Windows – FIND command – How to search for the string in files?

We have discussed finding files in the current and specified directories using DIR command from Windows command prompt. DIR command doesn’t useful to search the string in the files. Hence we have FIND command.

FIND command

This command is used to search for a string in the files. You need to pass relevant arguments to this command; otherwise, Windows will display below message.

FIND: Parameter format not correct

Basic parameters you need to pass; a string to search and the path of the file. The string should be in double quotes; otherwise, you will see above message. For example, below command search for the string “hello” in the file “sample.txt“.

C:\>find sample.txt "hello"

---------- SAMPLE.TXT
hello, CodeSteps!

Observe that, you see the entire line from the file where it has “hello” text. The search is case sensitive.

To ignore the case, you need to pass a parameter “/I” to it. Below is the example (it treats both lowercase and uppercase letters are the same).

C:\>find "codesteps" sample.txt /i

---------- SAMPLE.TXT
hello, CodeSteps!

By using “/V” parameter it displays the lines of text where the given string NOT found.

Display the line number

By using the parameter “/N” it will display the line number where it finds the given text and the line of text.

C:\>find "Steps" sample.txt /n

---------- SAMPLE.TXT
[3]hello, CodeSteps!

Display count of lines where it finds the text

FIND command provides a count value of number of lines where the given text is found in the file(s). It needs “/C” as the parameter to display the count. For example, below command shows the count of lines where the given text “task” is found.

C:\>find "task" sample.txt /c

---------- SAMPLE.TXT: 4

Find text in multiple files

FIND command allows to search the given string in multiple files. You need to pass each file separately or you can use wildcards to select multiple files. For example, below command finds the text in multiple files.

C:\>find "task" tasks.txt notes.txt address.txt

When you use wildcards, the syntax will be easier. Below command search for the string in all “.txt” files.

C:\> find "true" *.txt

Keep in mind that FIND command is used to search for a single string ONLY.

Be on learning path always!

// Malin

Windows – FIND command – How to search for the string in files?

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