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Unintuitive search software

Find and replace words and phrases, if you can figure out how.

Actual Search & Replace allows users to search for and optionally replace words and phrases in ASCII-based documents. Although it seems simple enough to use, we had trouble getting it to function as desired.

The program's interface is basic, and while its core functions--entering the word or phrase you want to search for, for example--are pretty obvious, the program's other options aren't completely intuitive. The program definitely assumes that users will have some familiarity with advanced search functions, including search-related programming syntax. The built-in Help file gives an overview of the program's features, but it doesn't go into much detail and won't be helpful to novice users. As for the program's functions, we had mixed results. We tried and tried to get the program to find a particular word in a text file, but it couldn't, even though we had browsed to the appropriate directory and checked the Include Subfolders box. We never could figure out what the problem was, and the Help file was no help at all. The program had no trouble at all, however, with an HTML document; it quickly found and replaced the phrase we selected.

Actual Search & Replace has a 30-day trial period. It comes as a zip file and installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program to intermediate and advanced users. Its lack of intuitiveness and troubleshooting advice will make it a frustrating choice for novices.

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