Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:44 AM ET
Given that it's from Google, it's not surprising that Gmail has a powerful search feature. But until now, if your email had a third-party attachment, say a PDF or Word doc, it couldn't index that text. Now it can, since the search-engine giant has given its Web email client the ability to search through most popular attachment file types — the ones that contain text, at least.
Alex Chitu of Google Operating System — an unofficial blog which keeps track of Google-related news — was among the first to call attention to this feature upgrade.
In the past, Gmail was able to index text and HTML file attachments for searches, but now it can also handle PDFs, Word docs and PowerPoint presentations. It is likely to support other popular file types as well, so you should try it out. (For guidance on making the most of this feature, see Chitu's article, which has tips and helpful reader comments.)
This change is especially fantastic for those of us who occasionally send files with little to no information in the subject or body field of an email. Now we can find those long-lost attachments despite our previous sloppiness.
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