User to user discussion and support for UltraEdit, UEStudio, UltraCompare, and other IDM applications.

Find, replace, find in files, replace in files, regular expressions
4 posts Page 1 of 1
UltraEdit v21.00 introduces a Quick Find command as known from many browsers which replaces the previous Incremental Search command.

Users upgrading from a version of UltraEdit prior v21.00 and using a customized layout (formerly known environment) should do following:

  1. Remove the Incremental Search command from menu Search if present and add instead the command Quick Find using the menu customization dialog opened by right clicking on the main menu and left clicking on Customize Menu...
  2. Remove the Incremental Search command from toolbar if present and add instead the command Quick Find using the toolbar customization dialog opened by right clicking on any toolbar and left clicking on Customize Toolbar...
  3. Remove the Search box from toolbar if present on any toolbar except you want to use it further which is possible as the Search box belongs to the Find command.
UltraEdit makes all those changes on first start after the upgrade on standard layouts.

Further, if the hotkey for Incremental Search command was customized in the previous version of UltraEdit, it is necessary to open Advanced - Configuration - Key Mapping and customize the hotkey for the commands:

  • SearchQuickFind (UE for Windows < v23.00 and UES < v16.00) respectively Quick find (since UE for Windows v23.00 and UES v16.00) with default key assignments Ctrl+F and Ctrl+Shift+I
    and
  • SearchQuickFindSwitchFocus (UE for Windows < v23.00 and UES < v16.00) respectively Quick find switch focus (since UE for Windows v23.00 and UES v16.00) with default Alt+Q.

The Quick Find is always a not case-sensitive, non regular expression find without any further options like matching whole words only or searching within columns. As of this limitations the Quick Find command has its own find history not shared with the find history of the Find command which supports multi-line searches, regular expressions searches, etc.

The Quick Find feature has its own Find Next and Find Previous which can be executed only when the small Quick Find window is currently opened by pressing the UP or DOWN arrow button in the Quick Find window or pressing RETURN (find next) or Ctrl+RETURN (find previous) when the Quick Find window has the input focus, i.e. caret is blinking in the edit field of Quick Find.

The commands Find Next (usually key F3) and Find Previous (usually key Ctrl+F3) always work with the last search string and of course the last used find options from the Find command history and prior v21.10.0.1026 never from the Quick Find history.

Starting with UE v21.10.0.1026 the last used quick find search string is used on Find Next and Find Previous if the previous executed find was a quick find and not a regular find. But the last used quick find search string is used with the options set currently for the regular find command which of course can result in completely different strings found by Find Next and Find Previous than by Quick Find depending on the find options. Therefore it is not advisable to frequently use Find Next and Find Previous with last search string of Quick Find command.

To switch the input focus from document window to the Quick Find window use Alt+Q or whatever hotkey is defined in the key mapping configuration for command SearchQuickFindSwitchFocus respectively Quick find switch focus. The same hotkey can be used to switch the input focus from Quick Find window back to the active document window.


By default the Quick Find command has 2 hotkeys assigned: Ctrl+F and Ctrl+Shift+I (letter I from incremental as prior v21.00). The Find command with command name SearchFind (UE for Windows < v23.00 and UES < v16.00) respectively Find (since UE for Windows v23.00 and UES v16.00) in key mapping configuration has by default only Alt+F3. Therefore pressing Ctrl+F opens by default since UE v21.00 the Quick Find window.

Pressing Ctrl+F while Quick Find window has input focus results in opening the dialog of the Find command with taking over the active search string from Quick Find to the regular Find command with all its additional options.

It is of course possible to change this behavior. By removing Ctrl+F from command SearchQuickFind and assigning it to command SearchFind respectively Find, it is possible to open with Ctrl+F always directly the Find dialog as prior v21.00. This can be done by simply selecting command SearchFind respectively Find in the commands list, set input focus to edit field below Press new (multi-)key, hit Ctrl+F and click on button Assign. Then only Ctrl+Shift+I or whatever hotkey is assigned to command SearchQuickFind respectively Quick find opens the Quick Find window.

SearchQuickFind_SearchFind.png
Key mappings of SearchQuickFind and SearchFind after assigning Ctrl+F back to Find command.
SearchQuickFind_SearchFind.png (10.85 KiB) Viewed 1925 times

As I mentioned already at beginning there is by default no search box anymore in a toolbar after upgrading to UltraEdit v21.00 (or any later version) and running UE the first time when using one of the standard layouts as managed by UltraEdit itself. However, the search box with a defined width can be nevertheless added to a toolbar using the toolbar customization dialog to quickly enter a new search string, or reselect one from the history, the history of the Find command, and execute a search using the last set options in the Find dialog which of course can be also a regular expression search which is not supported by Quick Find.


As users may be confused about all the Find windows, here is a collage of all Find windows captured with using Windows Classic desktop theme and using Classic UltraEdit theme with application layout set to Windows Classic. The Find windows displayed on this collage are:

  • Search Box with a very small width in toolbar
  • Quick Find window displayed at top right corner of the document window
  • Find window for active file in hex edit mode
  • Find window docked on right side and always visible
  • Find window floating anywhere on screen
  • Find window docked on right side with auto-hide option (pin) enabled and currently hidden
  • Slim Find window displayed after starting a regular find with button Next or Previous and setting Show slim find dialog after start enabled at Advanced - Settings/Configuration - Search - Miscellaneous.
Find_Windows_Collage.png
Collage of Find windows in UltraEdit for Windows version 21.10.
Find_Windows_Collage.png (61.16 KiB) Viewed 1925 times
Best regards from Austria
Some users like DCHooHa wonder why the name of the command Quick Find is in commands list of the key mapping configuration dialog SearchQuickFind and not just QuickFind in UltraEdit for Windows < v23.00 and UEStudio < v16.00.

Well, that is very easy to see, especially if the check box option Sort at top of the key mapping configuration dialog is not checked.

All commands which are by default located in a menu (not customized) start with name of menu (in English UltraEdit). The commands Find and Quick Find are both in menu Search and are listed therefore in the key mapping commands list with SearchFind and SearchQuickFind.

The order of the commands in the list is the same as in each menu with Sort option not being checked. First are listed all commands of menu File in the order as in the menu, next the commands of menu Edit, and so on.

So with knowing the name of a command and in which menu the command is located, the command can be very easily found in the commands list of the key mapping configuration dialog.

Of course there are exceptions from this primary rule of command name and position in the list as there are commands which are not present in any menu. In the not sorted commands list those commands are usually at bottom of the list. But some of those commands not available in any menu are unfortunately anywhere in the middle.

The main menu part is removed from the commands name and there is a space character between the words in command name since UE for Windows v23.00 and UEStudio v16.00.
Best regards from Austria
I've tripped upon this since upgrading to v21 this week when pressing <Ctrl+F> to do some searches... I'm happy to keep using the new Quick Find instead of the old find, but I'm having a severe muscle memory conflict with the way it works.

As a "Quick Find" implementation similar to what you mentioned about being common in many browsers, it rightly starts highlighting matching find results as soon as you start typing and before you hit <Enter>. As a side effect, hitting <Enter> isn't needed, but doing so moves you to the next find match. Is there any way or option to make it so that hitting <Enter> dismisses the input box? I ask because besides <Enter> moving to the next match, with the input box remaining open - any additional chars that I then type (something I'll usually do after a find to overwrite the find selection with other text) those chars are being typed into the Quick Find box.

I know I can hit <Escape> to dismiss the input box, but again - this is a muscle memory conflict, and I'll just have to switch <Ctrl+F> back to the old Find command if I can't customize the Quick Find behavior.
As I wrote in my first post, there is the command SearchQuickFindSwitchFocus (UE for Windows < v23.00 and UES < v16.00) respectively Quick find switch focus (since UE for Windows v23.00 and UES v16.00) with Alt+Q assigned by default which switches input focus from quick find window to document window and vice versa without closing the quick find window. You can assign any other hotkey you like with the exception of ESC, F1, RETURN, Ctrl+RETURN which trigger built-in events. It is not possible to reconfigure RETURN to close the quick find window instead of selecting the next occurrence of the searched string in document window.
Best regards from Austria
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