Nearly every Mac app that creates text has an option to search through the document, find a string of text, then replace the text with something different. Microsoft Word is a good example of how the find and replace function works.
Mac text editors can do a similar find and replace on multiple text files at the same time, but don’t have the typical formatting options. This week I ran across a Mac utility I’ve used before but forgot about because it’s either an app you use frequently, or you use it very infrequently.
The app is called iFindText and what it does is what you expect. It searches through documents to find a string of text which can then be replaced with another string of text; easy peasy. This works well with almost any kind of text string but is particularly useful when you find a misspelled word in a long document, or need to change either spelling or a word within a document.
Considering that iFindText’s price tag is a few bucks you’re getting lots of bang for the buck. Here’s a good example of how it can work. Enter a word into the search field. iFindText will find every instance of that word, including how many times a specific word or even a sentence shows up in the document.
The only negative with this process, and it’s a minor nit, is that iFindText doesn’t do the editing itself. Double-click the row in the list of rows and the document’s app opens so you can edit the file.
There is an option to have iFindText avoid specific files, and there’s a built-in loupe so you can see the text within the document. That alone is worth the price of admission but would be better if it displayed the text string formatted as in the document.
I see another great value in iFindText because it can handle standard Roman character sets and switch to other text forms, including non-unicode fonts, Greek, Cyrillic, and many others. Plus, it’s powerful enough to search through a folder of files to find strings of text that need to be altered or spelled correctly.
Again, iFindText is one of those apps you will use regularly or seldom, but considering the nominal price tag, it’s worth having around.