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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 404473 times)

clk4suport

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #775 on: November 29, 2013, 11:41:20 PM »
Hi there,

i hv google desktop software.

jity2

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #776 on: January 10, 2015, 03:12:54 AM »
Update: one day after. I have updated several contents of this post. It may be better to read it again in full ! ;)
Dear all,

1) For keyword search in files content - Locally on my PC
I was using Copernic Desktop Search (CDS) for years (since V2 I think). A month ago I was still using their V3.7 released a long time ago.
I have bought their V4 more than one year ago but even recently it was too buggy for me. Note when V3 was released years ago, I remember that I had to wait one year so that it was not buggy ! Well, I don't think I can say they care about their customers (note: it costs a one time fee of about $50. And 50% coupon when a new version was released)!

Now I am testing X1 Search V8 for the last 10 days (I remember having tested unsuccessfully X1 when it was with yahoo. Apparently they changed the full code of their program around 2010 which I have missed!). So far I quite happy overall especially since it displays faster in the preview pane xls, pdf and html files.
The only problem I had is that it doesn't display correctly accents in the preview pane html files (see http://forums.x1.com....php?f=68&t=9638).


With CDS V3.6 size of the index was 85 Go with about 2,000,000 files indexed (Note: In one hdd drive I even hit the NTFS limit : too much files to handle ! edit: see http://www.donationc....msg373167#msg373167) . It took about 15 days to complete 24/24 7/7.
I still haven't finished indexing all my contents (mainly xls doc ppt mdb csv zip pdf eml msg files) with X1. So far speed of indexing and size of the index seems to be about the same. But I'll try to update that info here. ;) edit1: Apparently I have some locally saved email (.eml) that were not indexed. I need to try to find why ! Edit2: I have tried several thing but it won't index some eml files ! I also checked and discovered that some subfolders were not indexed even if X1 says all the index is up to date. I have tried 3 times to re-index and the last time it found alone some yearly folders that it had missed the first time !  I have still some yearly subfolders not indexed !

Update : Done. In my case with the same computer and the same data content (about 2,000,000 files) to be indexed, X1 did it in 10 days (5 days less than CDS V3.6) and the size of the index is 52 Go (less 33Go than CDS) ! See edits above! Note;: I had some strange problems yesterday. X1 was stuck and then suddenly it started to use twice the same amount of the size index ! Grrr I moved the index on another HDD from a SSD. I let it finish the indexing and moved back to the SSD where the index size is again the normal size (52Go)! Now I need to test extensively to see if everything is ok with X1 ! I'll try to update again about it here !

I haven't tested dtsearch yet (so I don't know if it is better/faster. Dtsearch index size seems to be 15% the size of the indexed content. http://support.dtsea....com/faq/dts0206.htm so my guess is that the index will be bigger than with CDS or X1). Price seems high $200 but X1 is $50 +$25 each year. So maybe I'll give it a try. ;) In fact after watching some videos about it, I won't try it will try it even if I don't use regex for searching keywords, and because the interface seems not very enough user friendly (I don't want to click many times just to do a keyword search !).


1 bis) For keyword search in files content - online in the cloud

I have also uploaded my data in Google Drive (see my experiments here http://www.donationc....msg373077#msg373077 ). There, it also does index the content of the files with some limits : for instance :
 
- index only the first 100 pages of pdf files - But if you open a 1000 pages pdf files and do a keyword search in it, it will find the keyword !
- index only the first million characters of any file (https://support.goog...e/answer/37603?hl=en)
- may not be able to open very large xls files (note: I already created Google Drive Sheets close to the 2,000,000 cells limit but it consumed close to the 2Go RAM limit of Firefox 32Bits !). In reality I stay closer to less than 20 MB for xls files.
- doesn't display small extracts of the files (like we see when we do a keyword search in google.com). So you have to open each files to see if it is the document you were looking for !
- you have to wait a few seconds for the UI to preview or open the file.
- doesn't display correctly html files. In fact it displays the html code only !! This is strange as gmail can do so properly without images when you send a joined html file in an email !
If you have millions of small files (html plus their related gif etc files..) it may very difficult (it creates easily orphaned files without telling about it...https://productforum...ns/drive/qM_Wdt6ElRQ) ! My next goal is to convert my html files in txt so I can do searches on it inside google drive. But I hit another problem : Google drive folders are not folders like in your pc but labels (see https://productforum...ns/drive/qM_Wdt6ElRQ). It can take ages when you want to upload such many thousands files in Google Drive. It loads somewhere in a server memory all the google drive files, before adding new ones.  Plus you can't search yet easily in a folder.


2) For keyword search in filenames only
I also use Everything for file searching. I like their folder filters shortcut (search only in some pre-defined folders).
I also use Listary files searching when I have opened a folder with many files. It can search inside very fast (I use it also for selecting very fast folders that I have previously bookmarked).


Well, as someone wrote hereafter, I think I am closed to limits for indexing all my data ! But day after day, it becomes better ! ;)
See ya ;)
My computer : win 8.1 64bits french +4cores + hdd + ssd +16Go ram.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 03:14:13 AM by jity2 »

40hz

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #777 on: January 10, 2015, 08:41:36 AM »
Can't speak to what's "best." But I use Everything Search Engine for very large file collections. And it hasn't let me down so far. I don't know if it will be a good fit for your particular requirements. But it's certainly worth a look.

cyberdiva

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #778 on: January 10, 2015, 09:58:46 AM »
I second 40hz's recommendation of Everything Search. I use it all the time.  It's terrific as long as you know all or part of the filename.  But it doesn't look inside files.  When I know something about the content, or perhaps even just when the file was made, the program I turn to is File Locator Pro.  It has never failed me.  Though it's not free, the company also makes a free version called Agent Ransack, which is also quite good (it's also called File Locator Lite, since some people and companies are apparently reluctant to try a program called Agent Ransack  :) ).  You can find a comparison of the commercial and free version here.

One advantage/disadvantage of these programs is that they don't index your files...they search each time.  This means that the search is usually slower than a program that indexes, but it also means that the program isn't using your computer's resources all the time as it indexes AND it means that even if you haven't indexed in a while, you can still find any file, no matter how recent.

Innuendo

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #779 on: January 10, 2015, 11:24:23 AM »
Desktop search software is very frustrating. I revisit the topic every so often as I'm always looking for better tools, but at the end I'm always left aggravated. Ideally, in my mind, the perfect solution would be something that provided quick searches, could search inside files as well as just filenames, and have something like QuickView Plus bolted on that would provide previews of most file types.

X1 - Far from perfect, but the absolute best if you use the criteria above as a guideline. Sadly, it seems they are very aware of being the best and have priced their product accordingly. Very expensive...just expensive enough to put it over the line of insulting. If you want the best, you and your wallet will be oh so painfully aware that you are paying for the best.

Copernic Destkop Search - This is the source of most of that aforementioned aggravation. On paper they are the golden child. The feature list is a dream, the UI is functional *and* attractive, and it has file preview capabilities to die for. However, their programmers are either extremely incompetent, drink a *lot*, or both. Stupid bugs that you can't believe that made it past QA that have been in the product for years and a liberal dash of WTF moments that make you wonder how they have managed to stay in business. Even if you can put all that aside, it's been proven that their indexing routine misses some files. What's the point of having a program that can search if it cannot find everything?

dtSearch - This is a solution geared towards corporations and the cold UI and barely there acceptable list of features make this an unappetizing choice for home users. I would wager they make their bones by providing lucrative support plans and willingness to accept company purchase orders. There are more capable, less expensive, more efficient options available.

UltraFinder - This is one that's slipped under my radar and it only just recently came to my attention. It's made by IDM, the same people who make UltraEdit. It's a weird hybrid between the search programs above and the likes of Everything Search Engine that use the MFT to find things lightning-fast. The product page is sparse on listing features, but near as I can tell it has a limited file preview capability that will support PDF, Excel, Word, and text files. I've never used this one, but I will give them credit for putting in a duplicate finding function. Makes sense when you think of it.

Everything Search Engine is very capable and very fast. Development stalled for a long while, but it's started back up again. It uses the MFT to search your NTFS drives super-fast. I used to use this, but have moved on to Listary Pro. It uses the MFT of your drives to search as well, but has some other features I have come to rely on as well.

File Locator Pro is an excellent stand-alone traditionally styled search program. However, when I need something like that I usually just use the search functionality built into my file manager of choice.

J-Mac

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #780 on: January 10, 2015, 12:05:20 PM »
Innuendo,
I agree completely with most of your comments above. There are a couple there that I haven't tried yet. Never heard of Ultrafinder; not sure if it is new or has just been way under the radar.

Your comments on X1 and Copernic are right on. X1 is definitely a strange company IMO; e.g., for a long time - until very recently - you had to use Internet Explorer in order to use their forum! And it seemed like Copernic banished all decent program development when they dropped their free search program. Once you had to start paying the bugs and poor UI appeared.

I did use Agent Ransack for a while, but kept forgetting that I had it installed and so rarely used it.

Presently I use mostly Everything and Windows Search on my computer. They get the job done... Kinda. But I still yearn for a good standalone desktop search program. (Think that's the first time I have ever actually typed the word "yearned"!) 

I'll have to take another look at File Locator Pro.

I'm surprised that you didn't mention Archivarius in your post. That seemed to be a popular choice not too long ago, but I don't see it mentioned much lately.

I am very interested in what you said about Listary Pro in your post. I have been using that for a while but mostly using it for fast access to file locations when saving or opening files. I really need to bone up on the rest of its features!

My file manager of choice has been Directory Opus for the last four or five years. However since about a week before Thanksgiving Dopus has not worked for me. It apparently starts but is not accessible. My system has had a lot of BSODs lately and I just found out that it has a memory problem, too. So it might be my system that's preventing Dopus from running correctly, or it could be an issue with Dopus 11. (I've seen a few other users post about this problem on their forum). So I'll probably be addressing desktop search after getting my machine fixed and most likely reinstalling Windows on it.

Please pardon any typos or formatting issues in this post; I'm typing it on my phone since my computer is just about unusable now.  :)

Thanks!

Jim

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #781 on: January 10, 2015, 01:49:23 PM »
I found another funny use for my odd search system.

I run a Directory and File reader and save as a text file. Then for reasons not wholly clear to me, searches in the text file come up a boatload faster than clunky windows search. But sometimes you can't remember the file name if it had some strange name. But sometimes you can remember where you saved it or maybe notes on it. (Like today I was looking at IRC clients, but later that could be hidden under projects/2015/irc clients/finalists).

So you can just search for the word IRC and it digs that up for you.


cyberdiva

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #782 on: January 10, 2015, 03:25:29 PM »
I was very hopeful about UltraFinder, since UltraEdit has been my favorite text editor for many years.  So when UltraFinder came out, I gave it a try.  I found it surprisingly disappointing.  It failed to find any number of things that File Locator Pro found.  I finally gave up on UltraFinder.  It may have gotten better since then, but I'm not interested in spending more time with it.  As for Archivarius, I bought it years ago on the strength of very positive comments here and elsewhere, but I never got it to work well.  It always seemed to me rather cumbersome.  I finally stopped using it, and I haven't installed it on my present computers. 

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #783 on: January 10, 2015, 06:58:43 PM »
it all depends on one's needs. If precision and completeness is key, then it's good to make a bunch of tests and see how it works.

Windows desktop search is okay for casual usage.

For serious research (and after extensive tests : text length, comments in pdf and word documents, meta data, etc.) I use a mix of DtSearch (specially because you can use Reg Ex), Archivarius and Everything.

Why do I mix Archivarius and DtSearch ? Simply because their algorithms for dealing with space and dashes are different and lead to different results.  But if I had to choose one (but I woudn't...), I'd probably go with DtSearch : indexing is fairly quick and there are more search options to get what you want. Archivarius is fast too, but its search syntax isn't as sophisticated. Both could have better interface.

I use everything for filename/foldername search as it's so quick and its search syntax is very flexible and powerful (e.g. Regex can be used).

That said, I always find it weird when Everything is listed side by side with other software like X1, DTSearch or Archivarius. It's not the  same thing at all! Yes, most so called "Desktop search" software will be able to search file names (although not foldernames), but software like Everything won't be able to search file content.


[Edit: about X1 : used to be my favorite, many years ago, but had to drop it because of performance reason and inaccuracy : it wouldn't index bigger documents well enough. See my comments earlier in the thread. To me, accuracy and precision are of absolute importance. If I'm looking for something and can't get to it when I know it's there... and then I'm forced to search "by hand"... There's a BIG problem.]
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 07:04:22 PM by Armando »

jity2

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #784 on: January 11, 2015, 04:28:21 AM »
Dear all,
Thanks for all your help. ;) I have updated my previous message : http://www.donationc....msg373068#msg373068
See ya ;)

J-Mac

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #785 on: January 11, 2015, 06:43:41 AM »
Thanks jity2. Lots of good info in your post!

Jim

peter.s

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #786 on: January 11, 2015, 07:53:38 AM »
Spin off "Desktop search; NTFS file numbers" here:

http://www.donationc...?topic=39992.new#new
When the wise points to the moon, the moron just looks at his pointer. China.

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #787 on: January 11, 2015, 04:49:37 PM »
In fact after watching some videos about it, I won't try it because I don't use regex for searching keywords, and because the interface seems not very enough user friendly (I don't want to click many times just to do a keyword search !).

Normally searching is straight forward : if DtSearch is opened (I do it quickly with a keyb shortcut) 1- press ctrl+s, 2- type your term and press enter.
Of course, it can be longer if you need to switch DB, select other options than the one you usually need etc.

For simple keyword searching, without any other options, Archivarius would do the trick perfectly. I also use Archivarius to index only metadata on files stored on the network - Archivarius does that better than DTSearch as you can tell Archivarius to index only metadata for certain indexes; AFAIK you can't do that with DtSearch.

About X1 : If X1 can now index word and pdf comments (it did years ago, but wouldn't show the actual comments... not very useful) and  fully index some of the bigger ones (see that post and that one), then it might be worth it...

jity2

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #788 on: January 12, 2015, 02:57:33 AM »
Armando,

I have tried X1 with the big pdf file inside your link : http://www.donationc....msg220457#msg220457
Indeed, to my surprise, the pdf is not indexed in full by X1 ! I have tested it into another big pdf file of mine and I have the same result ! ;(
I don't know why but X1 stops indexing pdf files after some number of characters. Maybe 1Million or something else like Google Drive? I don't know !

Also I noticed that X1 did not index some of my yearly subfolders (see above).

I going to test dtsearch ! ;)

See ya ;)

Tuxman

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #789 on: January 12, 2015, 03:16:59 AM »
Still using grepWin for text files. Everything else is sorted in folders where I can find it myself.  :P

tomos

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #790 on: January 12, 2015, 12:01:36 PM »
it doesnt seem to be getting particularly good press in this thread, but it's on BDJ for the next 14 hours or so:

Copernic Desktop Search 4
40% Off -- $29.97

http://www.bitsdujou...in=todays-deals-home

EDIT// extended: valid another 20 hours or so as of editing time
Tom
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 06:00:49 AM by tomos »

Writer

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #791 on: January 13, 2015, 05:32:36 AM »
X1 and Listary are my current go-to products. I use X1 exclusively for Outlook email. I haven't found anything quicker. The interface which starts with a list of all available content through which you filter out content makes it truly search-as-you-type. However, like jity2 I have noticed undocumented limitations when it indexes very long books (PDF and MS Word), which makes it less useful as a Desktop Search software.

Listary pretty much has similar speeds as Everything while searching for file names. But, Listary does a better job integrating with Windows Explorer and xplorer2.

Curt

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #792 on: January 13, 2015, 05:00:35 PM »
Does any one here use DocFetcher ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DocFetcher
http://docfetcher.sourceforge.net/

Quote
Developer(s): DocFetcher project
Stable release: 1.1.11 / March 3, 2014
Written in: Java
Operating system: MS Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
License: Eclipse Public License
Quote
Portable Document Repositories

One of DocFetcher's outstanding features is that it is available as a portable version which allows you to create a portable document repository — a fully indexed and fully searchable repository of all your important documents that you can freely move around.
click thumb for 821x616 pixels:

intro-001-results-edited.pngWhat is the currently best Desktop Search software?

http://docfetcher.so...ge.net/en/index.html
Quote
Index updates: Of course, an index only reflects the state of the indexed files when it was created, not necessarily the latest state of the files. Thus, if the index isn't kept up-to-date, you could get outdated search results, much in the same way a telephone book can become out of date. However, this shouldn't be much of a problem if we can assume that most of the files are rarely modified.

Additionally, DocFetcher is capable of automatically updating its indexes:
(1) When it's running, it detects changed files and updates its indexes accordingly.
(2) When it isn't running, a small daemon in the background will detect changes and keep a list of indexes to be updated; DocFetcher will then update those indexes the next time it is started.
And don't you worry about the daemon: It has really low CPU usage and memory footprint, since it does nothing except noting which folders have changed, and leaves the more expensive index updates to DocFetcher.
Quote
Java: Performance and portability: One aspect some people might take issue with is that DocFetcher was written in Java, which has a reputation of being "slow". This was indeed true ten years ago, but since then Java's performance has seen much improvement, according to Wikipedia.

Anyways, the great thing about being written in Java is that the very same portable DocFetcher package can be run on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X — many other programs require using separate bundles for each platform. As a result, you can, for example, put your portable document repository on a USB drive and then access it from any of these operating systems, provided that a Java runtime is installed.
Quote
Supported Document Formats
##Microsoft Office (doc, xls, ppt) ##Microsoft Office 2007 and newer (docx, xlsx, pptx, docm, xlsm, pptm) ##Microsoft Outlook (pst) ##OpenOffice.org (odt, ods, odg, odp, ott, ots, otg, otp) ##Portable Document Format (pdf) ##EPUB (epub) ##HTML (html, xhtml, ...) ##TXT and other plain text formats (customizable) ##Rich Text Format (rtf) ##AbiWord (abw, abw.gz, zabw) ##Microsoft Compiled HTML Help (chm) ##MP3 Metadata (mp3) ##FLAC Metadata (flac) ##JPEG Exif Metadata (jpg, jpeg) ##Microsoft Visio (vsd) ##Scalable Vector Graphics (svg)

##Regex-based exclusion of files from indexing: You can use regular expressions to exclude certain files from indexing. For example, to exclude Microsoft Excel files, you can use a regular expression like this: .*\.xls

##Mime-type detection: You can use regular expressions to turn on "mime-type detection" for certain files, meaning that DocFetcher will try to detect their actual file types not just by looking at the filename, but also by peeking into the file contents. This comes in handy for files that have the wrong file extension.

##Powerful query syntax: In addition to basic constructs like OR, AND and NOT DocFetcher also supports, among other things: Wildcards, phrase search, fuzzy search ("find words that are similar to..."), proximity search ("these two words should be at most 10 words away from each other"), boosting ("increase the score of documents containing...")

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #793 on: January 13, 2015, 06:49:35 PM »
Tried it many years ago (2008). It was ok, but too basic for my needs. E.g. not enough options for filtering, couldn't see indexed comments in pdf and doc, etc.
In general it looked like a promising project. It might be much better now (6-7 years later...).

Armando

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #794 on: January 13, 2015, 06:55:10 PM »
Armando,

I have tried X1 with the big pdf file inside your link : http://www.donationc....msg220457#msg220457
Indeed, to my surprise, the pdf is not indexed in full by X1 ! I have tested it into another big pdf file of mine and I have the same result ! ;(
I don't know why but X1 stops indexing pdf files after some number of characters. Maybe 1Million or something else like Google Drive? I don't know !

Also I noticed that X1 did not index some of my yearly subfolders (see above).

I going to test dtsearch ! ;)

See ya ;)

Ah. So those problems are still there...  Too bad X1 developers didn't fix them, otherwise I'd probably still be using it (I like the column filtering UI).
Although... being able to use RegEx to search file content makes DtSearch more precise and powerful (purely as a search tool). I absolutely wouldn't trade RegEx capabilities for a few gadgets and eye candy.


Joe Hone

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #795 on: January 13, 2015, 10:40:40 PM »
I use file search/word search programs every day. I write for a living and access archived topics, references, sources, or just prior drafts of certain documents, often by keyword searches alone. I have tried every search program that I have ever heard of, but my go-to programs, in the order I use them, are Everything, UltraFileSearch, Fileseek. If those don't work I can't find it. I have bought several search program licenses based on initial positive impressions - Listary is one - but I find myself falling back on these three for convenience of use and success rates.

jity2

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #796 on: January 14, 2015, 01:34:01 AM »
Dear All,

Here are my tests results so far comparing : Copernic Desktop Search vs. X1 Search vs. Dtsearch vs. Archivarius 3000 (limited to 10,000 files due to trial limit).
I tested them on only : one of my archive folder (year 2008) + one folder containing some emails (.eml) + one folder containing some big pdf files and one .epub file).
Note: IMHO file numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt as depending on the default software configuration some extensions that I don't care much about could have been included or excluded (I care about htm html doc pdf xls ... see images).

See joined images. ;)

Conclusion so far for me: I think I am going to buy dtsearch once I have tested it with my full archives.
For now dtsearch is faster doing the index plus the size of the index is smaller.
And one thing that I like is that it displays some extracts (not for all pdf or html files. I don't know why ?) of each results (alas not for all file extensions) with the keyword highlighted ala google.com (see option: "First hit in context") ! ;)

Archivarius 3000 test : I also like the fact that extracts of keyword are displayed but displays only results as txt ! ;(

ps: It is not in the images, but I also tested them with the same folders containing only zip files. Dtsearch was again the winner for indexing speed (2 time faster than with unzipped version!). Alas for me I have too many zip files inside zip files,..so it finds the keywords ok but when I want to open the file I am let with one zip file opened but not the related file opened. Anyway I'll keep my unzipped folders. ;)

Hoe this helps ;)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 04:02:50 AM by jity2 »

Jibz

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #797 on: January 14, 2015, 01:43:36 AM »
Nice comparison, any chance you could give Archivarius 3000 a spin as well? would love to see how it compares :Thmbsup:.

jity2

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #798 on: January 14, 2015, 04:04:18 AM »
Jibz : Done! Post updated above. ;)
See ya

dr_andus

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Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?
« Reply #799 on: January 14, 2015, 07:14:34 AM »
FileSearchy is another one to keep in mind. It can search both file names and their contents and order them by the number of matches ("relevance") and show the density of matches within each document (besides other filtering options). It was a while ago I compared them but I think I preferred FileSearchy to DocFetcher (I think the search was more complete or something along those lines).