Email ektimo(at)pacbell(dot)net for all things related to HandyFind. I appreciate bug reports, descriptions of minor annoyances, suggestions, or anything else related to HandyFind. I often reply within 24 hours.

How do I use this thing?

See "Using HandyFind" on the
home page.

Where does it work?

HandyFind works in many places that text is available but not everywhere. The only way to know for sure is to click the area you're trying to search and press the hot key for activating search mode. If HandyFind supports it, the find balloon will appear. Otherwise nothing will happen.

Here's a partial list of places where HandyFind works:

  • Anywhere that uses the Microsoft web browser control 5.0 and higher. This includes: Internet Explorer, the help for most applications, Yahoo! Messenger*, Maxthon Browser, Avant Browser, AOL Explorer, MSN Explorer, and other places that use the Microsoft browser control.
  • Microsoft Word 98 and higher
  • Excel 2000 and higher.
  • Anywhere that uses the standard edit control. This includes: Notepad, WordPad, Outlook emails*, TED Notepad, editable combo boxes and other simple text displays.
(* Highlighting works but HandyFind can't determine the correct location for the Find balloon so it stays in the upper-left corner.)

HandyFind does not work in Firefox or Opera.

The secret feature (that I can't live without) works anywhere that you can paste text.

System Requirements

Windows Vista/XP/2000/NT. (HandyFind does not work on Windows ME, Windows 98 or earlier or other Operating Systems.)


  • Open With some complex web pages, searching is slow or the balloon appears in wrong place or it plain doesn't work.
  • Open Searching is very slow in very large RTF documents
  • Open There are some minor memory leaks.
  • Fixed in 2.0.10 Don't display an error when trying to start and already running (in case it was getting started automatically)
  • Added in 2.0.10 Allow Enter to exit
  • Fixed in 2.0.9Yikes, take out debug logging released with 2.0.8
  • Changed in 2.0.8Switch to version 8 of Microsoft runtime dlls
  • Changed in 2.0.7 Added "Donate" option to system tray menu
  • Added in 2.0.6 Support for Windows Vista.
  • Fixed in 2.0.5 Occasionally the balloon didn't disappear when it should have.
  • Fixed in 2.0.5 Automically exit search mode and pass through control type keys that HandyFind doesn't use.
  • Fixed in 2.0.4 Crash that happens when another type of document that HandyFind supports brings itself to the foreground when you are in the middle of doing a search.
  • Fixed in 2.0.3 Crash when pressing Shift/Ctrl/Alt+Enter before ever activating HandyFind.
  • Added in 2.0.2 Set focus in IE when searches land on links.
  • Added in 2.0 Support for Excel.
  • Added in 2.0 Animated balloon for better visibility.
  • Changed in 2.0 Changed default color scheme and added more schemes.
  • Fixed in 2.0 Search for Numpad 0 didn't work.
  • Added in 1.9 Support for non-Western keyboard input.
  • Fixed in 1.9 Crash when starting Windows XP if Show Desktop Icons is turned off.
  • Fixed in 1.8 Not working in WordPad on Windows XP.
  • Fixed in 1.7 Installer may complain that a system file already exists and ask you if you want to overwrite it. Now it won't ask you and will just leave the existing file in place.
  • Fixed in 1.7 Start on startup was broken by default.
  • Fixed in 1.6 Search mode may incorrectly activate in version 1.4 when typing a keystroke after pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete. It may act as if Ctrl or Alt key is still down.
  • Changed in 1.4 Key settings changed to use arrows instead of function keys.
  • Fixed in 1.4 Sometimes it doesn't work in Outlook messages even though the balloon appears. [Now it works except the balloon won't appear in the right place. This also applies to Yahoo! Messenger.]
  • Fixed in 1.4 When user types uppercase letters, they don't appear uppercase in search balloon.
  • Fixed in 1.3 When memory is very low, HandyFind may suddenly go out of search mode. [Actually, this was related to a COM usage issue, not memory.]
  • Fixed in 1.2 HandyFind crashes if you select over 1000 characters of text in edit fields and try to search.
  • Fixed in 1.2 HandyFind slows down after continuing use.
    Fixed in 1.2 On rare occasions, applications will become disabled due to HandyFind and need to be killed.
  • Fixed in 1.1, 2.0.1 Error message at startup on some machines saying dynamic link library msvcr70.dll could not be found. (Broke this again in 2.0 and fixed in 2.0.1)
  • Fixed in 1.0.1 When using a debugger (such as Microsoft Visual Studio) while HandyFind is running, the debugger may hang. Fix notes: There is a registry key that allows you to turn off HandyFind behavior in particular processes. Please email me if you need to do this. Version 1.0.1 also includes a secret feature.

How do I know what version I'm running?

To tell what version you're using, right click on the HandyFind icon and select Help. The version number is shown near the top of the page.