Full-text search in office files (Word) and archives – now it’s easy!

In the article “Full-text search for documents in a folder” we examined a way to search the contents of many office documents, including the exact match of the phrase. The considered method allows you to find the required file containing the required string without installing additional programs. But the method proposed in that note has disadvantages:

  • search is slow, especially if you search in a folder containing a lot (hundreds) of documents
  • Windows Explorer is used for searching, which is not very convenient by itself and requires additional configuration
  • search through archives is possible, but the set of supported formats is very limited
  • to search for a literal match of a string, you need to remember a complex construction (I am still opening this article to find the desired sequence of characters)

In general, the proposed method is better than nothing, but it is not very convenient.

In this article, I will show you a new way that allows you to search through Word files and all other office files supported by programs from MS Office (in the correct language, in any office XML files).

We need Double Commander. If you are not familiar with this program yet, read the article “Free analogue of Total Commander”, I have no doubt you will love this file manager!

Double Commander supports many archives out of the box, but if you want to get support for any archives that exist, check out the article “How to add the plugin to Double Commander to support all types of archives” (it's not difficult).

So, to perform a full-text search on office files, in Double Commander go to the folder with documents and click the “Search” icon, you can also use the Alt+F7 keyboard shortcut to open the search window.

In the window that opens, check the box “Find text in file” and enter the text you want to find. Be sure to check the “Office XML” checkbox. To limit your search to specific files, you can enter parts of the name in the “File mask” field. When everything is ready, press the “Start” button.

After completing the search, you will see a tab with results, which will list all files containing the search phrase. To go to the required file, double-click on its name.

Hint: if you want to familiarize yourself with several files in the search results, then after performing the first search and opening the first file, you do not need to restart the search – open this panel and immediately go to the “Results” tab – the results found during the last search are stored there…

To search through archives, when specifying search terms, additionally check the “Search in archives” box.

Now full-text search in office files will be performed even for documents placed in archives. The search results will show the names of the archives and the names of the files in those archives that contain the search text.

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