In the File Selector section of the Preferences screen, you can configure PowerGREP's File Selector and the way PowerGREP handles files, folders and the network.
Turn on "remember the File Selection and Action themselves" if you often continue working with the same files and/or action definition when restarting PowerGREP. PowerGREP will then automatically store the file selection and action definition when you close it, and reload it when you start PowerGREP. If you select "new instance" from the PowerGREP menu, the new instance will take over the file selection and action definition.
Alternatively, you can turn on "remember the names of the File Selection and Action files last opened". Then PowerGREP will not save the actual file selection and action definition. Instead, PowerGREP will remember the file selection file and the action file you last opened. The next time you start PowerGREP, it will reload those files.
There's a clear difference between the two above options when you open an action file, make some changes to it, and close PowerGREP without saving the action file. If you select "remember the File Selection and Action themselves", PowerGREP will reload the modified action. If you select "remember the names of the File Selection and Action files last opened", PowerGREP will reload the original action file.
If you select "do not remember the File Selection or Action", PowerGREP will not automatically remember the file selection and action definition. New instances will start out with a blank file selection and action definition. Choose this option if you usually don't continue working with the last set of files or action. Then you don't have to manually clear the file selection and action definition each time.
Turn on "search through hidden files and folders" to make hidden files and folders visible in the File Selector. This option also affects system files and folders. PowerGREP completely ignores hidden and system files and folders unless you turn this option on.
Turn on "automatically get a list of network servers and shares" if you want PowerGREP to show all network servers it can find when you expand the Network node in the File Selector. You may want to turn off this option if your computer is connected to a very large network. A long list of servers clutters the File Selector.
When you turn off the option to automatically scan the network, you can still access the network by directly typing in a UNC path in the Path field in the File Selector. E.g. to access the network share "share" on the server "server", type \\server\share. That share will then appear under the Network node in the File Selector until you close PowerGREP.
When automatically scanning the network, PowerGREP can either search the whole network, or only the servers that are on the same Windows workgroup or domain as your computer. If you usually only access computers in your own workgroup or domain, you should turn on this option. You can still access servers outside your computer's domain by typing in a UNC path such as \\server\share.
In the box labeled "files excluded from all actions" you can enter a semicolon-delimited list of file masks or regular expressions, just like you do in the File Selector. All files of which the names match one of these file masks will be completely invisible to PowerGREP. They will not appear in the File Selector, and will never be searched through. The purpose of making files invisible this way is to reduce clutter in the File Selector.
By default, the permanent exclusion masks are set to *.bak;*.~*;Backup*;Working copy* which match all backup files created by PowerGREP, as well as temporary working copies of files created by EditPad Pro. If you'd ever need to search through backup files or working copies, you will need to adjust the permanent exclusion file masks first.
The box "folders excluded from all actions" works in the same way, except that the file masks you specify are tested against individual folder names. Folder names listed here will be completely invisible to PowerGREP. By default only __history is excluded. This is the folder name that PowerGREP uses for backup files when you select the "hidden history" backup option.
Turn on to use a semicolon-delimited list of regular expressions to permanently exclude files. Turn off to use wildcards to permanently exclude files.
Regular expressions are matched partially. E.g. the regular expression "joe" will exclude all files that contain "joe" anywhere in the file name. The equivalent file mask using wildcards is "*joe*". When using wildcards, "joe" excludes files exactly named "joe" only.
When you invoke a command to open or save a file, PowerGREP will show a list of files. If you previously opened or saved a file, the file list will show the folder containing that file. If not, the file list will show the folder you configured in the Operation Preferences.
Select "the most recently used folder" to make the file list show the folder you most recently opened or saved a file from in PowerGREP, even when you don't have a file open. Select "my documents folder" to make the file list default to a specific folder. By default, this is your Windows "My Documents" folder, but you can select any folder you like.