Tip of the week # 421
1 May 2014

Find files or folders that contain certain words in its title (Windows 7)

Searching in Windows 7 is easy. Simply press the Windows key on your keyboard (next to your Alt key) or type in the search box at the top of any open window, and start typing. The search begins automatically - ideal for those of us who are touch-typists, watching our monitor - but not for those who use hunt-and-peck. Items that match your search term(s) will appear, based on text in the file or folder name, text in the file and other properties the item might have. So what if you get way too many results? Perhaps you know you can use the double quotation marks (" ") in the same way you might be used to when you search the web or in Outlook (see tip_292.php). But what if you know the title of the document or folder and want to use that to limit what you find?

Here's how:

  1. Press WIN + F or navigate to the folder from which you want to search.
  2. In the Search box (CTRL + E, anyone?) in the top right hand corner, type name: followed by (part of) the item's title.
  3. If necessary, exclude certain items, using a hyphen (-).

For example, if you want to exclude pdf's or jpg's, simply type name:whatever -pdf -jpg. Or, if you want to find folders only, you can type name:whatever kind:folder.
(By the way, the search is NOT cAse sENsiTIve so it doesn't matter whether you type, for example, "name:whatever" or "Name:WHATEVER" or "NAME:Whatever".)

So, once you know how, it is very simple to search by title only. But why on earth did Microsoft not put Name as an option in the search box, whereas Kind, Date modified, Type and Size are? (With thanks to Tina for this week's tip inspiration!)