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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 403644 times)

MrCrispy

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #675 on: November 12, 2009, 11:58:33 PM »
Its a pretty sad state of affairs. Copernic hasn't been updated in ages, v3 was a downgrade. X1 is no longer free, and thus Yahoo is also gone. Google never was a player, they were the first but don't seem to care about desktop search that much, it was just a way to integrate google web search. WDS seems to be adding new features like federation and since its part of Windows, it probably has more users. Then we have Locate, Everything etc which are more suited to file based searches than full text indexing. Archivarius isn't free.

It seems no one is trying anymore, and users have gotten used to existing options. Perhaps there is no demand and no market for better search :(


Crush

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #676 on: November 13, 2009, 08:14:02 AM »
I guess 99% of others is Everything and so it is the hidden winner  ;D

yksyks

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #677 on: November 14, 2009, 04:04:19 AM »
One of the first engines was nowadays forgotten AltaVista Discovery, but it's some eleven years ago... I was even a member of the beta testers group.

I'd also like to point out again that this thread suffers with constant mixing terms of Desktop Search applications and Filename Search applications (like Everything or Locate32). They're mixed even in the poll!

They are hard to compare, because they have different function and different usage. It's like comparing cars to scooters. Both are used to get you from some place to another. The car is definitely more convenient and faster, but if it comes to moving fast somewhere inside building, for example, what would you choose?

While Desktop Search engines usually support searching for filenames, Filename Search engines don't, and if they do, they do it by realtime scanning the files, which might be quite slow, and usually it's limited to text files only.

That's why many people use both. (At the moment I settled on Exalead and Everything). I'd suggest splitting this thread with polls to two separate, but it's too late, I suppose.

Dormouse

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #678 on: November 14, 2009, 06:53:19 AM »
Seems to me that the poll has probably always been out of date.
Each person put in what they used at the moment they were polled - but these polls were at different times, and I'm pretty sure that the majority of us have moved around quite a lot.

I tried WDS for a while, but it was always too intrusive, so off it came.
I liked GDS for quite a long while, but it wasn't just focused on desktop search and gradually felt more intrusive, so off that came too.
I tried Copernic quite often, but its a very long time since I preferred it to anything else.
I mostly use Archivarius now if I want desktop search, but I don't do it that much any more.
I do use Everything, RecentX
I do put stuff I know I will need in Ultra Recall, Evernote
I do use Mailstore (at least when I can't find an email in gmail)
I do use J River & various specialised image databases

One of the first engines was nowadays forgotten AltaVista Discovery, but it's some eleven years ago... I was even a member of the beta testers group.

I really loved Alta Vista Discovery when it came out (and there's an example of a company that went badly wrong when the whole world was waiting for it), but there was less stuff to search then, even though it felt like a lot. Now I seem to have moved on to more specialised search engines. Of course, this might just be a stage. I might go back to using Archivarius much more in the future.

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #679 on: November 14, 2009, 08:57:44 AM »
I've used Copernic, Filehand Search, X1/YDS, GDS, Archivarius, and dtSearch, and WDS. Under Vista (and now W7), I am running WDS. X1, Archivarius, and dtSearch were all brilliant under XP (though my main search engine was X1), but WDS is so tightly integrated in Windows now and it has now been developed to the point where it works really well, that I don't feel the need to install and setup anything else. Of course, this is likely due in large part to the fact that I really don't do much content searching anymore...

For Filename searchers, I've tried a slew of them as well, but found that I really didn't use them much with X1 or WDS installed.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

fiddyschmitt

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #680 on: November 16, 2009, 06:28:25 AM »
How about file hound? Not to blow my own horn but I actually use it all the time at work...

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #681 on: November 16, 2009, 08:32:09 AM »
Hi Fidel - thanks for reminiding me about File Hound - I love that it runs as an exe (ie without needing to be installed) and the simple, intuitive interface. Very nicely done  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

sajman99

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #682 on: November 16, 2009, 03:37:04 PM »
+1 for File Hound. 100% agree with Darwin--simple yet powerful search with logical interface...and it's free.  8)

fiddyschmitt

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #683 on: November 17, 2009, 05:40:10 AM »
:) :) thx guys

halcyon

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #684 on: November 23, 2009, 10:54:22 AM »
Uh-oh... I thought upgrading to Windows 7 (Ultimate w/ Federation) would solve my problems, but no dice.

I have a HUGE collection of HTML, MHT, doc, rtf, PDF and djvu research articles, papers and even books on my hard drive.

I've tried the built-in Windows 7 feature, but it is sorely lacking on the following features:

 1) No clear search interface to input multiple search criteria. I hate learning a new query language (AQS) - yes I'm old, nothing I can do about that. Why oh why did Microsoft remove the older XP style search interface?

2) For some reason it fails to index all files, regardless of read/access rights and iFilters/settings active. Can't figure out why.

3) Appears to cut off indexing at some predefined limit for large files (?)

4) When searching for CONTENTS with preview pane open, the preview shows the first page of the file, not the first page with the search word occurring. How dumb is that? I want specificity and context for my search results. MS really blew this one up, imho.

5) Actually fairly slow to search/find (I don't mind index speed). Sure, it has a 150GB of files worth in the index, but I'm on a 4GHz quad-core, 12GB RAM, fast Intel SSD system. I'd appreciate a bit faster implementation of the algorithms for basic query.

6) Not sure it does stemming properly.

I'd be willing to pay up to $200 for a contents indexing/searching software that does the following:

 1. fast in searching, doesn't have to be a lightning fast indexer
 2. reliable: works without faults. no crashes. doesn't miss files
 3. can index files up to 100MB in size
 4. supports contents indexing/searching for pdf, doc(x), rtf, txt, htm, mhtm, djvu - if not natively, then via iFilters
 5. preview function shows the actual location hits for my content keyword queries, not just the 1st page
 6. works with Windows 7 (64bits, doesn't have to be 64bit version though)

Is there anything out there that fits the bill? I can't get Copernic, Google and other free try-outs to work properly.

Can X1 be made to work like this? How about the others. Many almost get there, but the DJVU content support seems to be a a miss for many.

If you've tried out and solved this issue yourself, I'd really like to hear what your solution was.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 12:31:21 PM by halcyon »

JavaJones

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #685 on: November 23, 2009, 12:00:25 PM »
Halcyon, I too have been sorely disappointed with Win7's search functionality, and still looking for a full replacement. Just remember, if you're not going to use it, be sure to disable all the indexing and stuff!

- Oshyan

fiddyschmitt

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #686 on: November 23, 2009, 02:45:59 PM »
Uh-oh... I thought upgrading to Windows 7 (Ultimate w/ Federation) would solve my problems, but no dice.

I have a HUGE collection of HTML, MHT, doc, rtf, PDF and djvu research articles, papers and even books on my hard drive.

I've tried the built-in Windows 7 feature, but it is sorely lacking on the following features:

 1) No clear search interface to input multiple search criteria. I hate learning a new query language (AQS) - yes I'm old, nothing I can do about that. Why oh why did Microsoft remove the older XP style search interface?

2) For some reason it fails to index all files, regardless of read/access rights and iFilters/settings active. Can't figure out why.

3) Appears to cut off indexing at some predefined limit for large files (?)

4) When searching for CONTENTS with preview pane open, the preview shows the first page of the file, not the first page with the search word occurring. How dumb is that? I want specificity and context for my search results. MS really blew this one up, imho.

5) Actually fairly slow to search/find (I don't mind index speed). Sure, it has a 150GB of files worth in the index, but I'm on a 4GHz quad-core, 12GB RAM, fast Intel SSD system. I'd appreciate a bit faster implementation of the algorithms for basic query.

6) Not sure it does stemming properly.

I'd be willing to pay up to $200 for a contents indexing/searching software that does the following:

 1. fast in searching, doesn't have to be a lightning fast indexer
 2. reliable: works without faults. no crashes. doesn't miss files
 3. can index files up to 100MB in size
 4. supports contents indexing/searching for pdf, doc(x), rtf, txt, htm, mhtm, djvu - if not natively, then via iFilters
 5. preview function shows the actual location hits for my content keyword queries, not just the 1st page
 6. works with Windows 7 (64bits, doesn't have to be 64bit version though)

Is there anything out there that fits the bill? I can't get Copernic, Google and other free try-outs to work properly.

Can X1 be made to work like this? How about the others. Many almost get there, but the DJVU content support seems to be a a miss for many.

If you've tried out and solved this issue yourself, I'd really like to hear what your solution was.


Hi Halycon, I've never tried to search DJVU files using hound, but it fits the rest of your bill. Could you please give it a try and let me know how it goes? It's at jimmythefork.com

MrCrispy

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #687 on: November 24, 2009, 04:30:54 AM »
I'd suggest that if you don't want to use Vista/Win7 indexing, at the very least keep it enabled for your Start Menu folder.

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #688 on: November 28, 2009, 09:02:33 PM »
[...]

Is there anything out there that fits the bill? I can't get Copernic, Google and other free try-outs to work properly.

Can X1 be made to work like this? How about the others. Many almost get there, but the DJVU content support seems to be a a miss for many.

If you've tried out and solved this issue yourself, I'd really like to hear what your solution was.


I used to use Archivarius quite a lot.

PROS :
1- It's good at indexing (won't miss a thing -- really... I made exhaustive testing a while ago...),
2- pretty fast at searching.
3- Low resources consumption (low ram, low cpu...)

CONS:

1- it's VERY slow at indexing Outlook content and maybe some other DB. This is my biggest gripe. X1 does outlook indexing 100x better.
2- It doesn't do any real time indexing. (this won't be a problem, most of the time... until you need some info fast... and you'll need to update your index)
3- Indexing is suppose to be automated (user defined schedule)... but will sometimes fail to start ! This is one of the big annoyances.
4- Interface is clunky (it's subjective but I find it harder to get things done as fast as with X1)
5- can't save past searches, etc. (as X1 does)
6- viewing the file content doesn't keep the formatting (I don't have any problems with this, usually).


However, if the cons are not a problem for you, I suggest you try Archivarius. Its indexing is really exhaustive and for research that's what matters most.


As for myself, I am looking of an replacement for Archivarius ... some of the cons really irritate me.

Was thinking of trying WDS, but...
Maybe I'll keep archivarius for files, and use something else for outlook.
I really wonder why it's so hard to have a Desktop search software that just works properly.  :(

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #689 on: November 29, 2009, 01:06:40 AM »
1- it's VERY slow at indexing Outlook content and maybe some other DB. This is my biggest gripe. X1 does outlook indexing 100x better.

It's much quicker if you use "direct access" - via Custom Mails - than the default OLE access. It's quicker still if you make sure that Outlook is shutdown when you are indexing your OST. The developer has long promised implementing COM access (a la X1 and others) but this hasn't happened yet. I found this workaround to be quite acceptable.

If you want to use Archivarius for files and something else for mail, have you looked at MailStore Home? I actually use it to back up my mail, but it's an excellent search tool as well.

For myself, as noted, now that I'm on Windows 7 I just use WDS and have yet to have a problem. Caveat: haven't really had to find anything, though  ;D
"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 #690 on: November 30, 2009, 12:02:43 PM »
Thanks Darwin for taking the time to answer.
Direct Access takes between 9-10 full minutes, even when the DB has already been indexed. Quicker, yes, but still very slow considering that Outlook needs to be closed etc. I usually leave Outlook open, and if I unadvisedly start the indexing and Outlook is open, it'll just plainly and simply render the last index unusable which is a pain. I don't why it does it but... it does and that's why I had to revert to OLE a while ago.
Mailstore seems to be an interesting option. I'll check this out -- it may mean that I'll have to rethink a bit the way I organize my emails.

Darwin

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #691 on: November 30, 2009, 02:13:01 PM »
Hmm.... I haven't had Archivarius installed in about 8 months, so maybe things have changed (or you've got a much bigger OST than I do), but using Direct Access it used to "rip"  ;D through updating my 400MB OST index in about a minute and a half. BTW, I agree about the Outlook being open vs closed issue - I finally went with NOT having scheduled indexing of my OST file and did it manually whenever I could remember to do so.

I wish the developer would implement COM indexing...

Armando - what OS are you currently running? As noted above, when I switched to Vista, I finally moved to WDS and haven't looked back.
"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 #692 on: November 30, 2009, 11:16:35 PM »
Thanks Darwin.

Hmm.... I haven't had Archivarius installed in about 8 months, so maybe things have changed (or you've got a much bigger OST than I do), but using Direct Access it used to "rip"  ;D through updating my 400MB OST index in about a minute and a half.

My PST file is 1.5 GB. So yes, it's a bit bigger, I guess.

Armando - what OS are you currently running? As noted above, when I switched to Vista, I finally moved to WDS and haven't looked back.

I'm still using XP... I'm not sure if it's worth it to change OS at this point -- my laptop is about 3.5 years old, core duo 1.8ghz.

XP is pretty fast and it'd very time consuming to switch to Windows 7. Annoying stuff *will* happen. Plus, I know that a big chunk of RAM will be gone and -- to a smaller extent -- speed will be a tad slower. Still, I'm tempted... Maybe in January.

As for indexing Outlook stuff, I'm currently trying Google Desktop Search, but only to index Outlook. I might try other engines if they are as light, simple and non obtrusive...

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #693 on: November 30, 2009, 11:20:28 PM »

3) Appears to cut off indexing at some predefined limit for large files (?)



Even X1 had problems with cutting off indexing at some predefined limit. Such a drag. I wonder if that has changed. That's one big reason why I went for Archivarius a while ago.

Innuendo

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #694 on: December 01, 2009, 11:01:35 AM »
XP is pretty fast and it'd very time consuming to switch to Windows 7. Annoying stuff *will* happen. Plus, I know that a big chunk of RAM will be gone and -- to a smaller extent -- speed will be a tad slower. Still, I'm tempted... Maybe in January.

I can't say every case is like mine, but on my PC I have the same amount of RAM free as when I ran XP (no "big chunk of RAM" gone) and, odd as it may sound, Windows 7 is noticeably faster than XP was on the exact same hardware.

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #695 on: December 01, 2009, 11:36:29 PM »
Thanks for sharing Innuendo. It's encouraging.

sajman99

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #696 on: December 18, 2009, 02:48:57 PM »
I'm not ashamed (much anyway ;D) to admit I use an old open source app named Wilbur on my XP machine. I doubt it works on Win7, but maybe some talented coders here at DC can get the source and make it compatible. :tellme:

Wilbur may be old and plain-looking and officially "retired", but on my XP system he still works with blazing speed and accuracy. After indexing all my data for about 3 minutes, I can then use Wilbur as a file searcher (ie. Everything, Locate32, etc.) or as a full desktop/grep searcher. I particularly like that this little app isn't constantly thrashing my HD--I manually update when I choose to.

I have successfully searched .doc(x), .rtf, .txt, .htm, .mhtm with Wilbur--no idea on .djvu but I wouldn't be surprised if it worked. Wilbur claims to support .pdf (via pdftotext) but I didn't like the way it left temp files and substantially increased the database size so I no longer use it on .pdfs (especially now that File Hound works very well in that regard). Also, I should mention I don't search email so I've no idea about that capability.

btw I tried Wilbur's successor Wilma a good while ago, but I couldn't get it to function as a file searcher (IIRC) so I stuck with good 'ole reliable Wilbur.

Wilbur is now located here:  http://s3.amazonaws....ee/wilbur/index.html
successor Wilma is here: http://s3.amazonaws....a/en/help/index.html

Just remember first impressions aren't always accurate. When I first checked out Wilbur I distinctly remember thinking "I'm not using this outdated ****". Well, I've been happily using it ever since.

J-Mac

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #697 on: December 23, 2009, 03:01:02 AM »
Hmm.... I haven't had Archivarius installed in about 8 months, so maybe things have changed (or you've got a much bigger OST than I do), but using Direct Access it used to "rip"  ;D through updating my 400MB OST index in about a minute and a half. BTW, I agree about the Outlook being open vs closed issue - I finally went with NOT having scheduled indexing of my OST file and did it manually whenever I could remember to do so.

I wish the developer would implement COM indexing...

Armando - what OS are you currently running? As noted above, when I switched to Vista, I finally moved to WDS and haven't looked back.

I am using WDS on Windows 7 and IMO it seems to miss a lot. Not sure but I think it excludes a good many folders. I have searched for file names, gotten 0 results, and then browsed around where I thought I might find the file and found it on my own. It is very fast but as I said it seems to skip a fairly large number of folders. Or it just doesn't find them?

Jim

Carol Haynes

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #698 on: December 23, 2009, 03:05:23 AM »
Have you installed WDS on Win7 or using the version built in? The Built in version only searches indexed folders by default but you can override that and search all folders.

cyberdiva

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #699 on: December 23, 2009, 10:14:19 AM »
Have you installed WDS on Win7 or using the version built in? The Built in version only searches indexed folders by default but you can override that and search all folders.
I recently put Everything on my new Windows 7 netbook, and it seems to work very well.  Frankly, I've been so delighted with Everything on WinXP that I never considered using anything else.  I still haven't decided what to use on Win 7 for searches within files, but I find that even on XP, where I have Archivarius, I tend to need to find stuff by file name a lot more often than by content.  That surprised me.