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AstroGrep is an open source grep utility, that you can use to run regular expression searches on multiple text files. It's a good alternative to an advanced grep utility such as PowerGrep (see the Tip of the Night for August 4, 2018) but it has some limitations.
AstroGrep has a simpler layout than PowerGrep, and may be easier to use for beginners. Simply select the search path to the folder containing the files you want to review, and then enter the search or regular expression search in the 'Search Text' box. [Be sure to select the 'Regular Expressions' check box.] I tested this evening, and confirmed that it can run complex regex searches accurately.
Unfortunately, AstroGrep will not run searches through PDFs.
Another drawback of using AstroGrep is that it apparently will not export search results which only include the searched for pattern results. The user only has the option of exporting the full line of text on which the search result appears.
Some document databases allow you to use EOS, EOP, EOG search operators. These operators allow a document database user to run a search that will find where multiple strings appear within a set number of sentences, paragraphs, or pages of one another. So, for example a search structured this way:
New York W/3/EOP mortgage
. . . will find documents where 'New York' appears within three paragraphs of 'mortgage'.
The EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications Repository is one example of a database in which you can use these search operators. Here we see an example of a search for two phrases within 8 sentences of one another:
The ZyLAB eDiscovery platform, allows you to use these search operators.
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