Windows 10, Emacs 26.1.

I need to find all files that content specific text ,e,g. ("hello"). I need to specify:

  1. is case sensitive
  2. is search also in all subfolders
  3. to find by some text and by regexp
  4. The result must show in separate buffer (e.g. Result)
  5. does not depend on the external grep tool

I know about grep tool. But it not very comfortable.

  • did you try ack? emacswiki.org/emacs/Ack Nov 26, 2018 at 8:35
  • also there are some specific-windows functions in the bottom of the grep page here: emacswiki.org/emacs/GrepMode Nov 26, 2018 at 8:36
  • If you have a Unix-like find and grep installed and visible to Emacs (and in general it's very sensible to do so), then you can just use M-x rgrep
    – phils
    Nov 26, 2018 at 9:01
  • 1
    To be clear, the best tool to find files with content matching some pattern will categorically require an external program. That needn't necessarily be grep -- there are alternatives (ripgrep is well-regarded) -- but having grep installed is highly recommended, even if you also install alternatives. Any solution which does not rely on an external tool will not be the best possible tool for the job.
    – phils
    Nov 26, 2018 at 9:50
  • 1
    The question is too broad and unclear. There are many, many ways to do what you ask. You need to specify what you want, not just say that you don't want grep. Your question might be more appropriate for a discussion site such as Reddit.
    – Drew
    Nov 26, 2018 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


You can try elgrep. The github version linked here already has already an option for case sensitivity. Within a day or so that version should also be available via list-packages from melpa.

Some features:

  • Menu for specifying search strings and search options with history and M-tab completion.
  • elgrep does not depend on the external grep tool
  • asynchronous recursive search (optionally with limits for the search depth)
  • Specify directories and files to be searched by regular expressions.
  • Choose how many context lines around matches are shown.
  • Extra results buffer as for find-grep.
  • Editable results buffer. It is possible to write the edited results back to the matching files.
  • .pdf-files are also searched for matches with the help of the external tool pdftotext. (Make sure that pdftotext is in the PATH if you want to use that feature.)
  • The search function can be specified. You can replace re-search-forward by search-forward to search for text instead of regular expressions.

Screenshot of the menu:


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