A few months ago I was talking to fellow Access developer (and Autohotkey enthusiast!) Ben Sacherich.  We had a great conversation about Autohotkey and other productivity tools.  

One of the tools Ben mentioned was the file search utility Everything from voidtools.  I didn't think much of it at the time, but I went ahead and installed the utility to play around with it.  Here's the description of what the tool does from the official website:

Locate files and folders by name instantly.

  • Small installation file
  • Clean and simple user interface
  • Quick file indexing
  • Quick searching
  • Minimal resource usage
  • Share files with others easily
  • Real-time updating

Let me tell you, when it says it "locates files and folders by name instantly," it means instantly.

I should caveat this by pointing out that the two development machines I'm running it on each have 32 GB of RAM and SSDs.  However, I think those specs probably only affect the initial file indexing.  That said, the initial indexing was under 30 seconds for each machine.

Using Everything

I'm still only scratching the surface of what this utility is capable of, but it has completely changed my workflow already.  

I keep the app open and running at all times so I can easily access it.  I usually keep the window set to sort files by most recently modified.  When I'm looking for a recent file, I type in the file extension and the file I'm looking for is immediately shown.

The utility supports drag and drop of the file itself, so that's what I use to attach documents to emails, files to my FogBugz bug database events, or just to move files around the file system via File Explorer windows.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are a couple of keyboard shortcuts that I have found most useful so far.  Again, I'm a novice with the tool, so these are just to get you going:

  • Ctl + Enter: open the highlighted file in a new File Explorer window
  • Ctl + Shift + C: copy the full path of the file to the clipboard

Installing Everything

You can get the installer directly from the main website: https://www.voidtools.com/

Alternatively, you can use the Windows "package manager," chocolatey:

chocolatey install everything

How do you use it?

If you're already using Everything, what are your favorite tips and tricks?  Let me know on Twitter (@nolongerset) or send me an email (mike at nolongerset.com).