Search in Files Tool

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The Search in Files tool in the Tools menu searches within sets of files and displays a list of all matches found.

The files to search are selected with Look in and Filter. Look in specifies the set of files to search, which may be the current editor, a single selected file, all open files, all project files, a named File Set, a selected directory on disk, or all of Wing's documentation. Filter can be used to select a subset of the files specified by Look in, using a File Filter or by typing a wild card expression containing * and/or ?. For example, Look in set to Project Files and Filter set to Python Files will restrict searching to only Python files that appear in the Project tool. Look in set to *.mako would search only file sending in .mako. If the Filter is neither a valid File Filter name nor a valid wild card expression then all the files selected by Look in are searched.

Searches may be initiated using Search in Files in the Search and Replace sub-menu of the Edit menu. The Replace field will be hidden unless Replace in Files was used. It can also be shown from the Options menu at the top right of the tool.

The popups to the right of the Search and Replace fields contain a history of previously used strings. Right-click on the fields to insert special characters.

Once a search is started, matches can be selected from the result list and shown in the editor or documentation viewer, even before the entire search completes. The result list is updated automatically as files are edited, added, or removed, in order to include any new matches or remove any old ones.

When a match is visited in the editor, Wing highlights it briefly with a callout, as configured from the Editor > Callouts preferences group.

Search Type

The type of search is selected from the Options menu in the top right of the tool:

Text Search chooses plain text search, without wildcard or regex matching.

Wildcard Search uses wildcard style searching. See Wildcard Search Syntax for details.

Regex Search uses regular expression style searching. See Python's Regular Expression Syntax documentation for details. When Regex Search is selected, a popup menu Regex Flags appears to the left of the Options menu. These are the same flags passed to Python's re.compile(). For regex searching, the replace string can reference regex match groups with \1, \2, etc, as in the Python re.sub() call.

Case Sensitive shows only exact matches of upper and lower case letters in the search string.

Whole Words requires that matches are surrounded by white space (spaces, tabs, or line ends) or punctuation other than _ (underscores).


The following additional options are available from the Options menu:

Show Replace controls whether the Replace field is visible in the tool.

Show Search Type in Tool moves the selection of search type out of the Options menu and to the surface of the tool.

Find After Replace automatically finds the next search match after each replace operation.

Replace Operates On Disk replaces text in un-opened files directly on disk rather than in an editor. This should be used with caution since changes cannot be undone except by reverting using a version control system or restoring from a backup.

Recursive Directory Search also searches all sub-directories when searching a directory on disk.

Omit Binary Files omits any file that appears to contain binary data.

Auto-restart Searches restarts searching immediately if it is interrupted because a search option or the set of files being searched has changed.

Open First Match automatically opens the first batch search match found when searching starts.

Show Line Numbers includes line numbers in the result area.

Result File Name selects the format of the file names shown in the batch result area.

Copy Result to Clipboard places a copy of all the search results on the clipboard.

Name Result File Set creates a File Set containing all the files listed in the current result list.

Special Characters

The right-click context menu on the Search and Replace fields provide some options for search and replace strings to include special characters:

Insert Newline inserts new line (\r\n on Windows and \n on other OSes)

Insert Line Feed inserts a line feed character (\n)

Insert Carriage Return inserts a carriage return character (\r)

Insert Tab inserts a tab character (\t)

Interpret Backslash Characters toggles whether special characters like \n, \r, \t and others are interpreted as a backslash followed by a letter or as the character that they represent (line feed, carriage return, tab, etc). The supported characters are all those that Python supports in its representation of strings.