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. E.g. you can search through Microsoft Word documents, 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.
- Microsoft Word documents (.doc, .dot, and .docx files)
- Adobe Acrobat documents (.pdf files)
- Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (.xls and .xlsx files)
- OpenOffice documents, spreadsheets, etc. (.odf and other files)
- Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets (.wks and .wk1 files)
- Quattro Pro spreadsheets (.wq1, .wq2 and .wkq 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.