+1 vote

I'm using FileLocator Lite on my latest personal laptop, and have used Agent Ransack for years (and love it!).

Today I ran into a strange problem never noticed before.

I have a plain text file (CSV format) that was erroneously given an 'xls' extension. This is quite a common practice, I've found, but typically doesn't have much effect (it's a log file from a program, so I have no control over their practices).

When you open an '.xls' extension file that is really just plain text/csv, excel warns you that the extension does not match the content type, but you can open it anyway.

When I search a directory full of such 'xls' files, File Locator Lite does not find the content (using the 'Containing Text' option). But if I rename the files to .csv (literally, change the extension), it DOES find the content. I also found that I can go into 'options', and in the 'Enhanced Document Searching' section, uncheck 'office/pdf documents', and then it will find the content with the extension left as .xls. But with 'office/pdf documents' unchecked, the tool fails to find content in my PDF files, which is vital for me.

So it would seem that (with office/PDF documents checked) File Locator Lite is seeing an 'xls' extension, and treating the file in a 'complex' way when in fact the file is really just a plain text file. I read some of the help information and it suggests that checking this box introduces 'extra' steps, but should not preclude 'simple' searching.

Versions: Windows 10, office 2016, File Locator Lite 2014.

by (50 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote

When you have Office/PDF Documents checked in the Options tab XLS files are passed to the Excel IFilter for searching. If a file is not a valid Excel file the IFilter will fail and the search won't work.

As you've found you can switch OFF the Office/PDF Documents option and the file will be searched as a basic text file.

Agent Ransack 2016 will include FileLocator Pro's 'fall-back' functionality where if an IFilter cannot read a file it will perform a basic text search on the file.

by (81.8k points)
Thanks!  Do you know when 2016 will be released?
Sometime in the next few months.