Results Preferences

In the Results section in the Preferences screen, you can configure some general aspects of how PowerGREP displays search results.

Results Preferences

Results Display Options

When the option “search through binary files” is off in the File Selector menu, PowerGREP will not search through binary files. To avoid surprises, PowerGREP will show a list on the Results panel of all files it skipped. Turn off the option “indicate skipped binary files” if this list bothers you.

Turn on the option “indicate backup files” if you want to see the name of each backup file listed along with each target file in the results, when that target file caused a file to be overwritten. If you turn off this option, backup copies will still be made, but will not be indicated in the results. This option does not affect the Undo History.

By default, PowerGREP indicates files using their full paths in the results. If you turn on the option “show relative paths”, PowerGREP will show relative paths instead. Full paths make sure there is no confusion between files with identical names. Relative paths reduce clutter when searching through files in deep folder structures.

The paths will be shown relative to the folder that was marked in the File Selector. If you directly marked a file or folder, no path information will be shown for that file, or the files inside that folder. If you marked a folder for recursion, files inside that folder will be shown with paths relative to that folder.

When search matches are grouped per file in the results, PowerGREP will automatically place the results for each file in a foldable block. You can fold or unfold the file’s results by clicking on the + or - button in the left margin. When folded, only the file’s path will be visible.

If you turn on the option to fold files by default, the results will initially show only a list of file paths. To see the results of a particular file, you’ll need to click the + button to unfold it. If you turn the option off, all results for all files will be visible initially. You can then click the - button to collapse files you’re no longer interested in, so there’s more space in the results for the remaining files.

Most of the settings for the text viewer on the Results panel are combined into a “text layout”. If you have previously configured text layouts in the Action or Editor sections of the preferences, you can select a previously configured text layout from the drop-down list. If not, click the Configure Text Layout button to specify font, text direction, cursor behavior, word selection options, extra spacing, etc.

Results Limits

It’s easy to (inadvertently) execute a PowerGREP action that gathers a large amount of search results. Particularly collecting context can eat up a lot of memory. By setting certain limitations you can make sure PowerGREP doesn’t eat up all of your computers memory producing more results than you can even begin to look at.

Maximum Memory Usage to Display Results

All the matches and their context that PowerGREP displays on the Results panel have to fit into your computer's memory. With this setting you can limit the (approximate) amount of memory that PowerGREP will use to display results. This prevents PowerGREP from running out of memory or starving other applications running on your computer for memory.

When an action produces more results than PowerGREP can keep in memory, the action will run to completion. All search matches will be found and processed. The only difference is that the search matches that no longer fit into the allotted memory won't be displayed in the results. PowerGREP then only indicates how many matches were found in each file, just as it does for all files when you use the Quick Execute command in the Action menu.

The memory limit is for each instance of PowerGREP. If you run multiple PowerGREP instances at the same time, reduce the limit so your PC has enough actual RAM for all PowerGREP instances.

Maximum Length of a Line of Context

While showing one line of context is usually very convenient, extremely long lines (such as a large XML file with everything on one line) make it hard to see the matches as you'll need to do a lot of horizontal scrolling. The setting for the maximum length of a line of context acts as a safety valve. When showing lines as context, PowerGREP will split up lines that are too long.

This setting does not affect file sectioning. When sectioning files line by line, lines are always searched entirely as one piece, even if they are billions of characters long.

The default setting is 10,000. The minimum setting is 1,000. Anything less than that is easily handled by the Results panel. If you want your lines to fit on screen, use the Word Wrap item in the Results menu instead.