Best way to search and grep a folder full of various filetypes at the same time?

sabot7726 used Ask the Experts™

I work in a 911 center where we have a ton of word docs, image files, pdfs, etc on all kinds of things supporting police, fire and medical services. We're looking for the best way to have instant access to the info we need.

The progression over time has gone from huge binders, to an internal sharepoint page, to something like baregrep and Fine and Run Robot ( which gave me the info I needed as fast as I could type it.

My problem now is, there are several users who are not especially computer savvy and we'd have a hard time getting them converted to using different programs for different things. Most are still using the outdated binders.

What I'm looking for is *one* app that someone could use where they could hit a hotkey, start typing and have the proper thing float to the top, whether it was the name of a file or somewhere in the contents of the file. If I could wave a magic wand, it would have the relevance and filename-searching features of FARR but combined with the grep-on-the-fly feature of baregrep.

It seems like something like this is already around but I have yet to find it.

If you guys had a ton of various filetypes and wanted to be able to instantly get to the relevant one you wanted, what would you use?

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Maybe this will help you finding the right direction?
I like X1  (see, but Google desktop's not bad either.


I tested out microsoft and google's desktop searches but they are very web centric and not a good solution for the people I work with.

Something like 320mph might work well if I could figure out how to make it also do the grep function.

I think in the end I'm asking for something very specific that others most likely don't have a use for and therefore no one has cared enough to make it yet. I'll probably have to go the custom route :(
I used an application called AppRocket which is now called SkyLight by CandyLabs.  It is basically the windows version of "Spotlight" for mac.  It catalogs files and contents to  your specifications and then gives you a simple hot key to bring up a box to type your query in.

If you want to do something a bit more "centralized" you can't get any better or more bang for your buck than a google mini appliance.  A google mini is basically a google search engine for your network.  It has a web based administrative panel that you use to configure where and what it searches and then you have it go out and spider things on a schedule.

Then all you need to do is either point people at the or put a search box on a frequently used web page internally and have them go at it.

You can also build in levels of access, where you have publicly search-able (public for your LAN) and then advanced access if you have sensitive files.   I use both of them in my org and we have great success.


Closest to what I ended up doing, thanks all!

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