! It's odd, here again, that their developers don't even see the problem since of course, you would happily except ugly, foiled-up search results (the hit list containing command characters, too) but which correctly indicate the search target lines within "exotic" file formats, and let's be frank, for some of the indexer-searches, almost everything except MS Office, simple rtf and plain text is more or less "exotic" so that they don't even index, ie will never show any results.

That's the strength of FL (even Lite): It will trawl (almost?) anything, so that you will get some character jungle in the hit table, but that list will probably show you (also) what you will have been looking for, and that's not only the case with Amercian standard characters a...zA...Z, but you also CAN search for special characters IF you know how they are encoded within the file format in question.

I'm thinking of buying FL after all (newer versions didn't run with XP, so that problem isn't a problem for me anymore); unfortunately, the developer isn't that "responsive": I've been longing for FL to implement a "search within the search results" for years - that functionality missing had been the reason for me never buying that tool even when it ran with XP (there's always an XP-running free version available btw, but I think that's not pertinent for the readers of this forum).

Since it's evident that a non-indexing searcher is in heavy need for a "search within the results", when each search takes long minutes if the file body to be searched is big enough (the developer brings - imo quite weak - arguments for leaving this out, but if I accept to gratuitously wait minutes for search results if the tool is free, I do not do so if I have to pay more than 60$ incl. VAT) - and you cannot delete non-pertinent search results (as described above) in FL either.

Search-within-search isn't the same as vicinity search of course, but often, you could use either one or the other to get to your means. (This isn't true when the vicinity searched-for would be a very close one.)

anandcoral

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 06:22 AM »
Mouser,

I have used below quick steps to get this "near" type searches. Obviously both the "words" are in same line.
1. List all lines containing "word1" from all required files.
2. Search for "word2" in the listed lines and list those lines.

Manually look at the lines finally generated to find the one looking for.

I have found these steps quicker to perform than make the regex for it. Try it.

Regards,

Anand

ital2

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 07:38 AM »
Deleted by author, pseudocode was wrong. See spin-off: http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=44164
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 04:40 PM by ital2 »

AbteriX

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2017, 05:56 AM »
It occurred to me that often during searching I am looking for some text X that is "near to" some text Y, and I don't know of a tool that can do that..
Where "near" is some configurable distance in bytes.

Does anyone know of such a multi-file search tool with this feature?

For those who utilize TotalCommander anyway, they can use a Plugin to search
for text inside of file, here "FileContent 1.10" from Lefteous:

mouser.pngAnyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?

(I have modified the screenshot to show that search works in reversed order (system/zoom)  too)



If more info is wanted, just ask,.... but I have to leave for now.




HTH?

xtabber

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 10:08 PM »

I'm thinking of buying FL after all (newer versions didn't run with XP, so that problem isn't a problem for me anymore); unfortunately, the developer isn't that "responsive": I've been longing for FL to implement a "search within the search results" for years - that functionality missing had been the reason for me never buying that tool even when it ran with XP (there's always an XP-running free version available btw, but I think that's not pertinent for the readers of this forum).

Since it's evident that a non-indexing searcher is in heavy need for a "search within the results", when each search takes long minutes if the file body to be searched is big enough (the developer brings - imo quite weak - arguments for leaving this out, but if I accept to gratuitously wait minutes for search results if the tool is free, I do not do so if I have to pay more than 60$ incl. VAT) - and you cannot delete non-pertinent search results (as described above) in FL either.

Search-within-search isn't the same as vicinity search of course, but often, you could use either one or the other to get to your means. (This isn't true when the vicinity searched-for would be a very close one.)
From the FileLocator Pro Help file (version 8.2):

Sometimes it is preferable to limit subsequent searches to the result list or a subset of the result list. FileLocator Pro supports searching file subsets through two menu options:

File - Search Result List
Searches all files listed in the result list.

File - Search Current Selection
Searches all files that are currently selected in the result list.

Search within search works by creating a new search and pre-filling the Look In field with all the files to be searched.


FL Pro also now allows the creation of indexes.

mouser

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Re: Anyone know a file searcher than can search for X near Y?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2017, 10:25 PM »
I've used the free version but it may finally be time for me to fork out for the full version of File Locator Pro.