Finder not searching properly

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Gemma09, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Gemma09 macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2016
    Hello, all.

    My apologies if this has already been asked and answered. I have looked online, but the solutions sounded remarkably technical.

    Basically I was looking through some documents to see if I had any duplicates in that folder, which I usually do by using a word that is found only in those document(s).

    When I looked for the word, the finder didn't even show the document I had open!

    [Edit] The finder works with .pdf and .txt files, but not Libre Office files, .odt My old mac had no problems with this whatsoever. [/Edit]

    I find it astonishing that a key program of this kind doesn't work. As mentioned, I looked online, but found only posts that were rather technical. If nobody cna help me, I think it's time to find a different computer, sorry. I do need a finder on my computer! Without it, the computer is half useless.

    Notes: I recently bought the machine, a Minimac. I also changed my username, and was surprised to find my documents still in the file with the old username... I found that rather odd, given that it was only the username I had changed. Might this have upset the finder, too?

    Details over the machine (usually I get asked this, which I answer, and then it's not uncommon to get no further answers...)

    Modelnaam: Mac mini
    Modelaanduiding: Macmini3,1
    Processornaam: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processorsnelheid: 2 GHz
    Aantal processors: 1
    Totale aantal cores: 2
    L2-cache: 3 MB
    Geheugen: 8 GB
    Bussnelheid: 1,07 GHz
    Opstart-ROM-versie: MM31.0081.B06
    SMC-versie (systeem): 1.35f0
    Serienummer (systeem): YM92014B19X
    Hardware-UUID: A159F74A-EA1F-5047-8733-0C01FE2BEB80
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    Spotlight has always been a disappointment.
    I've mostly been using a program called EasyFind.
    It's free and does a better job that Apple's own tools.
    It can be set to search file contents, don't know if it works with the file types you are having issues with.
  3. Gemma09 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2016
    Thankyou for your response.

    I have to admit to being a little surprised that a finder does not work... and that this has (obviously) not been addressed.

    I'll see what the tool you suggest is capable of. I do need something!

    Thanks again.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2016 ---
    Having downloaded it, and searched for a term, it only found a .txt file - and no LibreOffice files.

    Any thoughts as to why these cannot be 'seen'?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2016 ---
    It is looking like my new Mac might be looking for a new home...
  4. Gemma09 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2016
    Thanks for your help, NoBoMac.

    I did find that very thread, in which, one of the threaders says, "I guess the "problem" with ODF-files is that regardless of their suffixes (ODT, ODS, ODP etc), all ODF files are just ZIP archives. Inside them, the actual content is always stored in one plain text file called, unsurprisingly, content.xml. So in order to find something the system first has to decompress these files before they can be searched. I don't know if Spotlight does that for ODF-files."

    Spotlight does NOT do this for ODF files.

    Given that these are systems that work on computers, with their remarkable speed - just think of the processing power needed for online video streaming - unzipping a zip archive shouldn't take much time. It's the kind of thing we use computers to do.

    Which leaves me wondering who it was that told the programmers to leave out this facility.

    Now: it was possible to do because this kind of search was possible on older versions of OSX.

    I think a downgrade to an OSX below Yosemite is in order, so that I can re-establish this facility without having to install yet another search program.
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    LibreOffice has a Spotlight importer built-in. Perhaps it's not being used properly and you need to rebuild the Spotlight index.

    Do it overnight!
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Since I started using OS X, one of the first things I do with any OS install is to disable Spotlight completely.

    Instead, I use:
    - Easyfind
    - Find Any File.

    That's the way I do it.
    What you do, is up to you...
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Spotlight needs plugins to work with formats that it does not understand. ODT is one of those formats, so it will not index its contents, just some of its metadata. As BrianBaughn said, if OpenOffice/LibreOffice has a plugin for this, then it may not be working correctly.
  8. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    As others have said plugin might not be working correctly (read: old version of OO/LO), or, Spotlight index is corrupt and that needs to be re-generated.

    My Spotlight is working just fine with odt and ods files. Old files and recently updated.

    So, update OO/LO, and or, re-index:
  9. Gemma09 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2016
    Good morning, everybody.

    Firstly thanks for all the ideas - I have been working with them in one way or another. But I also made a mistake, as it were. I was looking for something using Spotlight (with Bing now removed!) and in the search through my documents it was able to look for my search terms in the .odt files.

    The only folder that is unsearchable is my Sync folder - Sync is the Canadian Dropbox but far more secure, albeit not as secure as Tresorit. So I have added - and removed the Sync folder to the Spotlight exclusions and await results...

    Thanks again for your thoughts. I have also contacted Sync's technical department to see if they have any ideas.

    At present, it seems that Spotlight does have access to odt files, but not the ones in my cloud server. No surprises that I thought it was the entire system as (a) it's a new computer and (b) almost all of my files were on that server!

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