Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
by Chris Taylor
comes to searching for and manipulating files, there are
a lot of utilities out there. I recently came across an
interesting free program called Swiss File Knife (SFK).
This utility has an incredible array of capabilities
built into a single, compact, command-line program. There
are versions for Windows, Linux and MacOS. While there is
probably not a lot about SFK that is unique, it might be
able to replace a couple of dozen or more separate
SFK is a portable program. You
dont have to install it. Just open a CMD prompt,
and run the small program (under 2 MB) with the
appropriate command line option to have it perform the
function you want. If you run it with no parameters, it
will provide help information. The small size and
portable nature of the program makes it ideal to have on
a flash drive you carry with you. Then you have it
available when working on any computer.
SFK can do a
searching, it can find files that contain specific text
strings, report on the size of folders or folders with
files or a certain age, count the lines in text files,
and find files over a given size. There is a duplicate
file finder. You can compare two folders to find
different or added files. Head and Tail functions list
the starting or ending lines of a text file. SFK can
create and verify MD5 checksums, which is a way of
uniquely identifying files and often used to verify that
a file has not been modified in any way.
SFK can also
manipulate the contents of files: replace tabs with
spaces, eliminate duplicate lines, sort files, insert
text at the beginning or end of files, replace a given
string with other text, and split large files into
some more esoteric functions built into SFK. You can it
have remove spaces from file and folder names. This can
be useful when you are doing batch processing of files
where spaces in file and folder names can cause problems.
It can grab text from the Windows clipboard or put text
onto the clipboard. You can search for text strings in
environment variables. The pathfind parameter allows you
to see where a program on your path actually loads from.
One of the
odder functions is phonetic spelling; a way of speaking a
word or phrase when you have to make sure the receiver
gets the exact correct spelling. SFK spell packet will
return Peter Alpha Charlie King Echo Tango. If you prefer
NATO phonetic spelling, SFK spell -nato packet will
return Papa Alpha Charlie Kilo Echo Tango. Say either to
someone and they will understand you mean packet, as
opposed to what they might think if you say Phishing
Aisle Cue Knot Eye Tsar.
SFK can even
create an FTP or Web server on your computer. They are
not particularly full-featured, and the security (or lack
thereof) is such that intranet-only use is recommended.
But if you need a quick and dirty way to transfer some
files, SFK can do the job.
functions in SFK have a myriad of option switches to
modify the way they operate. The functions I have
mentioned just scratch the surface of what SFK can
accomplish. For full details, see the web site.
help may be sufficient for many. If you want all the
built-in help in a single text file, SFK dumphelp >
sfk-help.txt will produce a 320K file called
sfk-help.txt. If you want more, you can buy a $5,
260-page PDF file with complete details, including 60
pages of tutorials.
Swiss File Knife: version
Operating System: Windows, Linux and MacOS
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full OPCUG website with frames.
Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.