Apple has improved OS X’s Spotlight search utility but I found one that works better, easier, faster– even for the average Mac user. Yes, Spotlight is improved, more consumer friendly, but HoudahSPot is the way search should be handled.
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The real problem I have with Spotlight, even the latest and greatest in OS X Yosemite, is search results. There are too many files listed that I don’t want listed.
HoudahSpot is a Mac utility app that narrows the search options to find just what you’re looking for, not what you don’t want. If you don’t use Spotlight much because it’s frustrating, try HoudahSpot instead.
If you use Spotlight plenty, try HoudahSpot to see if you makes it easier for you to find specific files on your Mac; faster, easier, or both.
What sets HoudahSpot apart from other search options is the ability to find files on your Mac; not just by name, but by textual content, content kind, author, pixel count, file type, and in the case of email, recipient.
It starts by entering a keyword into a search field, but the key to success is narrowing the search by adding more criteria. Here’s an example.
Refined searches yield better results, and HoudahSpot offers hundreds of attributes to use in the search, and you can combine operators and use wildcards to search for partial matches.
The location on your Mac can be narrowed down to the Documents folder, or Home folder, or anywhere else. Skip the Library folder but search through email messages anyway (email is in the Library folder). Dozens of search columns can be setup and displayed.
One of my favorite options is the ability to save a search as a template to be used again.
Power users will appreciate the option to drop in advanced queries right into the search field, bypassing the refinement list options. There is so much to like with HoudahSpot that all I can say is this, “If you’re not at all happy with Spotlight search results, Think Different™ and try something else.” HoudahSpot is fun to use and probably is the interface Apple should use in Spotlight.