I need a database program


macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2006
I need to link some text with a file in OS X, I would also need to search that text and find the file I am searching for. It looks like I can do this in spotlight... Is there a better or easier way to go about this in OS X?

I could also use a windows version or something similar that will run in wondows. Only the one that needs to run in windows needs to handle much larger quantities of files.

It would be nice if they are free too.


macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
x704 said:
tough crowd here
Your original request is indecipherable. It might help if you clearly ask for what you want--concentrating on the specific use of the data in the database.


macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2006
I would like to be able to type some text that will relate with a file and then in this database connect the text with the file so later when I search the database with key words be able to find that file.
If there is nothing then I could make something myself but it would be nice if I did not have to.


macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
Tucson AZ
You're describing the Spotlight function...

Select the file in the Finder.
Choose File>Get Info.
In the "Spotlight Comments" section of the Get Info panel, type your keywords.
Press enter, then close the panel.

Search for your keyword in Spotlight.


macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
generik said:
Spotlight is pretty bad actually, you can't do a search for something like "lunch appointment" NOT betty
Well, apparently Spotlight has the APIs to be better (supporting all kinds of complex searches) but OS X's frontend definitely has limitations. But there are third party applications out there that improve on Spotlight. Over at MacWorld, they've reviewed a couple recently:


macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2003
generik said:
Spotlight is pretty bad actually, you can't do a search for something like "lunch appointment" NOT betty
mdfind "(lunch appointment) (-betty)"


BTW I know this will come up, so lets get it out of the way -- yes, you can do this without mdfind, from the little hourglass (that most people call "spotlight)"

Just use the same syntax:

(lunch appointment) (-betty)

Hmm, not sure the bracket work, they're supposed to. Works well without them though.


macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
In your head.
I think I understand what your looking for. I need an application that will do the following:
  • Organize my files automaticly/semi-automaticly
  • Allow me to index and link documents
  • Author documents on the fly
  • And control media (movie, audio, picts) clutter and accumulation.
  • Export to future versions, as well as to a web compatable format.

I think what your looking for is something like this. I don't know what to call it, other than an OS database and organizer. As noted above, OSX allows for notes to be added to a file, but not as quickly as with these products.

Yojimbo by BareBone makers of BBEDIT costs about $30 U.S..

[http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/devonthink/index.html]DEVONthink[/URL] by Deavon Technolgies. Cost $30 for about the same abilities as Yojimbo, and $75 for the pro version which can export to a lot more formats (like OmniNote). It also interfaces with DEVON's other apps.

So far, and I have only played with the products for a day, DEVONthink is very powerful, but is a little harder to use and has lots and lots of plug-ins, scripts, and droplets. Admittedly it is a more versatile product, as it has the ability to find concordance between data (notes, pictures, titles, content etc...) and the ability to refine searches. It interfaces with QT easily and directly, and is based off the Safari engine. The Applescripts are neat, but a little cumbersome.

Yojimbo is very easy to use and has a single tab that appears to the right. Adding data, files, etc is very easy, but it doesn’t play audio or video clips, unlike DEVONthink Pro. I deal with a lot of different media files and creative snips of information.

Each of these have a 30 day trial, and I think they offer a second 30 day extension.

The other option is to get a Scrapbook program (like the nifty application in OS 9, not a scrap booking program). xPad is a kind of document orgnizer/scrapbook. iClip which offers clipboard management and can act as a scrapbook (including links to documents) or [URL=http://www.aqueoussoftware.com/scrapx/], a focused media/data scrapbook might also work, but I think your looking for something like I mentioned above.

I haven’t seen any good reviews of DEVONthink or Yojimbo here. Right now I am really torn between the two products, so any feedback from users of the products would be nice.