Excel Software: How To Search For Text Through Multiple Big Excel Files

Working with big Excel spreadsheets never have been easy, especially when you need to search for a piece of text in a file that have thousands, even ten of thousands rows. Searching through a single file can cost you hours, if not days if you work on a slow computer. To make the matter worse, sometimes you need to search in multiple files and search for multiple strings.

Let me give you an example.

I have this excel file contains a list of order from a local store. For some reasons, the owner needs to search for the items with order ID “CA-2016-108210”.

a very big excel file with ten thousands rows
a very big excel file with ten thousands rows

Normally, you would press Ctrl+F or Command + F on a Mac to start searching. The file only has 10,000 rows and it takes me a second to find the match. If there are ten matches, you may need ten seconds. The problem becomes harder when you need to search through many sheets and multiple files.

There is always a better way, right?

Luckily, there is a better way to do this boring task, which is using a pieces of software made exactly to do this task.

Let’s have a look at the software and how it works.

Software to search text in big excel files
Software to search text in big excel files

As you can see, this is the software that solves the searching problem in big excel files. You see its true value when you have many files to search and many text to find. Also, the larger the files, the more time the software can save you.

This is the way this software work step by step:

  1. You select the file or files you need to search by clicking on add excel files button at the top left of the panel. You can select multiple excel files using this button.
  2. Then, enter the text you want to search in these files, you need to enter one search per line. There is no limit.
  3. Click on start searching

It takes some time for the software to go through the files and find the text you want to find. As you can guess, the bigger the files, the longer it takes to find all matches. However, in comparison to a human, the software is much quicker, by hundreds times.

 

Find Big Files And Delete To Clean Up Your Computer

So I usually find out that there are old files that occupy my HDD but I don’t know which one . For example, I downloaded movies long time ago, watched but didn’t delete. I was searching for a program to help me find such files and delete them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any.

So, I decided to make one. It turns out the task was quite easy. I completed the app in just a few hours of work. You can download it here:

BigFileFinder.jar

big file finder screen

Simply run it and find the find, the tutorial can be found below.

 

Make sure you install JRE 8 on your computer. This application works on Mac OSX, Windows and Linux.

Happy cleaning!

 

 

Coping with competition who has better products

As a solo developer, I usually face a fact that there are products that better than mine in some extends or even many extends. In cases like this, having the right response is important to save myself from negative thoughts.

Step 1: Face the reality

Competitor’s product is better and even I like to use it, it’s a fact. Giving the two products to 100 people and 70 would choose the one that isn’t mine. You may say that owning 30% of the market is that bad. However, the market doesn’t just have two players. There are many others out there. In addition, satisfying being second or worse will make the business go south.

Step 2: Learn from the competitor

The competitor is better for obvious reasons, they have done certain things better than I have. So, the task is to find where they’ve done better and apply, if applicable to my current application.

Step 3: Discover how can both products improve

No product is perfect, even the competitor’s. By inspecting their product in step 2, I had a good idea on how the product can be improved.

Step 4: Apply the changes to the my product

Saying is easy, implementing is hard. However, this step is vital to keep the product relevant to the customers.

Competition is a reality. One can be stressed because of it. Other can learn from it. Which response I choose is completely up to myself.

 

 

10 Hours Apps

I’ve recently posted a blog here detailing my plan to generate $10,000/month from various sources (by making software, of course). The plan was to make many apps and monetize them in a various ways. Time is limited since I still have a day job. So, I came up with the idea of 10 hours apps. The backbone of this idea is one app/game should take at most 10 hours from idea to the first MVP (most viable product) to be used by the users.

10 hours doesn’t seem to be much. However, with careful planning, I believe I can create decent apps in that time frame. 10 hours isn’t short for concentrated coding and planning.

Here is the plan that I’m going to use that 10 hours:

  • Hours 0 to 1: Drawing the interface, find out the requirements of the app, what libraries I need to use.
  • Hours 1 to 2: Break down the components that comprise the app. By doing so, I can see the map that I need to go through to actually build the app.
  • Hours 2 to 10: Build components by components until the app is completely built.

Here are the advantages of this method:

  • It makes me more time conscious: For a long time, I think time is an unlimited resources, not anymore. Careful use of time is the most important thing in life.
  • It makes progresses measurable: Instead of spending months and months on a app. I can now see how many hours I’ve worked and how much progress I’ve made.
  • It minimizes the risk of app’s failure: If the app is a failure, I will move on to next app. 10 wasted hours isn’t good but surely better than 10 months.
  • It makes me more careful when picking ideas to work on: As I have only 10 hours per project, I will need to be very careful when picking ideas to start. If projects that costs a lot more than 10 hours, it will be put on the shelf.
  • It force innovation: Limited resources promotes innovation. I will need to come up with better way to manage my time and work more efficient.

Some concerns

  • Does this mean the apps will be crappy: No, the app will be released after 10 hours of work. However, I will work to improve them gradually, depends on their potential.

So, that’s the plan, now comes the execution.