ack is described as 'Ack is designed as a standalone (one perl file) replacement for 99% of the uses of grep. ack is intelligent about the files it searches. It knows about certain file types, based on both the extension on the file and, in some cases, the contents of the file' and is an app in the File Management category. There are more than 10 alternatives to ack for a variety of platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac, BSD and Wine. The best alternative is Agent Ransack, which is free. Other great apps like ack are grep (Free, Open Source), dnGREP (Free, Open Source), ripgrep (Free, Open Source) and The Silver Searcher (Free, Open Source).
Agent Ransack is a tool for finding files and information on your hard drive fast and efficiently. When searching the contents of files Agent Ransack also displays the text found. Users can then quickly browse the results without having to separately open each file!
The awk utility interprets a special-purpose programming language that makes it possible to handle simple data-reformatting jobs with just a few lines of code. Gawk is Gnu's interpreter for the awk language.