Finder search not working well

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by mikeytwice, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. mikeytwice macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2005
    I currently have one relatively small folder of Word files (about 90 files, all transcribed interviews in Portuguese). I'd like to search within these files for specific words, but setting to Contents contains (word) is not working well. For example, when I search term that I know appears in 33 files, only 3 show up in finder. Using spotlight isn't any better. So... what gives? Any ideas?
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    You could try to force Spotlight to re-index your drive. To do that open the Spotlight preferences pane, then go to the Privacy tab. Click on the + sign and add your entire hard drive to the Privacy window. Close the window. Wait a minute. Re-open it and remove your hard drive from Privacy.

    The effect of the steps above should be to delete the existing index and force Spotlight to create a new index. (This may take a few hours, depending on the size and speed of your drive.)
  3. mikeytwice thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2005
    Thanks, John. I've tried—both adding/removing the entire drive and just the folder—to no avail. Are there any third party apps that might do a better job here? Also, is there any way to do a search that doesn't rely on indexing but rather laboriously searches through each file?
  4. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Do the words in question have accents? I wonder if that is causing the problem. For instance, Spotlight might index é and e differently.
  5. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    Spotlight has been buggy in El Capitan since it was released.

    While I detest Terminal in this case it might help. Before using following commands make sure you have backup and read help in Terminal (open help menu and type mdutil).

    Open Terminal and paste these commands one at the time:

    mdutil -E /Volumes/harddrivename
    mdutil -i off /Volumes/harddrivename
    mdutil -i on /Volumes/harddrivename

    First erases spotlight index, second turns of indexing and third forces reindex.

    There is no quarantine that it will work but there is no harm trying.

    As for other software you could try EasyFind by Deventechnologies.
  6. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Try TextWrangler:

    Its free and will do multi-file searches. Just pull down the search menu to "multi-file search" and navigate to the folder in question. TextWrangler will quickly find all instances of a particular word (and will even do a global search and replace.)

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