Search Preferences

On the Search tab of the Preferences you can set the options that affect the Search panel and the commands in the Search menu.

Prepare to Search

When you press Ctrl+F or select Search|Prepare to Search in the menu, EditPad moves keyboard focus to the Search panel (and makes it visible if needed). EditPad can also prepare a default search term.

Turn on “use the word under the cursor as the default search text (if there is no selection)” if you want EditPad to use the word under the cursor in the main editor as your default search term when nothing is selected. Turn on “use the selected text as the default search text (if the selection does not span multiple lines)” if you want the text that you selected before pressing Ctrl+F to be the default search term. You can turn on both options at the same time. If neither option is enabled or applicable then the Search panel opens with the most recently used search text. You can then use the selected text as the search text by right-clicking the Search box and selecting Selection as Search Text.

In EditPad Lite these options provide a quick way to search for a word or a bit of text (that you select) under or near the cursor. Though EditPad Pro supports this too, it provides an even quicker way. Search|Instant Find Next and Search|Instant Find Previous search for the next or previous occurrence of the word under the cursor or the selected text without using the Search panel at all. Any search term you entered on the Search panel remains.

EditPad never uses multiple lines of text as the default search text. If you want to search for multiple lines of text, switch to the multi-line search panel and then right-click the Search box and select Selection as Search Text.

EditPad can automatically turn on the Selection Only search option on if multiple lines of text are selected when you prepare to search. If you enable this, then EditPad also automatically turns off Selection Only when there is not a multi-line selection when you prepare to search.


The multi-line search panel automatically arranges the Search and Replace boxes to optimally use the available space. If you make the panel short and wide then the Search and Replace boxes are placed side-by-side. If you make the panel tall and narrow then the Search and Replace boxes are placed above and below each other. This is not something that you can configure.

If you make the panel tall and wide enough so that there is enough room for either arrangement then EditPad places the Search box above the Replace box. In the default layout of EditPad’s panels, the Search panel has the same width as the main editor. So stacking the Search and Replace boxes vertically allows them to show a full line of text without wrapping. If one box contains more lines of text than the other box then EditPad adjusts their relative heights to give more space to the box that needs to display more lines. This avoids having to scroll one box to see all its lines while the other box is showing a lot of blank space.

If you turn on “prefer side-by-side arrangement of multi-line Search and Replace boxes” then EditPad places the Search box to the left of the Replace box when there is enough space for either arrangement. Both will take up half the width of the Search panel.

When a search action fails, EditPad Pro does nothing except flash the icon of the button you clicked on the Search panel. If this is not obvious enough for you, you can turn on the option “beep when the search fails or loops”. A standard “error” beep then sounds when a search fails. If the “loop automatically” search option is on and EditPad Pro finds a match after restarting from the beginning, then a standard “notification” beep sounds.

Turn on “give the main editor keyboard focus when a search match is found” if you want to be able to immediately edit the search match after doing a Find First or Find Next. You can press F3 on the keyboard to continue to the next search match even when the editor has keyboard focus and even after the search panel has been closed. But if you prefer to be able to continue editing the text you’re searching for rather than the text found, turn this option off.

Unintended spaces and line breaks may cause EditPad to apparently not find search terms that do occur in the text but without those extra spaces or line breaks. To avoid this, you can turn on the option to always visualize spaces and tabs in the search panel. When this option is off, the Search panel only visualizes these characters when you’ve turned on the option to visualize spaces and line breaks in the file you’re editing.

Instant Search

Turn on “double-clicking a word instantly highlights all occurrences of that word” if you want to be able to invoke the Search|Instant Highlight command by double-clicking. Double-clicking still selects the word you’ve double-clicked, regardless of whether this option is on or off.

Turn on “Alt+double-clicking a word instantly replaces all occurrences of that word” if you want to be able to invoke the Search|Instant Replace command by double-clicking while holding down the Alt key.

A syntax coloring scheme can assign a double-click action to certain text. Many of the schemes included with EditPad display URLs as hyperlinks, for example. Double-clicking the URL opens it in your browser. When you double-click text that has a double-click action, only that action is performed. Nothing is selected and nothing is highlighted or replaced.

If you double-click text that does not have a double-click action then the word that you double-clicked on is selected. Double-clicking selects the word regardless of whether or not Instant Highlight or Instant Replace is invoked on that word.

List All Matches

Search|List All Matches and Search|Find on Disk can display a list of matches in a side panel. When the Search Matches panel shows matches from multiple files, you can fold each file’s search matches away under the file’s name. Turn on “fold matches from different files” if you want the matches to be folded this way by default.