Like most grep tools, PowerGREP is primarily designed to work with plain text files. Unlike many grep tools, PowerGREP can convert many popular file formats into plain text for searching. The original software is not needed for any of these formats. You can search through Microsoft Word documents, for example, even if you don't have Word or Office installed.
- Plain text files. Such files include text documents, source code, HTML files, XML files, comma-delimited data files (CSV), SQL queries, etc. PowerGREP supports various text encodings (Windows code pages, ISO-8859, Unicode, ECBDIC, KOI8, etc.) and line break styles (DOS/Windows, UNIX/Linux, Mac).
- Binary files. These files are not human-readable without the proper software. With PowerGREP, you can search through binary files for text or hexadecimal data.
- Adobe Acrobat documents (PDF files)
- Microsoft Word documents (DOC and DOCX files)
- OpenOffice documents, spreadsheets, etc. (.odf and other files)
- Microsoft Write (WRI files)
- WordPerfect documents (WP files)
- XML Paper Specification (XPS and OXPS)
- Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (XLS and XLSX files)
- Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets (.wks and .wk1 files)
- Quattro Pro spreadsheets (.wq1, .wq2 and .wkq files)
- Audio file meta tags (ID3, APE, FLAC, Vorbis, MP4, WAV, and WMA)
- Image file tags (EXIF in JPEG, TIFF, and PSD files)
- Rich Text Format (RTF files)
- HyperText Markup Language (HTML files)
- Microsoft Outlook email (PST, OST, and MSG files)
- MIME and UUencode email (MBOX and EML files)
- CorelDRAW meta data (CDR files)
- AceText collections (ATC files)
- Windows shell links (shortcuts stored as LNK files)
- HTML Help (CHM files)
- ZIP, 7-zip, RAR, and many other archives are handled transparently. PowerGREP treats them like folders, unless you disable the option to search through archives.
- IFilter support allows PowerGREP to search through any file that Windows Search can handle.
"The first thing I tried [after upgrading to PowerGREP 5] was a find-and-replace within an MS Word document. It worked perfectly in a Hebrew right-to-left document! For me this is the most dramatic, long-awaited achievement, allowing, at last, a decent find-and-replace feature to replace [MS Word's] nonsensical "wild card" built-in feature. Many thanks, again, for a fantastic, must-have product!"
— Motti Teicher
9 September 2016, Israel
"If the only thing I ever did with PowerGREP was grep help PDFs and CHMs, I’d find my PowerGREP license worth the cost. I’ll put a folder full of hardlinks to every local resource I have and GREP it for answers—wonderful tool. PowerGREP makes me feel like I can do an SQL query on my personal, unorganized data, wherever it is, and actually find what I need."
— Clay Cundick
31 December 2016, Utah, USA