Manual says that "The --text option has been removed.". It was setting the --type to text, i.e. ack was searching all text files regardless of their semantic category (i.e. in *.php files, *.txt files, *.cpp files, etc.). How to obtain this behavior in current version of ack?

2 Answers 2


Use ack without a --type predicate:

ack <search pattern>

It ignores binary files and searches all textual files regardless of file type.

  • 1
    This is not the same bahavior. As I have clearly described in question, ACK was searching in text files regardless of their semantic category, i.e. in *.php files, *.pl files, etc.
    – Jerry Epas
    Nov 25, 2014 at 0:53
  • 1
    I have clearly edited my answer for you ;-) Nov 25, 2014 at 6:38
  • Good luck with a minified js file. It's invisible to ack, even for those magical special type searching in other answers. I think it might be because of line length (3247 chars). Feb 14, 2019 at 20:31

ack 2 no longer has a --text option because ack 2's default behavior is to search all text files.

This means that

ack1 --text foo

is the same as

ack2 foo

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