Best Spotlight replacement?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by VideoBeagle, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    Ok, Spotlight is and has always been awful.

    I can do Ctrl F, type in the full name of a folder, and rather than it pop up, I get tons of garbage until I go the next step of saying "kind is folder"

    Ridiculous. And Apple will never fix it, because they don't fix anything.

    So, what's a good or best file search replacement? HoudahSpot? something else?
  2. Ganesha macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2009
    Finder's Find and Spotlight are two different things.
  3. VideoBeagle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    Only in interface. The use the same algorithm and systems and they're awful.
  4. Joshsand macrumors newbie


    Apr 29, 2010
    new Zealand
    spotlight filtering

    I struggled with spotlight - especially as there seems to be no documentation.

    In finder I have set - under VIEW
    1. tick - AS LIST
    2. Tick - ARRANGE BY = KIND

    This means that as you type in your search "details" then spotlight / finder then produces list of results by different category .
    ie - FOLDER
    etc - it sorts as it finds. Therefore no post filtering req'd.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you want the kind of results you're looking for, don't use Spotlight to search. Instead, perform searches in Finder, which gives you far more control over your search criteria. As long as your drive is properly indexed, you'll find whatever you're looking for.
  6. Ganesha macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2009
    That may be, but if you initiate a search with option-command-space that search returns items ordered based on your Spotlight preferences. If you set folders as the top level spotlight result it will return those first every time. If you initiate the search with command-F it always starts off items sorted by name.
  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have been using iFileX instead of Finder. It does not use the Spotlight index and is very configurable.

  8. VideoBeagle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    My point is...If I hit cmd-F and type in the name of a file,. THE FIRST THING I should see is the actual name of a file. I shouldn't need to go into the pull down menus to add criteria.

    Look at the screen shot.. There's a folder with the name I'm searching for.
    Those items that show up aren't even in that folder. It is conceivable that the closet those files have to do with the folder I'm looking for is that I've discussed the PDF with the person that folder is shared with. (and this is an example, this is not a search for folder problem alone.).


    WeaselBoy, thanx for the recommendation. I'll give it a look!

    Attached Files:

  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    When you search, it defaults to searching the contents of files and folders for your search criteria. If you want to limit it to searching just the names of files or folders, you have to specify that.
  10. davedev100 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    If you use Spotlight itself (magnifying glass, upper right) it will return the search results grouped by category with the folder easily clickable in the results.
  11. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Yeah HoudahSpot. You can create templates which should speed up repetitive searches.
  12. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Jul 28, 2006
    In Finders preferences in the Advanced tab, you can choose what the default search scope is.
    I prefer to only search the folder I'm in and its subfolders so I choose "Search the Current Folder" from the drop down.
  13. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Spotlight on pad and mac is geared toward content, something I rarely search for, so I rarely find it useful. Check out easyfind in the Mac App Store. The way file search should be.
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Just tried iFileX on the recommendation of Weaselboy in post 7 above -- it's very nice.

    I've never liked Spotlight nor its indexing which goes on in the background.
    I prefer a utility which I open, set my parameters, then it does its thing, then it presents me with results.

    The only shortcoming I see with iFileX is that it doesn't seem to search for "text content" within files.

    Back in the Mac Classic days, there were utilties such as "SearchText" that could scavenge files for text content, but I have yet to see a really good equivalent in OS X.

    So, questions for all:
    Other than Spotlight, what do you use for "searching for text strings" in your files?
    Anything that can search text in pdf files, as well?

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