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Full user review
"Powerful, Polished and Sophisticated"
I evaluated most of the top search and replace downloads on CNET one evening, and found PowerGREP was the most powerful, polished, and sophisticated of those I saw.
PowerGREP scans text, Word, Excel, PDF, and ZIP files. Its regular expression support is unmatched (this is the same company that publishes the clever and unique RegexBuddy programming tool). Other important features include batch replace, saved configurations, sectioning, searching in file names, multiple root folders, statistics, and backup/undo.
MOST IMPORTANTLY for me: this was the only search and replace tool that offered effective previewing of found results in context. The built-in editor shows line numbers, results, and surrounding text, and does it all with syntax highlighting!
The user interface is beautiful. And the online help is excellent: publication quality.
The program can be a bit overwhelming at first. Many, many options are exposed -- more than the casual or beginning user probably wants. It is a bit sluggish to startup and shutdown. It seems to lack any file management features, such as deleting/renaming found files, or opening Windows Explorer on a directory. Lastly it is expensive, though the price seems justified given the power and quality implementation.