I had been using the latest and greatest search tool for my XP PC, Windows Search 4.0, but somehow I had missed this: the Filter Pack for searching in Office documents. With the the Microsoft Filter Pack installed, Windows Search 4.0 is able to search within Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office 2007 documents based on the text they contain. It also works for Vista too, adding new search capabilities which can be accessed right from Vista’s search bar. Now when you do a search, the Windows indexing service doesn’t just search for file names but also knows what’s in the files themselves, and that makes finding the right file so much easier.
IT admins will want to read further instructions found on the download page about how the new Filter pack can be installed into Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, and other Server products. The Filter Pack also works on Windows Server 2003, Vista, and XP. You can download it from here.