Best Free Search and Replace Utility



Many programs have a search and replace function that allows you to replace text in the file you are currently editing. However, with help of search and replace utilities reviewed here, you can save your precious time and increase your productivity.

Some of these excellent tools not only allow you to do multiple search-and-replace operations in one pass, but also replace text across multiple files or folders.


Rated Products

Replace Text  

The most powerful free program to carry out text replacements in every file in a folder.

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Many replacement features, text and binary files.
Takes some time to learn
Read full review...


A very handy utility to do multiple search-and-replace operations in the one pass.

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Multiple search and replace operations in one pass.
Less powerful than Replace Text.
Read full review...

InfoRapid Search & Replace  

Handles certain Microsoft Office file types plus .rtf and .pdf with suitable add-ins.

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Private/Educational use)
Can handle certain Microsoft Office file types plus .rtf and .pdf.
Does not work with binary files.
Read full review...

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Average: 3.5 (15 votes)


The more correct license type of InfoRapid Seach & Replace is:
"InfoRapid Search & Replace is freeware and may be copied, distributed and used for private purposes without any limitations. Installing and using the freeware version on a commercially used computer is absolutely prohibited. In order to use the program commercially, you need one license (25 Euro) for every user."

Thanks Lew Wadoo for your kind feedback. The product record has now been updated.

Thanks for these reviews. I see that the page for Replace Text says "Please note that Replace Text is no longer supported and has known problems with some Windows 7 installations."

Thanks for the information. This category is currently without an editor.

You really should include TextCrawler in your list. It's free and very powerful - it supports regex, previewing, text ripping and has batch processing. It's pretty fast too.

Caution! TextCrawler is ad-supported and will try to install unwanted components such as toolbars. MC - Site Manager.

Not the version I downloaded last week? It seemed clean to me.

The download defaults to which uses a wrapped installer. cnet is no longer a safe or trustworthy download source. Their own installer also included OpenCandy although the exact makeup of what is there now will no doubt be varied as users discover the contents and try to avoid it. MC - Site Manager.

Nope, nothing in the CNET download either. I've heard that developers can 'Opt out' of having their software CNET wrapped after there was some hoo-ha about open source stuff being wrapped a while back.

The CNET is offering the download for TextCrawler without their wrapped installer. So, that's good. But still, this is not the same for all cases. As you say, some developers can opt out of this by telling CNET, to which they comply. But, still in majority of cases, CNET employs its wrapped installer, and that is why we do not recommend it as a download site. I did download and run TextCrawler. It seems it is free of any extras, like toolbar, OpenCandy etc. It's clean. Although Softpedia does say that it is ad-supported. Maybe it did bundle something extra before, not now.
Thanks for checking it out. :) MC