String locator


When working on themes and plugins you often notice a piece of text that appears hardcoded into the files, you need to modify it, but you don’t know where it’s located in the theme files.

Easily search through your themes, plugins or the WordPress core and be presented with a list of files, the matched text and what line of the file matched your search.
You can then quickly make edits directly in your browser by clicking the link from the search results.

By default a Smart-Scan is enabled when making edits, this will look for inconsistencies with braces, brackets and parenthesis that are often accidentally left.
This drastically reduces the risk of breaking your site when making edits, but is not an absolute guarantee.

** Translations**

српски (Serbian) – Ognjen Djuraskovic

Español (Spanish) – Ognjen Djuraskovic

Deutsch (German) – pixolin


  • Searching through the Twenty Fourteen theme for the string 'not found'
  • Having clicked the link for one of the results and being taken to the editor in the browser
  • Smart-Scan has detected an inconsistency in the use of braces


  1. Upload the string-locator folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. You will find the String Locator option under then Tools menu


Will Smart-Scan guarantee my site is safe when making edits?

Although it will do it’s best at detecting incorrect usage of the commonly used symbols (parenthesis, brackets and braces), there is no guarantee every possible error is detected. The best safe guard is to keep consistent backups of your site (even when not making edits).

As of version 1.6, the plugin will check your site health after performing an edit. If the site is returning a site breaking error code, we’ll revert to the previous version of the file.

My search is failing and I am told that my search is an invalid pattern

This error is only related to regex searches, and is based off how PHP reads your regex string.

When writing your search string, make sure to wrap your search in forward slashes (/), directly followed by any modifiers like case insensitive (i) that you may want to use.


So glad I found this

After way too much spent hunting for a link I needed to update (and could find nowhere in the site or code), I found String Locator. The plugin found the link in minutes, took me immediately to the place to make and save the change, and left me feeling so happy. I wish I had thought to look for this type of plugin sooner. Super-helpful and easy to use.

Exactly What I Needed

I had been trying to find a line of code in a plugin for ages manually with no success. I then came across this plugin and within seconds I located the string I needed to change. Brilliant Plugin – 5 stars!

That’s a life saver

I lost maybe 2 weeks translating some plugins and themes,
with this plugin I was able to do it in less then a hour!

I’m just glad I found that plugin

Read all 38 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“String locator” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.




  • Fix for max execution times some times being interpreted as strings and failing when you it should be able to run indefinitely
  • Fix for regex being enabled when you return to the search results, but you hadn’t performed a regex search
  • Resolved some code issues with functions being called improperly (future proofing)


  • Improved error messages
  • Add regex pattern validation before performing a search
  • Fixed bug causing some searches to be identified as regex when they are not, leading to errors
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the first file in every search chunk from being ignored


  • Add support for configurations with infinite execution times
  • Better code handling on RTL sites
  • Exclude archive files, that we can’t modify any way, from searches
  • Display file path in the editor to identify which file is being modified
  • Add support for RegEx string searches