Alfred or Found or Mac Spotlight ?

augustya

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 17, 2012
3,215
439
Anyone who has used Alfred , Found and Mac's own spotlight ? Can anyone tell me what is the difference ( I mean they all could be same) but what is the difference between these three when all of these look to be doing the same thing. Which one is better ? I thought "Found" was a very handy app. Not so much experience on using Alfred ? What do you guys think ? which one is better ?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,461
10,268
California
Anyone who has used Alfred , Found and Mac's own spotlight ? Can anyone tell me what is the difference ( I mean they all could be same) but what is the difference between these three when all of these look to be doing the same thing. Which one is better ? I thought "Found" was a very handy app. Not so much experience on using Alfred ? What do you guys think ? which one is better ?
I am a huge Alfred fan so can talk about that a bit.

Not familiar with Found, but from what I just read it looks like Spotlight file search plus the ability to search for your files stored in online services like Dropbox or OneDrive.

If you just want to search for documents, launch apps and that sort of thing, Alfred does not really add much to those basic tasks. Alfred even actually uses the Spotlight index for its searches. Alfred will allow you to perform a long list of actions on a file once you find it (see screenshot).



The true power of Alfred comes from the Powerpack paid addon you can read about at the link. Alfred also has a ton of user made Workflows here that are very handy. For example here is a workflow that can access my saved bookmarks from the Pocket bookmark service.



Take a look at this older thread also.
 

Orlandoech

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2011
3,339
871
Salt Lake City, UT
Alfred for sure with the PowerPack addon.

I paid for it, love it. Way better than Spotlight. Its extremely flexible, has addon, plugins, great support and community. I highly recommend it.
 

tadasZ

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2014
21
20
Vilnius
Anyone who has used Alfred , Found and Mac's own spotlight ? Can anyone tell me what is the difference ( I mean they all could be same) but what is the difference between these three when all of these look to be doing the same thing. Which one is better ? I thought "Found" was a very handy app. Not so much experience on using Alfred ? What do you guys think ? which one is better ?
Never heard about "Found", but Spotlight is no match for QuickSilver or Alfred. I didn't use Alfred a lot, because with free version you can't browse your folders, and I couldn't find any video on how its done with power pack. Also I found spotlight to be really slow compared to QuickSilver.

If you never used QuickSilver or Alfred I highly recommend trying them, but not just for opening apps, give it a try and do something more, read the manual, watch some youtube tutorials, memorise some key combos and keywords.. do hdd browsing, sending files through email, etc etc, at first it really sounds and feels too complicated, but once you get used to the work flow you won't be able to go back to using mouse and spotlight :) just don't give up after first few days, force yourself even if at first simple actions will take longer when using a mouse which is not connected to your mac.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,278
783
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Found is no longer being developed. YouSendIt/Hightail bought them early last year.

I recommend LaunchBar. It's pretty cool and it's what I use instead of the others. I might end up using just the regular Spotlight again once 10.10 is out.

You can have custom workflows with the other apps. That's the main difference.
 

Sital

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2012
1,860
391
New England
I love Alfred. It just makes everything easier, but I would definitely recommend buying the Power Pack.

The only drawback is that when I'm on a different computer, sometimes I hit the keyboard command to invoke it and then sit there like a moron wondering why it didn't work.
 

augustya

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 17, 2012
3,215
439
I might end up using just the regular Spotlight again once 10.10 is out.
Exactly with the Yosemite 10.10 the spotlight looks like to be coming in new Avatar, it promises to be doing same thing and much more and more efficiently and the most friendly way apple is known to make their software for. I don't know if there will be still any need of APPS like "Alfred" will there be ? What do you guys think ?

----------

I am a huge Alfred fan so can talk about that a bit.

Not familiar with Found, but from what I just read it looks like Spotlight file search plus the ability to search for your files stored in online services like Dropbox or OneDrive.

If you just want to search for documents, launch apps and that sort of thing, Alfred does not really add much to those basic tasks. Alfred even actually uses the Spotlight index for its searches. Alfred will allow you to perform a long list of actions on a file once you find it (see screenshot).

Image

The true power of Alfred comes from the Powerpack paid addon you can read about at the link. Alfred also has a ton of user made Workflows here that are very handy. For example here is a workflow that can access my saved bookmarks from the Pocket bookmark service.


Image

Take a look at this older thread also.
Hey Buddy Thanks for the detailed explanation but I wonder if Alfred can also search for your files in Dropbox or any other cloud storage service and also in your various diferent mailboxes as "Found" does, This thing the "Found" APP would do or does fantastically well ! And that is why I found "FOUND" to be a very handy APP. It is a lovely APP in that sense !!
 

augustya

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 17, 2012
3,215
439
Here is an Alfred app community. http://www.alfredforum.com/ Tons of mods via users/dev.
well I have already checked that ! I was thinking you were gonna give me your personal usage experience, I know it could possibly do tons of different things. But since you said that it could do some crazy things, I was looking forward to what were those crazy things ! Anyways...
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,461
10,268
California
Hey Buddy Thanks for the detailed explanation but I wonder if Alfred can also search for your files in Dropbox or any other cloud storage service and also in your various diferent mailboxes as "Found" does, This thing the "Found" APP would do or does fantastically well ! And that is why I found "FOUND" to be a very handy APP. It is a lovely APP in that sense !!
I have not tested it, but a user already made a Alfred workflow to do exactly what you want with Dropbox here. Yes Alfred can search Mail app messages by default and there is a workflow that refines that further if you like.



well I have already checked that ! I was thinking you were gonna give me your personal usage experience, I know it could possibly do tons of different things. But since you said that it could do some crazy things, I was looking forward to what were those crazy things ! Anyways...
I mentioned some and there are more examples in the older thread I linked, but here are a few more.

You can setup custom searches within Alfred. Here are the ones I have configured for myself. For example, if I want to find a movie on DirecTV I just bring up Alfred start typing D I R and the search box comes up and I enter the movie title and enter and it goes to my search result on the DirecTV web page.



I have a custom Goolge search that ignores search results from spam sites like eHow and the like.

Code:
http://www.google.com/search?q={query}+-site:ehow.com+-site:answers.yahoo.com+-site:about.com+-site:wikihow.com
There is a workflow that shows battery info.



I just used a workflow that uses the image host Imgur to post screenshots. I took my screenshot then selected the file on the desktop and ran the workflow and it uploaded the image to Imgur and pasted the URL in clipboard so I could paste it here.

Just about anything you can do in Terminal at the command line or with Applescript can be folded into a Workflow and automated.

Alfred can remember clipboard history. There is also a "snippets" feature where you can attach often used text strings to keywords. Here are some I use daily in the forums. For example if someone needs the command to reindex Spotlight I can use Alfred to paste the command into a forum post very quickly. Some of my snippets you see there are the URL to commonly used screenshots like the OS X recovery screen.

 

augustya

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 17, 2012
3,215
439
I have not tested it, but a user already made a Alfred workflow to do exactly what you want with Dropbox

Just about anything you can do in Terminal at the command line or with Applescript can be folded into a Workflow and automated.
Ok So you can customize to use ALFRED the way you want, so for eveything you have to make workflows. isnt making workflows a quite of bit task if it requires some development knowledge ?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,461
10,268
California
Ok So you can customize to use ALFRED the way you want, so for eveything you have to make workflows. isnt making workflows a quite of bit task if it requires some development knowledge ?
Just Alfred with the Powerpack add-on does most of what I think many users would ever use. Yes, you can make your own custom workflows, but by far the majority of the workflows I use were made by other users and posted at the Packal link I posted earlier. You just look through there for what interests you (like the Dropbox workflow) and click to download and install the workflow in Alfred. It is very much like extensions in Safari.

If you do want to make a custom workflow of your own and you get stuck, just post in the Alfred user forums "how can I make a workflow that does XXX" and you will get help from the dev. or users straight away in my experience.

I would not say it requires any development knowledge but a little command line and Applescript knowledge would sure help. For example yesterday I noticed I am always deleting screenshots and junk that accumulates on my desktop or downloads folder then having to empty the trash to get rid of them. So knowing the Terminal command to delete the contents of both those folders I made a workflow that runs these two Terminal commands for me to get the job done.

Code:
rm -rf ~/Downloads/*;rm -rf ~/Desktop/*
I am by no means an expert at Terminal command or Applescript. I figure a lot of this stuff out by Google searching "resize windows with Applescript" for example then work from there.
 

augustya

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 17, 2012
3,215
439
For example yesterday I noticed I am always deleting screenshots and junk that accumulates on my desktop or downloads folder then having to empty the trash to get rid of them. So knowing the Terminal command to delete the contents of both those folders I made a workflow that runs these two Terminal commands for me to get the job done.

Code:
rm -rf ~/Downloads/*;rm -rf ~/Desktop/*
Interesting so how do you exceute this thing in Alfred, what do you type in Alfred for doing this thing, removing your files from your Downloads and Desktop area ?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,461
10,268
California
Interesting so how do you exceute this thing in Alfred, what do you type in Alfred for doing this thing, removing your files from your Downloads and Desktop area ?
I just command-space to bring up Alfred then type in the letters C L and this comes up, then I hit return and the workflow runs the command.

 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,352
267
I've used the new Spotlight in the Yosemite beta and it's an improvement, but it's not in the same league as Alfred or LaunchBar. I have both, but prefer LaunchBar, probably just because I'm more familiar with it. They have similar functionality.

For searching, however, which is what you asked about, note that these tend to use Spotlight. They may have additions that allow more searching, but I haven't used them.

For all-file searching, consider Find Any File. It does NOT find text within the content of files; it's a utility for finding files ANYWHERE on your Mac, even in places Spotlight searches can't go.

HoudahSpot is a great file searching utility, one that uses Spotlight. It allows you to do all sorts of stuff with the results, and I find it handy for tagging and viewing photo metadata. You can have search templates and saved searches.

And finally, there's the free EasyFind by Devon Technologies.

I think all of them have demos available, so just download them and try them out yourself.
 

augustya

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 17, 2012
3,215
439
For all-file searching, consider Find Any File. It does NOT find text within the content of files; it's a utility for finding files ANYWHERE on your Mac, even in places Spotlight searches can't go.
Can it find filed in your Cloud computing service like Droobox, Google, etc... ??
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,352
267
As I noted it's for files on your Mac. But Dropbox or Google Drive are on your Mac, so it can find the files in your local Dropbox or Google Drive folder. But it doesn't go into the cloud and find stuff, if that's what you're asking. So if a file is in something like Amazon S3 it won't find it. It only looks locally.
 

macstatic

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2005
1,343
68
Norway
I've been using Alfred for a while, but only in a very basic way (i.e. a quick way to open apps instead of navigating the mouse and clicking here and there). It's a lot quicker (that's why I prefer keyboard shortcuts to using the mouse to access menus as well).
I didn't know it could do all those things and will have to check them out. Is there a quick newbie guide with more examples like those in this thread somewhere?

One thing I find odd is that when searching for folders (i.e. opening Alfred and typing the folder name) I only get generic white icons, so I can't see any difference between a file or a folder. Is there a setting I might have missed which gives a folder a folder icon? Weaselboy has an animated screenshot in the top of post #13 (how did you make that animation anyway?) which does indeed show folders with folder icons, so this is a bit strange.
I'm on OSX 10.6.8. with Alfred 2.4.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,461
10,268
California
I've been using Alfred for a while, but only in a very basic way (i.e. a quick way to open apps instead of navigating the mouse and clicking here and there). It's a lot quicker (that's why I prefer keyboard shortcuts to using the mouse to access menus as well).
I didn't know it could do all those things and will have to check them out. Is there a quick newbie guide with more examples like those in this thread somewhere?

One thing I find odd is that when searching for folders (i.e. opening Alfred and typing the folder name) I only get generic white icons, so I can't see any difference between a file or a folder. Is there a setting I might have missed which gives a folder a folder icon? Weaselboy has an animated screenshot in the top of post #13 (how did you make that animation anyway?) which does indeed show folders with folder icons, so this is a bit strange.
I'm on OSX 10.6.8. with Alfred 2.4.
There are some videos here that show quite a bit about Alfred and how to use it. Also checkout the Alfred Forums.

My folders seems to be showing just like in Finder. I can't think of what might cause yours not to work properly. You might ask on the Alfred forums and I bet the dev. there will help you.



That animated screenshot is an animated GIF file. It is basically a bunch of images played one after the other to make it look like animation. You just record your screen to a normal video file then use an app. to convert the video to a small animated GIF.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.