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Poll

Which Desktop Search Tool(s) do you use? (Choose up to 2)

Google Desktop Search
15 (6.4%)
Copernic Desktop Search
36 (15.3%)
MSN Windows Desktop Search
15 (6.4%)
Yahoo Desktop Search
4 (1.7%)
X1 Desktop Search
24 (10.2%)
Locate
40 (16.9%)
Archivarius
14 (5.9%)
other...
57 (24.2%)
none / no comment
31 (13.1%)

Total Members Voted: 194

Last post Author Topic: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?  (Read 404812 times)

Grorgy

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #125 on: October 14, 2007, 06:06:44 PM »
Quote
No privacy policy, though Angry

They do have a privacy policy, but its a bit hard to find lol.  If you start signing up for an account it has a link to terms of service, in there is a link to its privacy policy.  here is the link direct to the policy http://www.exalead.c...m/about/document/27#

Hope this helps

Lashiec

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #126 on: October 14, 2007, 06:33:48 PM »
Well, it seems that they still maintain logs with personal information like Google. Bad thing, even more if they're involved with Quaero (even if this seems to be stopped for the moment)

Anyway, let's get back to its desktop search counterpart.

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #127 on: October 15, 2007, 12:07:39 AM »
I am curious to know if anybody has found any program, pay or not, that works well, indexes all MS Office documents, including PSTs, PDFs, inside compressed archives, etc.

I agree with Darwin about the fact that X1 is pretty good (by far the most feature full Desktop search software out there). Copernic is probably its 2nd closest competitor, followed by Archivarius and a bunch of others. Like I siad elsewhere, I use X1 (mostly) in conjunction with Archivarius.

Unfortunaterly, yes, X1 doesn't always behave properly, but if you can determine what its weaknesses are and the context where they’re disclosed, you can avoid some of them.

I do have the outlook/windows standby related X1crashes problem once in while. Fortunately, it has never corrupted my PST file or anything else (and so I just have to restart X1, which takes a couple seconds). I don’t know why. Maybe my PST file is not yet big enough (635mb) ??? Anyway : that crashing problem can be avoided if you  close Outlook each time you put your computer on standby… I never do it, so it just crashes. :)

Also well yes, X1 does freeze under certain conditions (e.g. : when viewing certain huge files with complex tables, etc. — hundreds of pages). But it happens only when these options are turned on : “Highlight search terms” and  “normal”/”preview” views. So, whenever certain files/searches cause problems, I switch to the “draft view” and unselect the “Highlight search terms”; then, I just use ctrl+F to search in the preview window, if I need to, and F3 to navigate from one hightlighted term to the text. That’s one workaround.

Besides — and even it seems related to the previous problem, it’s a different one  — X1 seems to have problems indexing huge documents past a certain number of pages (well probably more a certain number of words)… All my problematic documents are not indexed past p. 360. I.e. : X1 can’t hightlight or find  terms past this "relative" limit; e.g. : if I happen to search for a term that’s at the end of one of these big files, chances are X1 won’t see it. Weird.

X1 takes also more resources than many other DS : on my system, it’s always taking around (more or less, (if I add all related processes : textExtractor.exe,  X1systray.exe, X1service, X1FileMonitor and X1.exe) 30mb RAM, and is often consuming between 1 and 5% of CPU power when resting in the tray (and more, of course, when it’s indexing or when its main window is opened).

So I’d like to use Archivarius more, but… I find its interface and searching options inferior (and. what’s up with the weird help section and the limited  keyboard navigation???? — not to mention the sloooow Outlook indexing). It DOES index very thoroughly, but it’s harder to find the info. (In comparison, X1’s column filtering system is top notch, the GUI is very flexible, the keyboard navigation is pretty easy, and the fact you can save any search and organize them in folders is great. Outlook support is also amazing. Sometimes I even find myself working on Outlook from inside X1! It’s that easy. Drag and drop support is also very good)

Copernic is nice too. It’s usually lighter, faster and more responsive than X1. But the outlook support is not as great (no tasks or calendar events), and it’s not as exhaustive, doesn’t have as many features, and… YES… it does miss some files (Darwin, I must agree with your wife). Also, it misses the “comments” in word and pdf files. On the bright side it indexes files past the “X1 limit”… But it won’t be able to show the searched terms passed that limit!!!! The only indexer that works perfectly well with huge files (+ word comments and pdf notes) is Archivarius — that’s why I bought it (apart from it’s lightness, it’s the only reason…).

Ok sorry for that long and probably a bit incoherent post. Maybe someone will find it useful.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 12:09:41 AM by Armando »

Ralf Maximus

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #128 on: October 15, 2007, 09:31:46 AM »
Okay, based on feedback from Armando and Darwin, I'm giving Archivarius another try.  Perhaps what I experienced was an anomaly.  I really like what I saw, and if it's snappier than X1 I'm willing to give up X1's prettier interface and some of its advanced queries.

If I decide I want to buy Archivarius, is there any place it can be had for a discount?

Curt

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #129 on: October 15, 2007, 11:49:22 AM »
I am curious to know if anybody has found any program, pay or not, that works well, indexes all MS Office documents, including PSTs, PDFs, inside compressed archives, etc.
I wonder, did anyone try Exalead?

Exalead comes close, I believe. Unfortunately it made my unstable XP very sluggish, so I didn't borther to finish my test of it. But here are first the known limitations:

Quote from: Exalead ReadMe
KNOWN LIMITATIONS

Installation and Configuration:

- You must have the Administrative Rights on your machine to install Exalead Desktop.


Hard Drives:

- Metadata Quicktime files media files are not indexed

- Only the first 100 pages of big office files are indexed.

- If your hard drive contains many files with inconsistent modifications times (modification in the future for instance), these files might be indexed again each time Exalead Desktop restarts, leading to bad overall performance.


Performance:

- “As Soon As Possible”  indexing strategy may drag down the overall performance of your computer. Sticking to “When Idle” indexing strategy fixed the problem.

- If the user configures the Product to index the whole content of its C: hard drive, a small impact in the overall performance of its PC might be noticed, especially when services that manipulate a large number of temporary files are also running on the same PC.


Outlook Express:

- It is not possible to index IMAP accounts within Outlook Express

Their praise:

exalead_adv.gif


You can set Exalead to not use more than so or so percentage CPU while indexing, but here is the CPU usage (while indexing) without this restrain:

10.GIF


WARNING:
Add/Remove was NOT able to remove Exalead properly from my computer
- but otherwise it seemed to be a very fine search engine thingy.

Carol Haynes

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #130 on: October 15, 2007, 11:57:38 AM »
I don't want to try any more search apps without a little more info - and Exalead download page doesn't seem to have much info about the program or its features!

Anyone tried this with archived Outlook files - can it index PST files that aren't automatically loaded when you start Outlook ?

yksyks

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #131 on: October 15, 2007, 02:55:25 PM »
There's a lot of info about Exalead at:

http://corporate.exa...sktop_documentations
and
http://corporate.exa...-desktop_screenshots

At least I was able to make sure it has a NEAR operator (even parametric!), which is quite important for my needs. I'm a bit skeptical about searching the instances of found strings, though.

Anyway, time permitting, I'm gonna give it a try and eventually replace Copernic, which is quite good, but a bit slow.

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #132 on: October 15, 2007, 05:14:08 PM »
Ralf - Archivarius is $19.95 with academic licencing so if you qualify that's one route you can take for a discount. I'm not aware of any promotions or anything other than that.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Nighted

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #133 on: October 15, 2007, 05:21:45 PM »
Locate....if you use anything else, your computer should be confiscated.
I`m a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule.

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #134 on: October 15, 2007, 05:29:50 PM »
Locate....if you use anything else, your computer should be confiscated.


Try and take it Nighted! "Nighted, Nighted, na, na, na, na, naa, na..."  :eusa_dance: :harhar:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Nighted

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #135 on: October 15, 2007, 05:45:47 PM »
* Nighted whips Darwin with a wet noodle. Snub.gif
I`m a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule.

Lashiec

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #136 on: October 15, 2007, 05:49:09 PM »
Whoa, Curt, those figures from Exalead look terrible! Not an option.

Darwin, don't bug him, or you feel his wrath! Look, he is starting already ;D

One of the conclusions I drew both from this thread and the one focused in note takers is that our fellow members handling a humongous amount of information need industrial strength solutions, or more precisely, almost custom ones. I wonder if such apps exist?

Carol Haynes

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #137 on: October 15, 2007, 05:58:58 PM »
I have installed Exalead to give it a try.

CPU usage is less than 1% and I set it to do immediate indexing (which is running as I type).

Outlook support is ???

The only information I can find is that it supports Outlook! That's from the website and the manual. Other than that there are no details.

During setting up the Index you are asked for an Outlook profile - so I set up a new profile that includes all of my archives - and kept my standard profile for normal use.

It seems to index everything and during indexing if I search it finds things throughout my files (which is what I want) but when Outlook indexing has finished it can't open the Outlook message that are not in the default profile - although it has them in the index and tells you where they are.

This is the best solution I have found so far -and searching is lightning fast (<0.03s on my large email archive).

I'll keep playing and see how it goes, I'll add a comment if/when there is something worth saying about it!

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #138 on: October 15, 2007, 06:18:00 PM »
Sounds interesting, Carol. Thank you for posting your impressions. Exalead might be worth a serious look.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #139 on: October 15, 2007, 07:11:06 PM »
Here are a few screenshots to wet the appetite:

The indexing setup details:

First the config with the usual tree setup and some specialised options (like Outlook):

index_config.gifWhat is the currently best Desktop Search software?

Note that unlike X1 it includes removable drives - including USB hard discs, CD/DVD drives and compact-flash etc. (I have it indexing a USB drive but I haven't looked to see what happens with CDs etc)

The index monitoring screen - to show youwhat is happening and various options:

index monitor.gifWhat is the currently best Desktop Search software?

Here is the options page showing the advanced search function:

options_page_showing_advanced_search.gifWhat is the currently best Desktop Search software?

Here are search results on my partially indexed emails and files:

The results are all based on the search term "solar"

First restricted to PDF files on my hard disc - note that in the results lists filetypes are displayed with the file details and clicking on a file type restricts the search to that filetype only (quite neat and pretty quick). Note also the preview is a text version of the PDF file. Internet Explorer is used to for the preview pane (bottom right) but I presum ActiveX is disabled because it doesn't seem to use the PDF viewer plugin. Also clicking on the underlined file name (in the top right section) opens the file in its default viewer app.

internal_pdf.pngWhat is the currently best Desktop Search software?

This one shows a combined search of my documents and also web results. Web results appear to be generated from the Exalead search engine but you can configure any search engine you like.

combined search.pngWhat is the currently best Desktop Search software?

Clicking on the white space of a web result gives a browser preview - clicking on the result title opens the page in your default browser.

web.pngWhat is the currently best Desktop Search software?

Finally and email result (from MS Outlook 2003) - again there is a preview mode or you can open the message in Outlook.

email.pngWhat is the currently best Desktop Search software?


One oddity I have noticed so far is that it claims some of my emails are in Lithuanian - I think this is probably a function of local place names where I live (many have Norse origin) but why Lithuanian?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 07:23:47 PM by Carol Haynes »

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #140 on: October 16, 2007, 12:01:41 AM »
Thanks Carol for all the screenshots and comments !

Does it index outlook tasks and calendar events ?

I wonder if what Curt said about uninstallation is a common problem...

Also :
Quote from: Exalead ReadMe
KNOWN LIMITATIONS
- Only the first 100 pages of big office files are indexed.

A limitation of the free version, I assume... That means that for a few users, only the paid version ($50) would be interesting.

Lashiec : as you probably know, there are some “industrial strength”  solutions, (like dtSearch — tried it and didn’t like it), but most are not affordable or not that great for everyday use (large indexes, poor GUI designs, rigid features, expensive updates…).

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #141 on: October 16, 2007, 01:50:35 AM »
Just wanted to add another X1 flaw (might get fixed though, if enough people complain...):

It converts everything to lower-case...
(This is what I wrote in their forum)
Potentially a big problem : cases can be an important part of a file-naming protocol (for classification and readability purpose, if you’re sharing files with a Linux/UNIX system, etc.), and this X1 “flaw” makes it nearly impossible — in certain conditions — to use the program for other things than strictly searching.  I.e.: no opening of files with X1 and resaving them after, no dragging and dropping files from X1 into an explorer folder, etc. Why? Because these actions will transform all involved filenames to lower-case -- and this can potentially have chaotic and disastrous effects on one's system. Not good.

So, here' another point for Archivarius....

Carol Haynes

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #142 on: October 16, 2007, 03:42:34 AM »
Thanks Carol for all the screenshots and comments !

Does it index outlook tasks and calendar events ?

I wonder if what Curt said about uninstallation is a common problem...

Also :
Quote from: Exalead ReadMe
KNOWN LIMITATIONS
- Only the first 100 pages of big office files are indexed.

A limitation of the free version, I assume... That means that for a few users, only the paid version ($50) would be interesting.

Lashiec : as you probably know, there are some “industrial strength”  solutions, (like dtSearch — tried it and didn’t like it), but most are not affordable or not that great for everyday use (large indexes, poor GUI designs, rigid features, expensive updates…).


Hmmm ...

I did post a follow up to this but I must have forgotten to press POST ...

Answers to questions:

1) Yes it does index Tasks and Calendar (useful)

2) By setting up an alternative Outlook profile (Start > Control Panel > Mail) it does index all my PST files and I seem to be able to preview things. I have noticed some odd effects though but they may have been because I was too impatient and tried to preview things before the index was complete.

3) Uninstall worked fine for me ... I also installed the trial version of the Pro edition and uninstalled that without issue.

4) It seems to limit the number of pages even in the pro edition. I have just emailed their support to see if there is any way round this. One of the really useful functions of this kind of software is to be able to find info from PDF manuals - and given that most apps have large manuals (I have some that are in excess of 1000 pages) limiting searches to the first n pages seems pointless in the extreme. [Edit ... actually the Pro version does seem to go beyond 100 pages - there is no readme file with the Pro version, which is strange. What I have found though is that exact phrase searching doesn't seem to work. For example I have the Band-in-a-box manual - about 600 pages of PDF - if I search for Vocal Wizard it finds all occurrences of Vocal and Wizard but even using advanced search and specifying exact phrase still doesn't limit the results to "Vocal Wizard". I presume this must be a bug that has somehow crept in!]

5) The Pro version seems to have better support for previewing - PDFs appear as PDFs whereas in the Free version I found PDFs appeared as text files - not sure if this was supposed to happen though. [Edit - the PDF preview is actually an image snapshot of the pages - not the original document]

Anyway for now I have removed it [Edit - and reinstalled the Pro version again to carry on experimenting] - if the limited page scanning can be addressed [see edit above] I may well have another bash with this - but having said that the Pro version is quite expensive at $60 and it is locked to a single Windows installation.

It does say on the website external drive and network drive indexing is limited to the Pro version - but I found my external USB drive indexed fine in the Free version.

I have to say I liked the program a lot - it was up there with X1 in features and is very easy to use. I suppose my biggest puzzle is the lack of configuration options.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 04:39:15 AM by Carol Haynes »

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #143 on: October 16, 2007, 09:53:05 AM »
Thanks for the info Carol! Very helpful.

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #144 on: October 20, 2007, 07:08:27 PM »
Just to drop in and note that I am running the latest beta of X1 v.6 and like it so far. It's a lot more responsive than the last version that I tried (5.64). The Outlook issue with standby/hibernate persists but I've discovered that if I disable the system tray icon all is well (for at least one cycle of putting the notebook into standby and waking it up again, anyway). The Stellent viewers are SWEET. I'm going to play around with this for a while. Will probably also try out Exalead in the near future...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 07:43:23 PM by Darwin »

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #145 on: October 20, 2007, 07:27:11 PM »
Thanks Darwin.
How about the changing case problem I mentioned ?

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #146 on: October 20, 2007, 07:29:13 PM »
Hi Armando,

I haven't really checked any other issues out but will do so now and report back.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #147 on: October 20, 2007, 07:42:35 PM »
I'm back - in short, I'm not sure... I've a huge number of files that have now been indexed and there is a mix of lower case and upper case file names represented. These differences have been retained in X1's index. I dragged a file (an .rtf file) that has capital letters in its filename out of X1 and dropped it into a temp folder in Dopus 9 and the capitalizations were retained. However, I'm not absolutely sure that this is what you were talking about?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #148 on: October 20, 2007, 08:00:00 PM »
Yes... this is exactly what I was talking about. I might then proceed with the X1 v6 beta installation. The previous version converted everything to lower case. Some of us complained on the X1 forum and it seems like they listened!  :)

Thanks!

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #149 on: October 20, 2007, 08:03:09 PM »
Carol : how is the exalead testing going?