Search for a text string in a file & display all the lines where it is found.

      FIND [/V] [/C] [/N] [/I] "string" [pathname(s)]
"string" : The text string to find (must be in quotes).
[pathname] : A drive/file(s) to search (wildcards accepted). /V : Display all lines NOT containing the specified string.

/C : Count the number of lines containing the string.
/N : Display Line numbers.
/I : Ignore the case of characters when searching for the string.

If a [pathname] is not specified, FIND will prompt for text input or will accept text piped from another command.
(use CTRL-Z to end manual text input)

If searching for text that contains quote characters " , they should be escaped by doubling to ""

The FIND command will output a string of 10 dashes ---------- followed by the filename being searched, followed by any matching lines of text in the file.


FIND will return an ErrorLevel as follows:

0 String found in at least one of the files.
1 String not found
2 If any files in the list do not exist or if no files match a wildcard mask. An invalid switch is given.


Find does not support wildcards, use FINDSTR instead.

Although FIND can be used to scan large files, it will not detect any string that is positioned more than 1070 characters along a single line (with no carriage return) This makes it of limited use in searching binary or XML file types.


If names.txt contains the following:

  Joe Bloggs, 123 Main St, Dunoon 
  Arnold Jones, 127 Scotland Street, Edinburgh

To search for "Jones" in names.txt

C:\> FIND "Jones" names.txt

---------- NAMES.TXT Arnold Jones, 127 Scotland Street, Edinburgh

If you want to pipe the output from a command into FIND use this syntax

C:\> TYPE names.txt | FIND "Jones" 

You can also redirect like this

C:\> FIND /i "Jones" < names.txt >logfile.txt

To search a folder for files that contain a given search string:

C:\> FOR %G IN (*.txt) do (find /n /i "SearchWord" "%G")

Count the number of lines in a file:

C:\> TYPE myfile.txt | FIND "" /v /c

“Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house” - Lewis Grizzard


FINDSTR - Search for strings in files, supports regular expressions.
ATTRIB - Find filename (rather than searching the file contents.)
Redirection - Spooling output to a file, piping input.
Escape chars, delimiters and quotes
Agent Ransack - Free File Searching Utility.
Powershell: Where-Object - Filter objects passed along the pipeline.
Equivalent bash command (Linux): awk/gawk - Find and Replace text within file(s)

© Copyright 1999-2016
Some rights reserved