Since I first wrote in this column about Astro Grep a few months ago, there has been a series of updates to the program. So whether you're already a user of this excellent utility, or you have yet to discover it, it's worth knowing about the latest release.
Astro Grep is a program which scans some, or all, of your hard disk to search for a specific word or phrase. It searches the full content of files, rather than just the filenames. And it doesn't need to build an index, which saves on hard disk space usage. While the lack of an index means that Astro Grep isn't as fast as the built-in Windows search, it's much easier to use. And more powerful.
Astro Grep is incredibly useful if you need to track down a sentence which you remember writing in a particular document, but you can't quite remember where that file is saved. Or, for example, if you need to track down all of the documents which contain a reference to a particular person.
Astro Grep is free, runs on all recent versions of Windows, and is less than 1 MB to download. The program is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust. You'll find the download at http://astrogrep.sourceforge.net/ - just click on the download link at the top of the page and wait a few seconds for it to start.
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