grep is a tool that originated from the UNIX world during the 1970’s. It can search through files and folders (directories in UNIX) and check which lines in those files match a given regular expression. grep will output the file names and the line numbers or the actual lines that matched the regular expression. All in all a very useful tool for locating information stored anywhere on your computer, even (or especially) if you don’t really know where to look.
Like the classic grep utility, PowerGREP can search through files and folders on your computer using regular expressions. But the results produced by PowerGREP are much more useful. In addition to the filenames, line numbers and text, you will see the actual regex match highlighted in the results. You can double-click filenames, line numbers and matches in the results to open the file at the match position in PowerGREP. All the matches in that file will also be indicated in the file viewer. Most files will also be shown with syntax coloring applied. All this makes it very easy for you to inspect the context of a match.
With PowerGREP, you can do more than just searching through files. You can perform powerful time-saving search and replace operations. All backreferences (if any) you use in the search regex can be used in the replacement text. Create search and replace sequences to perform complex search and replace operations in as many steps as you want.
There are four ways to see PowerGREP in action: