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Old Apr 11, 2011, 06:55 AM   #1
Bigmacduck
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What is the Best Desktop Search Engine on Mac OS X?

Can someone please point me to a great desktop search product on the Mac?
It does not matter how much it costs, as long as it matches the capabilities of the X1 Professional Client that is available on Windows.
http://www.x1.com/products/professional-client

The lack of a great desktop search engine for files and outlook email on the Mac is the only reason why I still use Windows 7 under Parallels. I have all the file system on the OS X side, but I still use the X1 Desktop search to index the content of the files and the Outlook PST files. I already have Outlook and Office 2011 on the Mac, but without a great desktop search, that is pretty useless.

I would love to get rid of Windows because of battery life, but without a great desktop search engine on OSX I still need to stick to Windows just for the X1 search.
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 07:20 AM   #2
KirkL
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Spotlight?
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 07:39 AM   #3
Bigmacduck
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Spotlight is no comparison at all to the the features of X1 Professional Client under Windows. It is simply not powerful enough. X1 allows an interactive drill down of results. Say I know there was an email from Jack to me in 2009 that had a PowerPoint slide with the words "networking, proof of concept, cluster, redundancy" in the presentation test. Every piece of data entered reduces the number of possible documents that have such a PPT attachment. X1 also allows to use boolean search.

With X1 it takes seconds to locate this email. Spotlight does not allow such interactive data mining. I find it a bit crazy having to use a desktop search under Windows in a virtual machine to efficiently locate documents on the Mac.

Hope somebody can point me to a great solution on the Mac.

Last edited by Bigmacduck; Apr 11, 2011 at 08:44 AM.
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 08:56 AM   #4
dyn
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Then you have absolutely no idea what spotlight is and how to use it. The things you're describing are exactly the things that spotlight does. You may want to try to search from a Finder window (if you've searched from the spotlight window choose "show all"). You can create specific searches by entering rules. If you use a search more than once you can save it and it will show up on the left side of the Finder window under "Search for".

As of Office 2011 where Entourage has been replaced with Outlook there is also an integration with spotlight so you can now find mail from Outlook by using spotlight.

Check out the links below for more information on spotlight and how to use it properly (the latter seems to be the problem in your case):
- Spotlight tips (The X Lab; be sure to check out their related links)
- Create good queries in spotlight (Macworld)
- Spotlight Query Expression Syntax (Apple)
- What is spotlight? (Apple).
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 12:51 PM   #5
Jonimeesermann
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Quote:
The things you're describing are exactly the things that spotlight does
Exactly!! You may want to familiarize yourself with Spotlight first. You can find more information in Mac Help (hint: search for "Spotlight").

So to perform the search which you explained, you can type in spotlight:

Code:
kind:presentations author:Jack created:<=12/31/2009 networking "proof of concept" cluster redundancy.
Quote:
With X1 it takes seconds to locate this email. Spotlight does not allow such interactive data mining. I find it a bit crazy having to use a desktop search under Windows in a virtual machine to efficiently locate documents on the Mac.
I too think it's crazy when you already have a great built-in desktop search app (and cost you slower performance and lower battery life due to running a virtual machine)
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 02:48 PM   #6
steveoc
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There is more granularity than you may think. When you have search results in a finder window look for the plus on the upper right side:



Then look for options on the upper left side:



Alternatively, you can buy Houdahspot which is essentially a nice graphic front end to Spotlight. I'm not sure I'd shell out the full $30, but I got it heavily discounted in a promotion and I like it.
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Old Jun 25, 2011, 06:24 PM   #7
Groper
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What search programs show hits inside file?

Hi, I'm relatively new but Mac doesn't seem as functional as PC. Do any of the Mac desktop search programs, for example, highlight the hits inside files? X1 can - or at lease - used to be able to! Can any locate hits in notes (e.g. in Skim) or comments (e.g. in Word for Mac 2008) or highlighting?. What about proximity searches? Do any Mac programs find the search terms within a paragraph? Cheers.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 01:01 PM   #8
gloubibou
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Hi!

HoudahSpot's Text Preview feature does highlight hits within the text.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.Ó r.l.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 05:35 PM   #9
Bigmacduck
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Still not happy with Houdah Spot

I am still not happy with Houdah Spot on Mac when I compare it to the powerful and easy to use X1 search on windows. One key feature that I am missing is the embedded document/email previewer. Also the Outlook 2011 is not integrated well into Houdah Spot.

A typical search that I want to be able to perform is "find an email message anywhere in the whole message store that has either a PowerPoint or Acrobat PDF attachment and inside that PPTX or PDF file there are the works "aaa, xxx, yyy, and zzz".

I have not found a way to do that in Houdah Spot.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 06:40 PM   #10
BigEdDude
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Search within a Virtual Machine

Does anyone know of an OSX search engine that will search within a parallels virtual machine whether or not it is running?
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 11:25 AM   #11
Schismz
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EasyFind

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easyf...11673888?mt=12
or, if you're hatin' on the (cr)ap store:
http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/freeware.html
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 12:51 AM   #12
KySTrokr
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The Mac is capable of detailed searches........

-Command F
-A Searching "This Mac" window opens up
-Skip the upper Search bar unless your search is for general results
-click the Plus sign just below it
-On the left there are two drop down menus in succession that allow detailed searches including what is in a document, a file name,exact or includes, email addresses etc.
-First drop down includes Kind, Last opened date,Last Modified date,created date,name,contents,email addresses,Other
-Then you can choose from matches,contains,begins with,ends with is

Using list view also helps to see when it was created or altered as well.

Hope this helps someone. Don't know about the parallel thing but worth a try.
Spotlight is a quick search but you can also click the show in finder window to get to the same search window I've described above
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Old Feb 24, 2014, 08:57 PM   #13
chris.dg
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Resurrecting an old thread to ask if the OP, bigmacduck, or anyone else, has had any success in finding a Mac-based replacement for X1's excellent and exhaustive capability to find desired emails across multiple Outlook pst files?

This is still the only thing keeping me back from immediately switching out all of our Windows PCs for MacBooks. We rely heavily upon X1's ability to quickly and easily find historic email (or anything other file) using any combination of search criteria (sender, recipients, subject, body text, dates, attachment metadata, etc). I know I'm not alone here - just wish X1 would create a Mac package already.

Outlook's own Search function is not even close in terms of ease and performance, particularly since it is limited to one pst at a time.

Regards,
-Chris

Last edited by chris.dg; Feb 24, 2014 at 09:05 PM.
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Old Feb 25, 2014, 01:50 AM   #14
Crusader007
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surprised why no one mentioned Alfred yet...
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Old Feb 25, 2014, 04:27 PM   #15
Sital
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusader007 View Post
surprised why no one mentioned Alfred yet...
Because it was still in beta when this thread was started.
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Old May 19, 2014, 09:17 AM   #16
bgerkes
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I've read this thread with great interest, but the main problem with Spotlight still does not seem to be solved:
Spotlight refuses to show search results of metadata in .eps files (I am talking about Photoshop eps files here, not Illustrator).
This is a major problem for any serious picture archive on a Mac…
I've tried most of the mentioned alternatives in this thread, but none of them gives satisfying results.

Does anyone know a (fast!) solution for this problem?

I am using Adobe Bridge for entering metadata into pictures. That program does show the search results (also in eps files) but is horrible slow on a Mac when you use it to find something (another thing I do not understand by the way) and is useless for me because of that.

Bottom line: is there a search app available that does metadata search in eps files and does it fast?

Thanks in advance and friendly regards, Boele

Last edited by bgerkes; May 19, 2014 at 09:30 AM.
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Old May 19, 2014, 09:29 AM   #17
bgerkes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusader007 View Post
surprised why no one mentioned Alfred yet...
Alfred *is* mentioned on April 20th 2011 in this threadů
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Old May 21, 2014, 06:00 AM   #18
sarahzohar88
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I am too much interested in this topic
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Old May 21, 2014, 06:18 AM   #19
bgerkes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahzohar88 View Post
I am too much interested in this topic
Then you are lucky cause I think I finally found a solution: meet "NeoFinder" (formerly known as CDFinder).
http://www.cdfinder.de

As far as I can tell, the app creates a new index file (of whatever folder or disk you want) in which you can find meta data, *including* meta data in Photoshop eps's. Yes!!

Besides that, it also in cooperates the Spotlight engine so you've got the best of both worlds.
The demo version seems to do everything except that it does not automatically updates the indexes you create and there is no network functionality. The full version has that included.
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Old Aug 12, 2014, 02:37 PM   #20
53Chevyrumors
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Spotlight does not do what it should!

I do not understand the slavish devotion to spotlight. A file search program should locate the place where the file resides on the drive. Yes, you can press the command key while hovering the cursor over the filename but if the file is in multiple layers then spotlight does not offer complete information such as the root folder name. It should be much easier than this. Older versions were more functional. And this is from someone devoted to Macs.
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