As the Mac’s popularity grows so do the commercial aspirations of those who create Mac software. New utilities and apps that do wonders, whether one trick or otherwise, are fewer and farther between.
Going against the grain, against the trend toward ever more commercial software, and defying all logic is Dorian Chapeau’s cleverly named Search & Replace. Did I mention that it’s free? Not only that, your expectations of what it does are met immediately with reality. Search & Replace does exactly what it says it will do.
Who needs to search and replace? Fair question, right? If you do, you know who you are. If you don’t, you might once you know what search and replace can do.
Most of us have used a word processor of some kind. Even your Mac’s venerable TextEdit has search and replace.
The only problem is that Apple uses a different term. They call it Find. That’s fine. It finds. Then, if you so desire, it replaces what it finds with whatever text you want to replace it with.
Call it search and replace or find, then replace, but the action is pretty much the same. Open a text document, wherein you want to find a particular string of text or a word, and then replace that with something else.
If a name or address or number or an amount in a document is wrong, Search & replace is your hero.
Search, Search, Search & Replace
So, if pretty much every text editor and word processor has a find or search and replace function, why have a stand alone utility that does the same thing.
Fair question, right? It’s all about necessity being the mother of invention. Oh, and features. Gotta have features.
Search & Replace does quite a bit more than just find and replace text with more text. First, S & R does all that with more than one document at a time. It batch searches and batch replaces.
That means you can search through a whole folder of documents, find what needs to be replaced, and replace them all—with a single click. Try that in Word, or Pages, or TextEdit.
So, you can edit the text in a document or many documents. Not bad for free, huh? You can also rename files and folders. Even at the same time you’re searching and replacing.
S & R lets you rename files sequentially, add a suffix or a prefix to files and folders, and do all those neat little things that save gobs of time so you can take a longer lunch break at work.
Easy Does It
How does S & R accomplish all this magic? It uses a simple, almost completely intuitive and self explanatory interface.
The pop up window has a mere five tabs. Content. File Names. Prefix/Suffix. Trim Names. Change Case. Below that are two fields to enter what you want to Search for, and what you want to Replace it with.
Then, drag and drop a folder of text files onto S & R, or click the Choose Folder button. Then, click. Done.
Caveats? Yes, of course. Free doesn’t mean stupid. Make copies of your documents and work on those instead of the only copy of a document. After all, when you’re replacing text in twenty eleven different files all with a single click, it’s nice to have a back up just in case you spelled the replacement word wrong.
S & R also lets you see what’s going to happen before it happens, and then tells you what it did after it did it. But all it does is what it says it does. S & R is just search and replace. Text. File names. Folder names. Text. Not bad for free, huh?