3 free tools to search and replace text on your Mac

Search Text imageImagine you’ve just finished editing a series of documents but at the last minute you either realize you’ve made a mistake or are asked to change something in all of them. The prospect of painstakingly going through them one by one would be too hard to bare not to mention ridiculously time consuming. Or imagine for example that you’ve just downloaded a huge number of photos from your digital camera all with generic names. To go through each one and rename them would take ages so but by trying one of these search and replace apps, you could just save yourself a lot of time and trouble:

1. Search&Replace

A simple but extremely powerful and effective tool that can go through any number of documents at once and both find and replace text within them and change the filenames themselves. Simply give Search&Replace a target folder to aim for, make sure all your documents that need changing are in there, enter the term you want to change and let it run. It doesn’t display the results though so you may want to double check them.

Search&Replace

2. TexFinderX

This app is designed more with programmers in mind who want to change text strings to HTML strings etc although it could easily be used by someone wanting to scan word processed documents. Simply drag and drop folders containing the documents you want to search inside the TexFinderX interface. Once TexFinderX has found the terms that you want to replace, it shows you exactly all the changes that have been made so you’re left in no doubt whether it’s definitely done its job or not.

TexFinderX

3. TexWrangler

A highly flexible text searcher and replacement tool for Mac which can help in a variety of situations such as in a directory when people are named last name first and you’d like to change it to the other way round. It’s also ideal for removing unnecessary commas and erroneous characters that may ave corrupted your document preventing you from opening it. TexWrangler can read the file, get rid of any dangerous elements and recover all your text.

TextWrangler

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