Depeche View: search multiple text files simultaneously

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Depeche View is a free program that can search and edit multiple text files simultaneously. It allows users to jump to instances of a search string that may exist across a number of different files, provided they are placed in the same folder.

It will search all text files in a folder, including log files, source code, database extracts, etc. It is extremely fast, and can load up to 1000 files in memory simultaneously and display them continuously in a single window.

But Depeche View offers a number of features that enhance the user experience, such as quick creation of bookmarks and/or “remark lines”, multi-pane view (for viewing the text simultaneously from different vantage points), appending new text from the clipboard or even other files or folders, and a host of quick shortcuts that make power-searching your document(s) a breeze. This program is free for personal, non-commercial use.

PROS: here’s what I like about this software:

  • It does an excellent job: it’s fast and quite powerful. Hundreds of files are loaded almost instantly.
  • Has lots of character: by which I mean the user interface has a certain appeal to it, despite the fact that it needs some getting used to. Drag and drop to load files/folders.
  • Offers a nice set of features: for example search-as-you-type, multi-pane-views, quick bookmarking, quick searching for the highlighted word if necessary, optionally highlighting tabs and spaces using different colors, etc. Hotkey/keyboard aficionados will be pleased.
  • Appending content: from different sources/folders, is possible.
  • Advanced search options: such as case sensitivity, jump to next/back, quick filtering of found matches, etc.
  • Text Editing: double click on a word and start editing.
  • Portable: a single executable that can moreover be used from the command line.

CONS: here’s what can be improved

  • The user interface: a bit of a contradiction, perhaps, to what I said above. However, the interface could be made visually more user friendly and/or appealing; softer, better visuals perhaps, and less of the text salad.
  • Depeche View Screenshot2A few annoying (and most likely unnecessary) handicaps: of the free version.for example drag and drop 150 files max from explorer (?), text editing available up to 30 files (?). See the screenshot to the right for an overview of these.

Differences between the free and paid versions: to quote the author “in a nutshell, the freeware version is a search tool, whereas [the paid version] is a lightweight IDE replacement, allowing also to edit text and integrate a compiler”.

The verdict: if you are looking for a program that can bring a bit of Google to files on your machine, by all means check this one out. You will not be disappointed; Depeche View is a powerful little tool that does the job well.

The version, however, may be handicapped in a way that probably will not affect 95% of users, but might annoy power users (see the cons section above).

Version Tested: 1.4.6

Compatibility: WinAll

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 1996K).