So, easy question but I can't seem to find the right answer yet.

Within Windows (eek!) using say notepad++, open file, enter *st* would show me all files containing "st"

How do I do the same in Ubuntu? Specifically I'm using Geany, open, it's showing me "all files" I try the same as I would in Windows but no filter is working. What am I missing?

3 Answers 3


Options are application specific

Just like in Windows, filtering options are application specific. Checking my Windows(7) VM, I actually could not find applications that supported filtering, using wildcards in their dialogue windows, apart from the one you mention.

Similar (wildcard-) functionality to what you describe is possible with e.g. Gedit:

In the Open dialogue window, click on the "pencil" button (upper left), the Location entry box will show. After you type an asterisk *, you can find a file by typing (any) part of its name:

enter image description here

Unfortunately,Geany does not support wild-card filtering in the Open dialogue.

General filtering options

Most other applications, filtering on first character(s) is standard:

  1. Open the "Open" dialogue
  2. Sort by name by clicking the "Name" column header, click on an item in the list (any) then type the first character(s) of what you are looking for
  3. The dialogue box will take you to the first item.
    While the other items are visible, scrolling up and down with the mouse or the arrow keys will only scroll in this subsection:

    enter image description here

    Example from the Geany dialogue box. all files are visible, but scrolling will only include files, starting with an "r"

In Nautilus windows it works exactly the same when you use list view.

  • Thanks for the response, however what if the keyword i'm looking for is in the middle of the filename? e.g. imgur.com/Ges8XFW
    – heronro
    Jan 15, 2015 at 11:59
  • @heronro updated the answer. Jan 15, 2015 at 14:42

Notepad++ is a derivative of Scintilla (SciTE) you can try it :)

Try Scintilla and SciTE http://scintilla.sourceforge.net/

  • I think OP is not really looking for a Notepad replacement. Jan 15, 2015 at 7:42

Accidentally found what you are looking for (using linux mint):

Normally when you press Ctrl+f or just start typing in the open file dialog the filtering works on the starting character sequence only.

Now, if you just clicked on a folder in the folder plane, Ctrl+f will open a search dialog, which you have to click, just typing won't work!

Then you do not use wildcards, just type the middle characters.


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