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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Apr 2016
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    Search .pdf, .doc, .ppt files for information contained in excel cells and return path


    I have an Excel spreadsheet with a "drug name" in column A. The "drug name" listed in column A appear in one or more Ms office .doc .pdf .ppt files in one or more source directories.

    I need Excel to search the files recursively and return the path(s) of the file(s) that contain the "drug name" specified in column A into column B. If more than one file go to column C etc.

    Is that possible? Is it possible to search in a sounds like manner? Is it also possible to search in greek (is it intonation sensitive?)?
    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP
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    Dec 2009
    Thanked 1,117 Times in 1,040 Posts
    You can use Excel to read the file names for a specific word, but I doubt you will be able to search file content, particularly as you have multiple formats.
    If Windows search has indexed the files and allows you to find specific words you may be able to leverage Windows to automate the search, but it's not a simple task.

    PowerShell to query Windows Search links

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP
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    Mar 2002
    Newcazzle, UK
    Thanked 643 Times in 611 Posts

    Paul is right.
    It is not a simple task.

    Here are some issues you may need to consider:
    1. How many files have to be searched? (1TB drive could contain 1 million 1MB files, 2 million 500Kb files etc )
    2. What if files are password protected?
    3. What about encrypted folders?
    4. What about files contained in, say, compressed zip files?
    5. What about new files being added to folders after you have already 'processed' that folder

    There are many other things to consider too.
    However, if you've gotta do it, then, well, it is possible.
    And it could be done.
    Searching files for drugs??? Sounds like a job for the DEA!


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