Searches for patterns of text in files.
findstr [/b] [/e] [/l | /r] [/s] [/i] [/x] [/v] [/n] [/m] [/o] [/p] [/f:<file>] [/c:<string>] [/g:<file>] [/d:<dirlist>] [/a:<colorattribute>] [/off[line]] <strings> [<drive>:][<path>]<filename>[ ...]
|/b||Matches the text pattern if it is at the beginning of a line.|
|/e||Matches the text pattern if it is at the end of a line.|
|/l||Processes search strings literally.|
|/r||Processes search strings as regular expressions. This is the default setting.|
|/s||Searches the current directory and all subdirectories.|
|/i||Ignores the case of the characters when searching for the string.|
|/x||Prints lines that match exactly.|
|/v||Prints only lines that don’t contain a match.|
|/n||Prints the line number of each line that matches.|
|/m||Prints only the file name if a file contains a match.|
|/o||Prints character offset before each matching line.|
|/p||Skips files with non-printable characters.|
|/off[line]||Does not skip files that have the offline attribute set.|
||Gets a file list from the specified file.|
||Uses the specified text as a literal search string.|
||Gets search strings from the specified file.|
||Searches the specified list of directories. Each directory must be separated with a semicolon (;), for example
||Specifies color attributes with two hexadecimal digits. Type
||Specifies the text to search for in filename. Required.|
||Specifies the location and file or files to search. At least one file name is required.|
|/?||Displays Help at the command prompt.|
- All findstr command-line options must precede strings and filename in the command string.
- Regular expressions use both literal characters and meta-characters to find patterns of text, rather than exact strings of characters.
- A literal character is a character that doesn’t have a special meaning in the regular-expression syntax; instead, it matches an occurrence of that character. For example, letters and numbers are literal characters.
- A meta-character is a symbol with special meaning (an operator or delimiter) in the regular-expression syntax.The accepted meta-characters are:
TABLE 2 Meta-character Value
Wildcard – Any character
Repeat – Zero or more occurrences of the previous character or class.
Beginning line position – Beginning of the line.
Ending line position – End of the line.
Character class – Any one character in a set.
Inverse class – Any one character not in a set.
Range – Any characters within the specified range.
Escape – Literal use of a meta-character.
Beginning word position – Beginning of the word.
Ending word position – End of the word.
The special characters in regular expression syntax have the most power when you use them together. For example, use the combination of the wildcard character (
.) and repeat (
*) character to match any string of characters:
Use the following expression as part of a larger expression to match any string beginning with b and ending with ing:
- To search for multiple strings in a set of files, you must create a text file that contains each search criterion on a separate line.
- Use spaces to separate multiple search strings unless the argument is prefixed with /c.
To search for hello or there in file x.y, type:
findstr hello there x.y
To search for hello there in file x.y, type:
findstr /c:"hello there" x.y
To find all occurrences of the word Windows (with an initial capital letter W) in the file proposal.txt, type:
findstr Windows proposal.txt
To search every file in the current directory and all subdirectories that contained the word Windows, regardless of the letter case, type:
findstr /s /i Windows *.*
To find all occurrences of lines that begin with FOR and are preceded by zero or more spaces (as in a computer program loop), and to display the line number where each occurrence is found, type:
findstr /b /n /r /c:^ *FOR *.bas
To list the exact files that you want to search in a text file, use the search criteria in the file stringlist.txt, to search the files listed in filelist.txt, and then to store the results in the file results.out, type:
findstr /g:stringlist.txt /f:filelist.txt > results.out
To list every file containing the word computer within the current directory and all subdirectories, regardless of case, type:
findstr /s /i /m \<computer\> *.*
To list every file containing the word computer and any other words that begin with comp, (such as compliment and compete), type:
findstr /s /i /m \<comp.* *.* a