(1.3M size, last updated 2017-09-20)
Requires .NET 4 or higher (your PC probably already has it).
WildGem is a small, free, lightning-fast, portable, single-file app for Windows to help find and replace text. Its powerful syntax combines most of the flexibility of Regex, but with the simplicity of the typical find/replace feature found in your text editor or word processor.
Unlike similar programs, WildGem is fast with a dual split display, and updates or highlights matches as you type in realtime. A unique colour coded syntax allows you to easily find/replace text without worrying about having to escape special symbols.
If you're a beginner who only occasionally uses find and replace, WildGem will feel second-nature, and can even help you to formulate queries with wildcards.
If you're moderately competent with basic or extended expressions, but rarely use Regex, WildGem will allow to create more powerful expressions more quickly with its intuitive interface. Individual WildGem symbols can replace the equivalent of up to 22 Regex symbols!
If you're an expert with Regex and use it all the time, you may still appreciate the simpler syntax, colour coding, lightning speed, large input/output areas, realtime updating as you type, and the feature which converts your expression into the equivalent Regex syntax.
More information behind the purpose of WildGem:Regex is such a powerful way of editing text, but its power comes at a cost. The learning curve is pretty steep, and there's a lot of syntax to remember.
A simple example is replacing something starting with "The" and ending with "Fox" (for example: "The quick brown fox"). Regex would look like this: "the.*?fox". But WildGem simplifies the ".*?" bit to a single WildGem symbol - ✪. So you'd search for "the✪fox" instead. Want to search for one or more letters? The ⊚ symbol replaces the Regex "[a-zA-Z]+?" Likewise, the simple symbol ⇕ is used for new lines or the start/end of a line (equivalent to the messy Regex (?:^|$|\\r\\n|\\r|\\n) ).
These special symbols and many more are available at all times in the interface (along with short and clear help), so you can incorporate them easily into your expression.
Offering unique symbols for commonly used functionality has a few advantages over Regex. Firstly, they are easier to commit to memory, and to distinguish from literal text. On top of colour coding, there's no worry about escaping them which helps to make the expression even shorter and hence clearer.
History:2017-09-20: v1.24: Clicking Find next now won't crash if there are no matches. Also, changing the query after a "Find next" retrieval will now automatically revert to showing all matches
2016-02-17: v1.23: Added view End of Line mode (this makes it a lot clearer when doing fidgety queries that involve the end or start of a line). Also fixed bug involving replacing when lookahead/behind (e.g: Pos >>) is used in the query (replace didn't work before - it does now).
2015-07-09: v1.22: Added load and save file buttons.
2015-05-06: v1.21: Added "Isolate matches" option and rejigged UI.
2015-05-06: v1.20: Lots of small additions which should polish it up:
2015-05-06: v1.10: Official version released! Main advantages over v1.00 beta version include allowing escape chars in find/replace fields, and faster, less glitchy editing.