What is FAR?

FAR is a tool for search and replace operations over multiple files. You can apply ordinary "word by word" replacement, or choose to use fully featured regular expressions.

FAR automatically creates backups (unless you deselect this option) and is designed to operate on files dispersed over entire directory trees.

For your comfort you may define search strings that span multiple lines by just typing multiple lines - no obscure construct like "$\r?(?s:.)^" is required.

FAR wants to be this application that you only need once a year - but then you badly need it.

Why so FAR?

FAR has been created out of the need to change the layout of a website with hundreds of html pages. While all editors know "find and replace", and many support regular expressions, there is only a few that allows to:

  • Change a selection of files from different directories at once.
  • Allow search (and replace) patterns that span multiple lines.
Eventually FAR seeks to be fully platform independent. Being written in Java, it runs where Java runs.

How FAR Then?

Future development will be guided by user feedback and personal experience. Searching in archives is the next major milestone. The capabilities of the build in text viewer might be extended as well, but all this shall be guided by two major concerns: stability and usability.

Who is FAR?

FAR has been written by Olivier Wehner. I am a Java developer and I can't help it - I have no other hobbies.

SourceForge Links

Project News
2.0 - You gotta Grep it
This release comes with a new tab, providing extraction functionality similar to the well known Grep utility. This will help you getting an overview over the content of any collection of files. And it allows you go generate condensed information from the content of spread sources.
It is the second big feature I always wanted to integrate into FAR, and a huge step towards feature completion (if such thing exists). Together with the usual bugfixes and FARs ripe state it deserves a 2.0 version number.
Come and grab one for yourself.
1.8 - Comfortable configuration
Sometimes it takes a bit longer to get what you've got to get, especially when you follow the old open source quality principle "it's ready when it's ready".
A lot of work has been done under the hood, but there is also some eye candy. Most notably, the configuration user interface has received a face lift. Most visible: there are more filters for the FIND operation. For instance, you can now exclude certain directories from your search path. I hope you enjoy this release, and do not hesitate to drop a note in the bugtracker if you want to make a wish!
1.7 - The Selection Edition
First of all, a big thanks to all you loyal users. The truly sky-rocketing download numbers have been my greatest reward and motivation.
Now what's in the box? For me the coolest is subselects: You can apply a pattern to the file list to select only a few for further processing. Useful not only for very large lists, but also to find more than one pattern in a file, which is sometimes hard to state in a single regular expression.
Then you can save an load patterns for search or replace, there is a toolbox that allows to change the character encoding or the line break character, and ultimately, for users of Java 6 and higher, FAR has become sensitive for drag and drop. So you can now pull a bunch of files or directories onto the application to load all contained files into the list. And there is even more, check out the change log for a full picture.
1.6.5 - Stayin' Alive
While download numbers are ever increasing (hey, thanks everyone!), I sadly did not have much time for FAR since the last release. That's why this one does not get a "round" version number. Yet I still managed to add some goodies. First of all, a long standing request from Karl Jones has been implemented: Open files and folder from the file list context menu (requires Java 6+). And then, along with the missing Copy option, there is now a really cool Tree Copy feature. Check it out! Bugs were fixed too, of course.
1.6 - Find and Rename
Now this is something I wanted to add since the beginning: bulk file renaming. It nicely blends into the general concept of FAR as a GUI for bulk file operations. But even if you do not care about this at all, you will want to have this new release! The "view" and "preview" window now come with a marker ruler that shows the position of matches in a file. Plus you can save the found file list to disk, or load arbitrary lists of files for processing.
1.4 - A FAR View
Here comes the feature we have waited for so desperately: View your findings and preview your changes. But that's not all you can do with the new release. You can now also edit files directly from within the application, plus FAR now provides you with some essential informations about the files. You gotta have it!
1.2.1 - Fix Me First
A bugfix release for #2932261 - "Doesn't search all file type". I currently don't find the time to prepare a new feature release, so I thought I fix at least this nasty malfunction. Searching for multiple extensions does now work properly. However, enhanced viewer and editor capabilities are planned to be implemented before the end of the year.
1.2 - The Candy Release
Some new features have been added that are supposed to make the handling smoother. In particular, since it's Christmas time, Florians wish has been granted: there is an undo history on every textarea now.
And thanks to the people of launch4j FAR fits better into Windows. The integration into Mac OS X has also been reworked. Check out the change log for details.
Number One!
Version 1.0 is out with polishing and bug fixes and a tiny enhancement: You can now define patterns to exclude files from you search. Comes in handy if you are looking for files that are missing a particular entry. Give it a try!
A Fix To Win
Sorry for those who ran into this: On Windows you where blocked when you tried to make two (2) replace operations on the same file! You would just get red lines in you file list, and maybe a silly error message. 0.9.7 fixes this.
First Ardent Release
Here comes FAR, the brand new cross platform Find And Replace utilitiy. Check it out!

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