Multiple Search and Replace is a powerful tool which can search multiple files - plain text, PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, archives and more - for the text you specify, then optionally replace it.

The process starts by building up your search query. This may contain multiple search terms across several lines, and there's support for logical operators (AND, OR, NOT, XOR, NEAR), wild cards and regular expressions.

There's even more flexibility in defining where you'd like to search. You're able to look for files by location, type, size and attributes, as well as their modified, created or "last accessed" times.

You can also run searches based on the number of matches in a file, their line or page number, the character position in a line, and more.

Click "Find" when you're finished and Multiple Search and Replace will go to work, locating your files. When it's finished you can browse a basic file list showing any hits, or view the results in context (this shows a few lines before and after your search term).

The program can then copy, move, delete or compress your found files, or just print/ save a list of them.

If you need to run some manual investigation then you're able to edit individual files from within Multiple Search and Replace, or via an external editor.

Alternatively, you can replace the search text across every file in a single operation. You're able to replace your search terms, delete them, delete the whole line, insert text before or after them, and more.

And if you're looking for even more automation, good news: Multiple Search and Replace has a command line interface, too.

Version 2.4:
    - Added Extended Search Option to specify Match Index in each File e.g. get only the first or last 5 matches of each file, or only get the first match of each file.
    - Added Extended Search Option to specify Match Index in All Files e.g. get only the first 50 matches of all files.

Verdict

Multiple Search and Replace is a hugely powerful search tool with an enormous list of features, and the array of settings can seem a little intimidating at first. It's really not difficult to use, though, and after running a couple of test searches you'll have a good understanding of the program basics.