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Finding text files with matching string including wildcards (Win10)

Posted on 2016-11-15
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Last Modified: 2016-11-15
Win10:

I have a directory with a bunch of HTML files. I need to identify any file with next matching a specific token.

I can use the legacy FIND command from the command prompt e.g.

FIND "My Target String" *.HTML

but I need also to find "My+Target+String", "My-Target-String" etc.

Is there a variant of the FIND command that will support wildcards e.g.

FIND "My?Target?String" *.HTML

I'll gladly accept either a command line (maye PowerShell?) or Windows (GUI) solution.

Thanks,
Steve
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Question by:Stephen Kairys
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Expert Comment

by:James Bilous
ID: 41888215
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Assisted Solution

by:oBdA
oBdA earned 500 total points
ID: 41888222
findstr.exe supports something vaguely resembling regular expressions; the "." stands for any single character:
findstr.exe /i /r /c:"My.Target.String" *.html

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If the target string shows up repeatedly in a single file, and you only want the file names, paste this into a command prompt:
for %a in (*.html) do @(findstr.exe /i /r /c:"My.Target.String" "%a" >NUL&if not errorlevel 1 echo %a)

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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 41888226
OBDA - Trying your solution now on a test fileset. Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 41888232
Follow-up:
I can't seem to get HELP for FINDSTR from the PowerShell prompt per the below.

PowerShell HELP problem
Accordingly, can I assume the /i option means "ignore case"?

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:James Bilous
ID: 41888237
findstr is a DOS command, not powershell. If you want to use powershell you should use gci (get-childitem) like I suggested.
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 41888238
Since you were using find, the commands I posted assume the Command prompt as well, not Powershell.
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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 41888240
All,
Going for FINDSTR, seems simpler. Thanks for the heads-up that FINDSTR is DOS not PowerShell. :)
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 41888253
For Powershell, the equivalent would be
Select-String -Pattern "My.Target.String" -List -Path *.html

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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 41888280
@OBDA- Your first (simpler) solution

findstr.exe /i /r /c:"My.Target.String" *.html

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worked nicely. However, b/c of multiple string occurreences I figured I'd try the FOR loop. However....it threw an error.

T:\>
T:\>do @(findstr.exe /i /r /c:"Ad.Tag.Setup" "%a" >NUL&if not errorlevel 1 echo %a)
'do' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.


Also, just curious. I understand that the period (.) means wildcard. If I were truly seaching on a string that includes a period and don't care about wildcards, i guess I'd remove the /r switch?

Thanks again. I think we're almost there!
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 41888292
You left out the "for %a in (*.html) " at the beginning of the command.
for %a in (*.html) do @(findstr.exe /i /r /c:"My.Target.String" "%a" >NUL&if not errorlevel 1 echo %a)

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To specify a literal "." in a RegEx, you escape it with a backslash.
This would expect the target string to end with a period:
findstr.exe /i /r /c:"My.Target.String\." *.html

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Expert Comment

by:Bill Prew
ID: 41888294
If you need to search for multiple strings you can place a list of the desired strings or patterns into a text file and then use FINDSTR with the /g: option telling it to get the search strings from that file rather than the command line.  If it just a couple though you can also do that with multiple /c: parms on a single command line.

~bp
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Accepted Solution

by:
oBdA earned 500 total points
ID: 41888303
Forget about the "for" loop. findstr.exe can do the file list all by its lonesome, with /m (not using findstr too often, because of the very limited "regular expression" support):
findstr.exe /m /i /r /c:"My.Target.String" *.txt

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Author Closing Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 41888334
@ODBA - Thank you for persisting to solve this issue. (And I love how "old" technology can still be our friend! :)

@James and @Bill - thanks for your comments. I wasn't able to try out your solutions; however, I appreciate your efforts to help. (If you disagree that I'm not assigning you credit or points, please feel free to object.)

Steve
1
 
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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 41888814
@OBDA - OK, I'm playing around with this solution and I have two follow-ups.

1. Is there an option to tell me how many instances are in each matched file?

2. For your FOR loop solution, I tried it in a batch file; however, it threw the following message:
H:\>find-ats-for.bat
"My.Target.String" was unexpected at this time.

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Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 41888856
This will give you the number of lines, not the number instances.
@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
set Search=D:\Temp\*.html
for %%a in ("%Search%") do (
	set /a Count = 0
	for /f %%a in ('findstr.exe /i /r /c:"My.Target.String" "%%~a"') do set /a Count += 1
	if !Count! gtr 0 echo %%~nxa: !Count!
)

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The other error is because in a script, you need double percent signs for the loop variables.
for %%a in (*.html) do @(findstr.exe /i /r /c:"My.Target.String" "%%a" >NUL&if not errorlevel 1 echo %%a)

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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 41888864
@oBdA - Thank you. I need the # of instances, but that's OK. I can always look through the HTML page manually....none of them are that big. FIgured it was worth a shot.
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