findstr to find multiple strings in multiple files

findstr to find multiple strings in multiple files

September 11, 2018

As discussed on this blog in the past, the Windows command findstr can be used to perform complicated searches through multiple files, including regular expression searches.   Here's a quick demo of how findstr can be used to search for multiple search terms in multiple files.


Compose a batch file with this code:


@echo off

for /F %%i in (searchlist.txt) do (
echo Files containing %%i
findstr /C:%%i /S *.txt


[Enter this in a text file and then save it with the extension 'bat'. ]



'searchlist.txt' refers to a file listing the strings you want to search for.  Each string needs to be on a separate line. 


The end of the code [*.txt] specifies that only .txt files should be searched. 


The result shows the hits in context for each file, one search term at a time:


Files containing court
frankenstein.txt:courtyard belonging to the house which I inhabited, where I remaine
frankenstein.txt:of the court, which had that night been my asylum, and I issued int
frankenstein.txt:as witnesses, I accompanied them to the court.  During the whole of
frankenstein.txt:court she threw her eyes round it and quickly discovered where we w
frankenstein.txt:his neck, a murmur of horror and indignation filled the court.
frankenstein.txt:the court.
frankenstein.txt:I rushed out of the court in agony.  The tortures of the accused di
frankenstein.txt:the court; my lips and throat were parched.  I dared not ask the fa
frankenstein.txt:court.  He made, at that moment, a solemn vow to deliver him and th
frankenstein.txt:town where the court was held.  Mr. Kirwin charged himself with eve
frankenstein.txt:brought before the court that decides on life and death.  The grand
mobydick.txt:sanctity, that I could not suspect him of courting notoriety by any
mobydick.txt:to him who, in this world, courts not dishonor! Woe to him who would
mobydick.txt:has proved but hollow courtesy. I drew my bench near him, and made some
mobydick.txt:Babylon; and to have been Belshazzar, not haughtily but courteously,
mobydick.txt:the shipΓÇÖs cabin belongs to them; and that it is by courtesy alone th  


. . . and so on. 



Thanks to Srini for the code


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