Find Files and Folders

Simple Search for File and Folder Names

If you know the name of the file you want to find, begin typing the first characters of the name in the Current Folder browser. As you type, the Current Folder browser searches downward from the top of the window, looking through all expanded folders.

Alternatively, to find a series of characters anywhere in the name of a file:

  1. Click the search button in the current folder toolbar. The address bar becomes a search field.

  2. Type a portion of a file name. The asterisk character (*) is a wildcard. For example, to show only file names that begin with coll and have a .m extension, type coll*.m.

  3. Press Enter.

    MATLAB® displays all files within the current folder (including its subfolders) that match that file name. If you typed the full path to a folder, that folder becomes the current folder.

  4. Clear the results and show all items in the current folder by pressing the Esc key.

    Tip   To open the Current Folder browser if it is not open, do the following: on the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Layout. Then, under Show, select Current Folder. Show and hide columns, or sort and group columns by clicking , and then selecting an option.

Advanced Search for Files

Use the Find Files tool to:

  • Search for a specified string in file names and within files

  • Include or exclude specified file types from your search

  • Search in specified folders

  • Exclude large files from your search

To conduct an advanced search for files, open the Find Files tool. On the Home tab, in the File section, click Find Files. Enter your search criteria in the dialog box that opens.

Use the Look in menu to specify the folders you want to search. Select Entire MATLAB Path to search all folders on the MATLAB search path. Alternatively, you can enter the full path for one or more folders. Separate each path with a semicolon (;).

Click Find to begin the search. Search results appear in the right pane of the dialog box, with a summary at the bottom. For text searches, results include the line number and line of code. To see file locations, select Show full path names.

Open one or more files by right-clicking the files and selecting one of the Open options.

Include or Exclude File Types

You can search for files with only a specified extension, by selecting an option in the Include only file type(s) menu. For example, select *.m to limit the search to MATLAB program files.

To exclude some file types from the search:

  1. In the Include only file type(s) menu, select All files (*).

  2. Under More options, select the Skip file type(s) box and click Edit. The Edit Skipped File Extensions dialog box opens.

  3. Select the State check box for the file types to exclude from your search.

  4. Click OK to accept your changes.

You can remove any file extension from the list by selecting the extension to highlight it. Then, click Remove.

Search Within File

Under More options, you can choose to search file contents for a partial word. From the Search type menu, select Contains text. To find an exact full-string match, select Matches whole word.

Searching within large files can be time consuming. To speed up your search, specify a file size in the Skip files over field. The Find Files tool ignores files larger than the size you specify.

Troubleshooting

If the Find Files tool does not find the file you want, try the following:

  • When searching for file names, use the asterisk character (*) as a wildcard character to expand your search. For example, to show file names that begin with coll and have a .m extension, type coll*.m.

  • Select the Include Subfolders check box if the file might be in a subfolder.

  • If you select the Skip file type(s) check box, ensure that you do not exclude relevant file types from your search. Click Edit and review the Edit Skipped File Extensions dialog box. Ensure that relevant file types do not have the State check box selected.

See Also

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