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Running Windows cmd findstr within java app

David Huynh

Joined: Jun 05, 2011
Posts: 2
Hi everybody,

I'd like to use findstr to see if a string exists or not within one or multiple directories. I found that for example findstr /c:\"word\" /d:C:\test;C:\test1 *.txt works fine within command prompt (given folders are made and whatnot), but I was wondering how I could implement this within a java method in order to run this command within an app, then do whatever depending on the output returned. From my google search, I tried the following:

What I was given back in the console was "C::" I'm not exactly sure what this means, but like I said the command does work in command prompt so I was expecting the same return value. I have also tried using process builder in order to do this, but as expected it gave me the same output.

Perhaps I did something wrong for the param of the exec method? Really unsure. Any help would be appreciated.

Joanne Neal

Joined: Aug 05, 2005
Posts: 3739
\ is a special character in Java strings which is used to escape other characaters - one of the characters it can be used to escape is a 't', \t in a Java string actually represenst a tab
" is also a special character (it marks the beginning and end of of a string literal - if you want an actual " in your string you need to escape it with a \.
So the actual command you are running is
findstr /c"word" /d:C:<tab>est;C:<tab>est1 *.txt
which is probably why you are getting strange results.

Wouter Oet
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Oct 25, 2008
Posts: 2700

I would advise you to read this article. Is a bit old but still very relevant.

"Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand." --- Martin Fowler
Please correct my English.
David Huynh

Joined: Jun 05, 2011
Posts: 2
Ah, I see what I did wrong now. Working nicely now, thanks a lot. Will also take a look at the article.
Campbell Ritchie

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39828
. . . and welcome to the Ranch
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