grep Admins Arsenal: BareGrep

Ok, here is the situation: you’ve got 1200 script files in a particular directory on your XP workstation, and you need to find any script that references “\\atl01\share” (queue Dennis Hopper voice), what do you do?!

Traditional convention is that you spend several hours opening each file in notepad and doing a “find”, or you might be able to cut it down to an hour or so if you opened several dozen of the files at a time in Notepad++ and did “find in all files”, or you could take about a half an hour and move the files over to a *NIX machine and use grep. I’ve got a better answer: BareGrep.exe from our friends at Bare metal Software. BareGrep is basically a GUI version of the *NIX grep command for Windows machines, and it works wonderfully.Much like BareTail (which I reviewed here), BareGrep is fully portable, meaning you can run it from a USB drive!

Here is a short list of some of the features in BareGrep:

  • Regular expression text search (that’s inside the files)
  • Wildcard and regular expression file search
  • Files to find or search can be specified with a regular expression
  • Multiple files can also be specified with the mouse
  • Recursive directory search
  • Frequently used text search patterns may be saved, named and edited
  • Searching while you type, to find results quicker
  • Capturing groups (using bracket characters ‘(’ and ‘)’ in a regex) extract strings from files
  • Tabular presentation of search results
  • Export/copy of search results in many formats
  • Search files of any size (> 2GB)

Not only will this utility do all that, but it is usable from the commandline as well! What more could you want? Wait, what? You want… more features? Well you’re in luck, as BareGrep comes in two forms, the Free version (what we’ve covered so far), and the Registered version ($25 at the time of this review), which offers all of the features of the free version, as well as:

  • Selecting a search result line shows that line in context in the file
  • Tabs display files recently viewed
  • Tabs may be positioned on any side of the window and oriented horizontally or vertically
  • Lines containing particular strings can be highlighted to help you notice important text
  • Highlight colors are fully customizable

Now I can’t even begin to cover the colossal amount of time that this utility has saved me, but I can tell you that it is well worth the price of admission. BareGrep can be downloaded here.