Looking for color grep for Windows? I was. I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for; instead, I found something better.
ack is a tool like grep, designed for programmers with large trees of heterogeneous source code.
- If you don’t have it yet, get ActivePerl.
- Download the standalone version of ack; save it with a .pl extension
- Create a batch file somewhere under %PATH% named ack.bat which invokes perl with ack:
@C:\Perl\bin\perl.exe C:\Tools\ack-standalone.pl %*
You should now be able to type ack arguments from anywhere, however this won’t get colors working right away. To do that:
- Install the Win32::Console::ANSI module using PPM (you’ll need to add the repository).
- In ack-standalone.pl, add this line after the other two use lines:
- Create a file named .ackrc in your user profile folder (usually C:\Documents and Settings\Username), with the contents:
--color --color-match bold red
“bold red” (which actually means bright red) is my own preference; I think it’s nicer than the default “black on_yellow”, and the default color for grep (on *nix) as well.