FileLocator Pro version 7.0

I’m really pleased to announce that FileLocator Pro version 7 is finally here!

FileLocator Pro Download Page

It’s hard to believe but it’s ten years since the first version of FileLocator Pro was released back in April 2003. Looking back at the old versions it’s quite amazing to see how much the product has improved over the years and we hope you’ll agree with us that version 7 is another great improvement. But, are the new features compelling enough for you to upgrade again? Well, here are the highlights:

Dedicated Word and Excel Filters

While IFilters work pretty well they don’t always work perfectly. They require a separate install, can often get confused by complicated formatting, and don’t provide text in a format intended for display. Therefore FileLocator Pro now has bespoke filters for Word and Excel files for improved text accuracy and formatting.

As you can see in this simple Excel example it makes quite a difference. However, if you decide you prefer the IFilter format you can revert to it in the Configuration settings.

Document Cache Settings

Document Cache Settings

Document Caching

While FileLocator Pro’s multi-thread searching algorithms are lightning fast they can still be slowed by the need to convert large documents into text every time they’re searched. Version 7 introduces a new Document Caching functionality that allows FileLocator Pro to store converted text in a caching database for use in subsequent searches.

This worked so well for one our beta testers, where search times over 26,000 PDFs went from over 5 minutes down to just 10 seconds, that they were able to use cached searches instead of going with an indexed search solution (avoiding with all the headaches associated with indexing).

Reporting

Reporting has long been a feature we’ve been looking to add to FileLocator Pro. Although it’s always had the ability to print the Hits tab or export to a file any form of customization required quite a strong technical ability. Not anymore, FileLocator Pro now includes a dedicated Reporting tab, with reports for Files, Contents, and Keywords. Each report can be customized and is available in numerous styles and formats, e.g. CSV, HTML, Text etc.

There’s much more we would like to do with Reporting but as always we’ll be guided by your feedback.

Column Filters

If I’m honest this was a self-indulgent feature. Something I really wanted, and actually delayed the release date for. It’s a simple idea, following a search you can filter the files listed by entering filters in the column heading.

Column Filters

Column Filters

Every column can be filtered on the text within the column but date-time and numeric columns can also be filtered on ranges, e.g. > 20KB < 100KB. Try it out, I think you’ll like it.

Saving Workspace

Saving Workspace

Sessions and Workspaces

Working with large result sets can take time, sometimes days. Version 7 adds a new Session/Workspace feature so you can save your search results and then re-load them back into FileLocator Pro at a future time.

It allows you to save just a single search tab (a Session) or all the open search tabs (a Workspace).

Other features

It’s not always the big features that make the biggest difference, sometimes the ‘small’ features can punch well above their weight. Here are some of my favourite new small features:

Search Again Ever found yourself copying text from the Text tab and pasting back into the Containing Text field to do another search? Well now you can simply right-click on the word and click the new Search Again menu option. The search will be re-run with the new word replacing what was in the Containing text field.
LINES Operator If you find yourself only wanting to search the first X lines of each file you’ll love the LINES operator. It can be used to limit the lines a following expression can appear in, e.g.
LINES:3-10 "ERROR"
Include filename in search Prior to version 7.0 FileLocator Pro only searched the contents of a file for the term in the Containing Text field. This new option adds the file name to the contents when evaluating the search.
File name presets
Filename presets

Filename presets

Rather than having to type in *.png;*.bmp;*.jpg;*.tif every time you want to search pictures FileLocator Pro now includes presets for:

  • Folders Only
  • Files Only
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Videos

Note: With a preset selected the file name field is treated as a Boolean expression.

Thank you

Over the last ten years FileLocator Pro has morphed and grown through great continuous feedback from you, our customers, to the fantastic product it is today. But in some ways we’ve only just started. We’ve literally hundreds of features we’re going to be adding over the NEXT ten years. All of them focused on one thing, helping you work better by finding your data faster and easier!


Update: After this was sent out we had a great question:

“Just please tell me you didn’t do anything to slow it down. FL is bar none the fastest grep utility for Win. Please don’t do anything to bloat it up or slow it down.”.

It’s a good point and one we take very seriously, we understand it’s one of our key selling points. In all aspects of performance from application start-up and core search times to memory foot print we regularly compare the latest version to old versions just to make sure we haven’t inadvertently introduced any issues.

The improved accuracy and layout with the dedicated Word and Excel processing can occasionally result in slightly slower times than with Office IFilters but in our tests it wasn’t significant and was worth the small performance penalty. However, if you want the same Excel/Word processing as v6 just set the IFilter Search Priority to Primary in the IFilter Settings.

While we’re talking about performance, during this v7 release we’re going to be doing some profile guided optimization work to see if we can squeeze out another 5-10% speed improvement. I’ll keep you posted on that work.


Avast Win32:Evo-gen [Susp]: Some customers have been reporting issues with Avast anti-virus flagging the FileLocator Pro download EXE as Suspicious and deleting it, and then blocking any subsequent links to the download. Apart from how this makes us look we can only imagine how nervous it makes our customers feel, not the sort of experience you want for your sparkling new product update.

Unlike Norton, Kaspersky, and AVG Avast don’t have an ISV white-listing program for ISVs to clear their software before publishing and Avast’s support has been painfully slow in responding to our (numerous) requests. For now we can only apologize and thank you for your patience.

30 Sep 2013: We received an email from Avast this morning “False positive detection. We are sorry. Our virus definitions has been updated.”. So, if you’re still having problems please update your virus definitions and try again. If that doesn’t work please contact Tech Support and we’ll look into it.

34 thoughts on “FileLocator Pro version 7.0

  1. DoctorKennyG

    I downloaded FLP7 and upgraded from FLP6. Just download the .exe and install. It went very smooth. Minor issue during install whereby it could not kill Explorer and the FLP Hotkey Monitor, but I was able to Task Manager and kill them allowing it to proceed. I’m running Win7 Enterprise.

    After it installed, I wasn’t prompted for a reboot, but I did one anyway.

    Favorites Window wasn’t enabled, and the Shell Integration Settings weren’t carried forward from FLP6. Those were easy enough to enable. Otherwise my settings appear to have all carried forward: External editor configuration, Favorites, File name/Contain text/Look in history in the dropdowns.

    I REALLY like that the columns in a search can be resequenced via drag and drop, and that sticks.

    Tags feature looks interesting. Is that new in Version 7? I shall have to experiment with that as I can see value there in ordering my Favorites.

    Hits displayed before truncation has now gone from 20 to 10,001. Wow! Most impressive. As a Cobologist I often deal in large result sets returned when searching code. I can routinely exceed 20 hits, but I likely would not exceed 10,001 unless it were something really unusual and infrequent–like gathering line counts for functional lines of code.

    I use FLP daily, so I will be trying out the new features. My initial reaction is job very well done.

    Reply
  2. Andrew Craven

    Looks like a really nicely done step-wise improvement in all respects, pity some bigger name companies can’t manage that 😉

    Thank YOU!

    Reply
    1. Dave Vest Post author

      The main downside is that we won’t be putting out any new fixes for that version but you’ll also be missing out on some of the features you didn’t even know you wanted.

      However, if you’re happy with v6 there’s no obligation to upgrade, you can keep using it as long as you like!

      Reply
  3. LaughingJohn

    I’ve upgraded, not because I really need the features, but mainly to support the product (and because of the tempting upgrade price). Excellent product and excellent support. Thanks Dave, and keep up the good work.

    Reply
  4. Jerry Leventer

    Some of the new features are nice. However, I am disappointed because I requested two things over a year ago that would help reduce the time it takes to complete a search, and it seems no attempt has been made to implement them.

    1. Provide an option to search top level folders first, before going into sub-folders. I call this going wide. Instead, your software wastes a lot of time going deep, searching to the bottom of the sub-folders before going to the next top-level folder. There should be a setting to tell it how many sub-folders to go down on each pass, and eventually get to the bottom.

    2. Provide a way to index contents in a way that does not disturb system resources while we are actively using the machine.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Dave Vest Post author

      I’m sorry if we couldn’t fit your top features into this release but we have to make a call on which features will benefit the most customers. Both of the features you’ve listed are good candidates for point releases updates for v7 but we need to wait for more feedback until we can finalize the roadmap. Thanks for the feedback.

      Reply
  5. John Donovan

    I’m sure I’ll upgrade, especially at this price. A quibble: the download page still puts a link to Office 2010 filter packs just below the main flpro download link (“for best results … we recommend”). That’s a bit confusing if the truly best results are now built into Flpro 7 with its bespoke office filters. And btw, that page has always been a bit confusing as to whether a PC with current or recent Microsoft Office installed even needs a separate installation of Microsoft’s filter packs.

    Reply
    1. Dave Vest Post author

      Good point. It’s always useful to have the latest IFilters installed for two reasons. The bespoke Word/Excel filters won’t handle the other Office formats such as PowerPoint and OneNote but also if, for some reason, the bespoke filters fail FileLocator Pro can try with the Microsoft IFilters.

      Reply
    1. Dave Vest Post author

      Not at the moment but it is on the Issue Tracker. It’ll probably be part of the enhancement to allow the user to add more columns, such as Author etc.

      Reply
  6. Steve S.

    Thanks for a fantastic product that I use nearly every day. As a software developer, I highly value the lightning-like speed; particularly since it’s faster than other product’s indexed performance! I just purchased upgrades for my two existing registered copies, as well as purchased a third copy — I’m not even sure what I’m gonna do with all these copies, but I’m proud to support such a valuable product. Keep it up!

    Reply
  7. CyberMew

    For caching, does it re-search the pdf file again if it detects that the pdf file has changed? Or it continues to use the copy in the cache, until it is purged after xxx days?

    Reply
  8. Bassam Abdul-Baki

    When searching for text in documents, it would be nice if we had the option to show X number of characters before and/or after the text for when the surrounding lines is set to 0 (before and/or after). Also, when a keyword appears on the same line more than once, I would like to see each hit on a separate line. Currently, I do see the multiple hits per line. In addition, it would be great to show the page number where the hit occured.

    Thanks!

    Reply
      1. Bassam Abdul-Baki

        Yes it does. However, it would be nice if the Regular Expression builder had the capability to build N characters before and/or after. I was able to get around that with Perl using “.{20}team.{20}”. For the next major upgrade, I would like to see the entire RE build wizard redesigned.

        Thanks!

  9. google adwords tool

    I almost never write responses, however I read a bunch of comments on FileLocator Pro version 7.0 | Mythicsoft.
    I do have a few questions for you if it’s okay.
    Is it only me or does it appear like a few of these
    responses come across as if they are coming from brain dead folks?
    😛 And, if you are posting on additional online social
    sites, I would like to keep up with anything
    fresh you have to post. Could you post a list of the complete urls
    of your social community sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Reply
    1. Dave Vest Post author

      Mythicsoft doesn’t have a massive social media machine, we like to spend the time writing code instead! However, we do have a twitter account @mythicsoft so please sign up for that if you want to hear about the latest release information: twitter.com/mythicsoft

      ps. I think ‘brain dead’ is a little unfair. I guess one person’s well-constructed erudite comment is another person’s mindless junk :-). As far as I’m concerned as long as they’re polite and respectful all comments are much appreciated. You’d be amazed at some of the comments that get rejected, some of them are truly disturbing.

      Reply

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