Did you know that you can add ifilters to the search feature of Windows Vista to add support for additional file types? These filters add support for finding file content and not only file names and extensions to the search function.
The new ifilters, think of plugins if you like, add content indexing for various file formats that the default Vista search and desktop search functions do not support. This includes indexing of Adobe Reader documents, mp3, wmv and wma files as well as various other formats including zip, rar and help files. This is a great addition to the search in Windows Vista, especially if you do work with those file formats regularly.
Update: The website the filters were published on is no longer available. Alternatives don't seem to be available anymore either unfortunately. Windows Vista is no longer supported by Microsoft.
Each of the following ifilters adds content indexing to Vista search; just select the filters that you want to add and install them as usual on your system. Everything else is done automatically and the new filters become active immediately (rebuild index for Desktop Search) after the installation finishes.
Just a quick remark about the filters that add content indexing for archives like rar and zip; Those filters only index files that are inside the archives, not the content of the files in the archives.
Most of the links below link directly to the download of the filters, just install them as usual. Most ifilters should work for Vista search and Vista desktop search.
The following link leads to a filter for the Windows Vista Desktop Search
If you want to find out which ifilters are currently installed on your system check out the excellent iFilter Explorer by citeknet.
Update: Some filters are unfortunately no longer available. We had to remove the links from the article as it does not make any sense to keep them up. The majority of filters are on the other hand still available.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.