How to speed up File Search in version control?

SourceAnywhere is a SQL Server based version control tool designed for distributed teams. Since version 4.0 released on Aug 7, 2012, the tool supports “find in files”, which helps you search and navigate the source tree in seconds. In this article, I will introduce you to the basic technologies about the search feature in version control.

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Wildcard Search

Search for a specific document based on the file name. You can go to “SourceAnywhere Client -> Tools -> Wildcard Search” and enter the complete or part of the file name to “Wildcard”.

For instance, to search for a file named scanning.aspx, you can type scanning.aspx, scanning or scan to find the file. To narrow down the search result, you can choose the search area, and even filter the files by check-in date and/or file size.

wildcard search

Content Search

Besides Wildcard Search, you can also do the content search. The feature is quite useful when you have a relatively large project and/or have a distributed team cooperating together and working on the same project. To do Content Search in SourceAnywhere, you can go to “SourceAnywhere Client -> Tools -> Find in Files”. In the dialog box, you can enter the keywords you are looking for. For instance, if you want to find the HTTPUploadAllThroughPostAsMultiPageTIFF function, you can enter “httpupload” to “String”. If you are not sure which path the file containing the upload function is located in, you can type $/ to “Item” as you can see below.

find in files

SourceAnywhere introduces the following techniques to help you narrow down the search range and get a better content search experience:

  1. Regular Expression

A regular expression provides a concise and flexible means to match (specify and recognize) strings of text, such as particular characters, words, or patterns of characters. This can be used when you only remember part of the keyword you are looking for. Regular Expression Basic Syntax Reference haracter Value

haracter Value
. Wildcard: any character
* Repeat: zero or more occurrences of previous character or class
^ Line position: beginning of line
$ Line position: end of line
[class] Character class: any one character in set
[^class] Inverse class: any one character not in set
[x-y] Range: any characters within the specified range
\x Escape: literal use of metacharacter x
<xyz Word position: beginning of word
xyz> Word position: end of word

For detailed information, please refer to Findstr.

How to enable Regular Expression

a. Check the “Use regular expressions” option in “Find in Files”. b. Make sure that “Cache file” and “Cache file all versions” are checked, and in the meantime “Encrypt cached file” is unchecked. The options can be found at “SourceAnywhere Service Configurator -> Cache Settings”.

SourceAnywhere Cache

  1. File Filter

As the wildcard search, you can filter the files by the check-in date and file size. After you give the conditions and request for the search result, you’ll get the target file or a list of files that match the given conditions.

search result

Afterwards, you can view the files, export the search result or check out the target file directly.

  1. Windows Index Search.

To speed up the search process, Windows Index Search is supported by SourceAnywhere. Together with the cache mechanism supported by SourceAnywhere, the version control tool will add the list of cached files to the Windows Search index. In other words, after you get or search for a file once, you’ll have a much faster search experience from the second time.

How to enable Windows Index Search

SourceAnywhere will use Windows Index Search if the “Use regular expressions” option is not checked in the “Find in Files” dialog box.


After you add your projects to the version control tool, you can use Wildcard Search and Find in Files (Content Search) to organize the files and get the target files without any effort.

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