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WinRAR is good at searching for a string in text files(java, xml, txt etc.) within an archive and it supports multiple archive formats. (rar, 7zip, winzip etc)

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Is there some way to extend this feature (by means of plug-ins etc) to search within Pdf & office files (doc, ppt), Or any other similar unzip tool which has this feature?

(Extracting the entire archive & searching using Windows search is always one option)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

No, it is not possible with WinRAR. I asked the dev once and he said there were no plans to support other file formats for searching inside archives. I also asked whether a modular plugin-based architecture might be possible to allow third party file filters, add support for other archive/image formats etc., but that was denied as well.

As for other Windows (un)archivers with this feature, I do not know of any. It wouldn't surprise me if there are none, since such functionality does not gel with the core purpose of such apps in the first place. Dedicated search/indexing utilities are far more likely to include such a feature IMO. One such that claims to search within archived PDFs as well is LookDisk. I haven't used it so cannot comment on its pros and cons.

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