Find in all files not working for me?

  • Dear users and developers, I have a folder with subfolders containing multiple .docx and .pdf files. When I do find in all files search with “one word” and “multiple words” it finds none or sometimes one skipping others. when I do it in an acrobat search it finds many.
    When I do search
    filter . is on
    normal mode
    “in all subfolders” is ticked
    What am I doing wrong?
    PS. I am using the latest version

  • @Markomarin ,

    Notepad++ is an editor for plaintext files. The file types .docx (modern MS Word files) and .pdf (Adobe’s Portable Document Format files) are binary (ie, not plaintext) files which can hold text, formatting, images, embedded objects, links, etc – but the “binary” means they are encoded in such a way that the sequence of bytes in the file (without additional decoding) do not necessarily match any plaintext representations (like ASCII, ISO 8859-*, or UTF8 Unicode), and are thus unintelligible to Notepad++. The fact that Notepad++'s search-in-files finds any matches in those file types is the exception, rather than the rule.

    Notepad++ was not built to read such binary files; if you want to read or search .docx files, you need to use a program (usually a word processor, such as MS Word, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, or the like) that is specifically designed to read such files; similarly, for reading .pdf files, you need a program like Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF-viewers or editors which are specifically designed to read such files. (The reason “acrobat search … finds many” is because acrobat is designed to read and search .pdf files)

    What you are asking is the equivalent of “I just brought my friend, who only reads English, over to index my personal library? Why is she not able to index my Russian, Hindi, and ancient Greek books?” That friend could be reasonably expected to understand British English, American English, Canadian English, and Australian English (in my analogy, various standard encodings of the same underlying text, such as the ASCII, UTF8, …), but it is unreasonable to expect her to also understand shorthand Sanskrit (in my analogy, a compressed binary format with its own proprietary encoding).

  • @PeterJones Thank you for your explanatory answer and smart analogy. Thanks great community.

  • Hi @PeterJones,

    Your reply to @markomarin seems to be a good candidate for a FAQ Desk post ?!



  • Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’ve added it.

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