Since there seem to be no easy solutions to this problem, which are INDEPENDENT OF FILE CONTENTS, I’d like to ask what is the best way to make a new feature request to the authors of Notepad++ ?
Adding a check box “Output Filenames Only” to the “Search in Files” tab should take them 15 minutes since it does not require creating a new algorithm or new data. Just a trimming down of the data currently output to the Find results window.
If they care about the speed of the search, they could also terminate searching the current file once the first hit is made …and go on to searching the next file.
This way, if a 100MB file contains 9999 matching strings and the 1st hit is located in the beginning of this file, then only a small portion of it would need to be searched to output the filename (i.e. the beginning of it). Statistically, that would save a lot of CPU cycles and disk I/O when searching a set of big files.
Alternately, fixing the Ctrl-C vs. RightClick-Copy behavior to be synonymous and to copy only file names when the results are collapsed (+) in the Results window, would be an elegant solution to this problem.
Getting rid of the (hits xxx) text at the ends of the paths, remains but seems to be solvable with a regex workaround, etc…