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Windows 7 has a pretty good file indexing system "built in". It looks inside common file types, and can quickly bring up a list of candidate matches:Open Windows ExplorerClick on the part of the directory tree that you think may contain the file of interest (having directories structured into topics certainly helps here!)Click in the "Search Libraries" box at upper rightType in the keywords you want to findClick on the magnifying glass to start the searchA list of files appears; you can sort them by name, date, etc, or click on them to view the contents. When I was using Windows XP (I stopped less than a year ago), I found the Microsoft search function painfully slow, because it only looked into the files at the time of the search - plus, it didn't search inside PDFs.
Do you use sub-directories and folders? They can help with sorting some items, although one ends up with problems if there is too much redundancy in your directory tree, or if branches defy logic.
I wonder how effective the MSFT search functions are with text that includes format code?