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Poll
Question: Which Desktop Search Tool(s) do you use? (Choose up to 2)
Google Desktop Search - 15 (7.1%)
Copernic Desktop Search - 35 (16.7%)
MSN Windows Desktop Search - 14 (6.7%)
Yahoo Desktop Search - 3 (1.4%)
X1 Desktop Search - 18 (8.6%)
Locate - 39 (18.6%)
Archivarius - 13 (6.2%)
other... - 45 (21.4%)
none / no comment - 28 (13.3%)
Total Voters: 172

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Author Topic: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?  (Read 273726 times)
MrCrispy
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« Reply #425 on: July 17, 2008, 08:13:13 PM »

What about Vista users? Search-GT doesn't seem to be integrated into Vista as the search provider, which would make it a lot more powerful.

I also WANT indexing. It doesn't have to constantly thrash the hard dosk (WDS 4  is a lot better) and no matter how fast the app, searching an index will always be an order of magnitude faster. Plus you can search on metadata, refine searches etc all without hitting the Filesystem. And you can search offline files and disks, networked pc's etc, I mean the benefits of a good index are just too many!
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Curt
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« Reply #426 on: July 18, 2008, 10:47:05 AM »

-

... SearchGT not .. updated for 3½ months..., but it is *not* as if there aren't a number of features still not available...

- so, yes, MrCrispy, I will agree with you on this in quite a number of situations. I guess most programs have some favourite situations where they may show some excellence, so to speak, and I have just told about (another) one of SearchGT's. However, if I had the money, I think I would try to see if I can use  SearchInform on my PC (it is being marketed for corporates). If you take the time to read the various "read more..." you will most likely think this is a VERY capable search application!

SearchInform comes in 3 versions, Free, $ 49, or $ 199.

- and among many other features it does index The Bat!
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Darwin
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« Reply #427 on: July 19, 2008, 11:55:36 PM »

SearchInform does look nice, Curt. I gave it a whirl, but uninstalled it because:

  • I have a licenced copy of X1 Pro
  • Ditto for dtSearch with Spider
  • Ditto for Archivarius


 ohmy embarassed

Couple the above point with the two following:

1. The free version doesn't appear to index e-mail
2. I moved my documents folder from its default location to a partition and SearchInform couldn't find it... Rendered it essentially useless for me.

And I wasn't too motivated to dig any deeper. I would, however, be interested in hearing from anyone that has/does use it. If I was still actively looking for an indexing solution I would be giving SearchInform serious consideration.
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MrCrispy
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« Reply #428 on: July 24, 2008, 03:21:02 AM »

What desktop search app best supports 'smart folders'. The WDS 4.0 saved searches feature is useless because

- the search syntax has a lot more power than is exposed to the user (typical of Microsoft). I'll be damned if I'm typing all of that
- its too damn slow.
- did I say its horribly inefficient and slow? In the search results, try adding another column (like size). It will run the whole query all over again for no reason.

I want to create my smart folders like (docs about work I have created in last week), (all video on my pc > 100mb) etc. I found a lot of references to Blinkx 'smart folders' but it seems they no longer make it.
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johnk
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« Reply #429 on: July 24, 2008, 05:40:45 AM »

Does anyone know of a desktop search program that will search a (Firefox) Scrapbook database in a user-friendly fashion? By which I mean...

Scrapbook simply saves html pages, so any search program will index them. But all the pages are named "index.html". Scrapbook's built-in (non-indexed) search returns page titles rather than file names, which is fine. But the search programs I use (Archivarius, WDS) don't offer this option, so every search of Scrapbook pages just brings back a list of "index.html" pages -- you have to view each one to find what you're looking for. I'd like to find a search program that offers the option to view page titles for HTML files rather than filenames.
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Armando
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« Reply #430 on: July 24, 2008, 11:12:36 AM »

What desktop search app best supports 'smart folders'. The WDS 4.0 saved searches feature is useless because

By "supporting" smart folders, do you mean that the desktop search app should allow you to create some? If that's the case, X1 is probably the one of the best equipped app for that : you can name and organize hierarchically your different searches, in a tree. X1 searches pretty fast but the interface is sometimes a bit sluggish. I use it everyday, even with its shortcomings.

I don't now if others lie DTSearch will do "Smart folders"... Maybe?
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Darwin
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« Reply #431 on: August 11, 2008, 03:24:03 PM »

Hmm... Lookdisk 4 doesn't support Vista, either (along with SearchGT)  ohmy
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mwang
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« Reply #432 on: August 12, 2008, 02:14:58 PM »

Scrapbook simply saves html pages, so any search program will index them. But all the pages are named "index.html". Scrapbook's built-in (non-indexed) search returns page titles rather than file names, which is fine. But the search programs I use (Archivarius, WDS) don't offer this option, so every search of Scrapbook pages just brings back a list of "index.html" pages -- you have to view each one to find what you're looking for. I'd like to find a search program that offers the option to view page titles for HTML files rather than filenames.

In Archivarius, click "Switch list" at the bottom and the list will be changed into a style that shows a few lines of extract for each file.
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johnk
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« Reply #433 on: August 12, 2008, 02:30:40 PM »

In Archivarius, click "Switch list" at the bottom and the list will be changed into a style that shows a few lines of extract for each file.
That's very helpful. Many thanks.
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Darwin
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« Reply #434 on: August 12, 2008, 02:52:18 PM »

Sorry - late reply. I can't find anything about dtSearch and Smart Folders (I have only a dim idea of what they are, so may be overlooking their support. However, a search of the dtSearch help file turns up exactly nothing...).

OK google "smart folders" and came across this page: http://www.pandia.com/resources/desktop2.html which clarifies that dtSearch does not support this...

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J-Mac
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« Reply #435 on: August 18, 2008, 01:09:19 AM »

OK Mr. Darwin:  I need some help here, and since you apparently own licenses for at LEAST 40 or 50 different desktop search engines (  Grin Grin ), I figure that you are the one to ask!

I've recently been reduced to using only Locate32 on my desktop computer (The one I hate so much!) and occasionally the way-too-slow DOpus search feature.  In the two to three years previous, I have experienced the following with desktop searches:

  • Given up altogether on Google Desktop Search. It won't index all my files (it does have a max file limit, it doesn't have a max limit, it does, it doesn't...) Those are the various voices I hear from GDS support and the GDS Google Groups. Yikes! Anyway it never went past 72% indexed for me after V.4 and it can't find my MP3 files anymore. Lack of any real support makes it completely useless, IMO.

.
  • X1 has been on and off my computer a few times.  It is great when it is working well, but it has a bad habit of getting a corrupt index folder or something. After my index has been around a while and gets very large it usually starts acting weird, finding files one day but not the next. It generally gets unreliable after being very precise for months on end. X1 people always say, "Just uninstall it, clean all traces, reinstall and re-index." That works, but it gets old after a while.  I did just try to get a paid license for it - Professional version - but they seem to have me locked out. Can't log into their forum with my old login. Used the "Forgot Password" link and it says my email address is banned! No matter which email I use. I posted twice in their forum about three years ago, nothing bad - just standard questions. Don't know what is going on there! I wrote X1 Support; see what they say.
.
  • Archivarius:  Sorry, but I won't purchase using Share-It. They put some rather obscene markups on their Euro-to-Dollar conversions. Not related to the current value of the Dollar, because it was the same with them years ago when the dollar was much higher in value. Currently the price of Archivarius in Euros is 29.95 for the Personal version. That was $44.01 yesterday according to XE.com, yet Share-It wants $48.92.  RegNow, another affiliate of Digital River is an option, and they want $46.70. Plus American Express will not approve purchases through Share-It nor RegNow. They used to let it go through and then immediately call me to authenticate. Now they actually decline it and I have to call Amex to get it approved. In 25 years with American Express, they have only done this with Digital River affiliates. Supposedly extremely high fraud levels. So Archivarius is out unless there is another way to purchase.  Sad
.
  • Locate32 is doing OK for me, but it also gets stumped at times. It does not find items that I subsequently find on my own. E.g., it finds 12 results for a given search term but I notice that a particular PDF file is not in the results. Since I keep almost all PDF files in one main directory with subs, I scroll through it manually and find the PDF file, and the title indeed matches my search word. Lack of an index must cause some of this.  I'll keep it but I don't feel I can rely on it.
.

  • I installed Copernic again earlier today. I have used it in the past, and it is OK. Not great, mind you, but OK. It once got a corrupted index and I had to clean it out. Otherwise it is adequate, but definitely misses files. And I am not particularly fond of the user interface. It only shows a few results in each category. You then have to click a link to see more. And again. And again. I would prefer to show all, but that isn't an option.
.
So...  Darwin! What else can I look at? I saw that you use dtSearch, but that is out of the question for me: way too high-priced! You made some nice comments recently about FileLocator Pro - is that really a good desktop search? Or were you just "slumming" with the lower-priced apps?  Any others I should consider?  Within, say, a $25 to $75 price range.

Understand that I do not have anywhere near the technical data that you have; no anthropological titles to search!  but I do have several hundred GB of files that can be very daunting to search through.

All advice appreciated!

Jim
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Darwin
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« Reply #436 on: August 18, 2008, 01:42:16 AM »

Hmmm... lately I've been using X1 Pro pretty much exclusively after having been "off" it for about a year - they seem to have fixed the glitches that plagued me earlier and I've had no problems with it over the three or so months since I reinstalled it.

I always find Copernic "ok" - it should be great, but it never really does it for me when I install it and use it somehow.

FileLocator Pro is great for filename searches but on my antiquated notebook it is EXCRUTIATINGLY slow on content searching - it doesn't create an index... It's good for content searching if you really narrow down the search parameters, like only doc files in a specific folder or something, though.

Overall, my suggestion would be to hope that X1 gets back to you, making it possible for you to purchase it. I've no other suggestions, free or in your price range as my experience is limited to: Archivarius, X1 (and Yahoo Desktop Search), Filehand Search, Copernic, Windows Desktop Search (have you tried version 4? People do seem to like it), dtSearch, and a brief dabble with Google Desktop Search.
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mwang
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« Reply #437 on: August 18, 2008, 02:18:25 AM »

So Archivarius is out unless there is another way to purchase.
According to their order page, orders can be made over phone (toll free), fax, or postal mail, if that's acceptable to you.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #438 on: August 18, 2008, 02:23:15 AM »

So Archivarius is out unless there is another way to purchase.
According to their order page, orders can be made over phone (toll free), fax, or postal mail, if that's acceptable to you.

Nope - that's not their number.  It's Share-It's number.  Look it up.

Thanks for the thought, though!

Jim
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J-Mac
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« Reply #439 on: August 18, 2008, 02:27:42 AM »

... Windows Desktop Search (have you tried version 4? People do seem to like it)...

Tried it - still don't like it.  Still too much of a resource hog, still installs as a service and does not allow you to disable indexing for a short time.  Still steals focus from other windows, even if it is not indexing.  If you use Dragon Naturally Speaking you cannot use WDS.  You'll be dictating right along and as soon as this poorly designed application steals focus you are dictating to the air!

They knew this was an issue in V.3 and did nothing about it.  I don't think I'll ever install it again.

Jim
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tinjaw
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« Reply #440 on: August 18, 2008, 08:15:42 AM »

J-Mac,

I have had zero problems with Locate32 after using it for, oh, I don't know, over a year, and on dozens of computers. My only guess as to why you have problems is that you are not updating your index. Locate32 will only show you files in its index. That index needs to be updated. I have mine set to update every night and sometimes update it manually when I know the machine will be sitting idle for a while.

Do you have Locate32 properly configured to update the index?
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J-Mac
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« Reply #441 on: August 18, 2008, 01:11:27 PM »

J-Mac,

I have had zero problems with Locate32 after using it for, oh, I don't know, over a year, and on dozens of computers. My only guess as to why you have problems is that you are not updating your index. Locate32 will only show you files in its index. That index needs to be updated. I have mine set to update every night and sometimes update it manually when I know the machine will be sitting idle for a while.

Do you have Locate32 properly configured to update the index?

Yes, the database updater is run every day automatically at 3 pm.  Two computers are indexed each time. But it does occasionally miss some results - sorry!

Also, I am still not certain exactly how he set up its Boolean operations. If you just type in three or four words, it searches as "ANY" and brings back far too many words. Copernic has similar issues - they just don't seem to follow any single method for Boolean. E.g., if I use + or - it returns ANY. In Copernic I usually have to use AND & OR & NOT in upper case and with spaces surrounding them. Quotes don't always work, either.

Thanks!

Jim
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yksyks
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« Reply #442 on: August 18, 2008, 03:20:34 PM »

Also, I am still not certain exactly how he set up its Boolean operations. If you just type in three or four words, it searches as "ANY" and brings back far too many words.

Settings > Advanced > check "Use AND mode as a default"

It should be ON by default, IMHO.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #443 on: August 18, 2008, 03:36:05 PM »

Also, I am still not certain exactly how he set up its Boolean operations. If you just type in three or four words, it searches as "ANY" and brings back far too many words.

Settings > Advanced > check "Use AND mode as a default"

It should be ON by default, IMHO.

No such thing in mine. Are you speaking of Copernic? Mine has Tools>Options>Advanced, but nothing at all about Boolean usage there.

Jim
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yksyks
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« Reply #444 on: August 18, 2008, 03:54:56 PM »

I thought you were speaking about Locate32, sorry. I've never had any issue of this type with Copernic, though. "AND" is default there, no need to type it.
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Curt
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« Reply #445 on: October 29, 2008, 08:17:24 AM »

New: DocFetcher
freeware, version 0.9:
http://docfetcher.sourceforge.net/index.html
http://docfetcher.sourceforge.net/download.html

Copy&Paste:

Description:
DocFetcher is an Open Source desktop search application: It allows you to perform fast searches for all documents in a given set of folders that contain certain keywords. - You can think of it as Google for your local document repository. The application is currently available for Windows and GTK-based Linux distributions.

Required: Java Runtime Environment
A Java Runtime Environment (JRE), version 1.5 or higher, is required. You can download it from here. To find out what JRE version you have, open a command prompt and type in "java -version".

For Linux users it is recommended to use the official Java Runtime from Sun instead of the other, partly incomplete implementations of Java, both for compatibility and performance reasons.
Windows

The Windows version runs on Windows 98, XP and Vista. Other Windows operating systems may also work, but have not been tested and are not officially supported.

    * Windows Installer
    * Portable version (requires no installation)




Example...:
    * You specify one or more folders to make searchable, e.g. "C:\MyDocuments".
    * DocFetcher extracts the text from all documents in "C:\MyDocuments" that it is able to read, e.g. HTML, MS Word documents and PDF, and stores the result of this processing in "index files". The indexing process might take a few minutes (600 documents = about 3 min.).
    * Now you can type keywords into DocFetcher's search box, e.g. "fourier analysis", hit Enter, and DocFetcher will list all documents inside "C:\MyDocuments" that contain these words - most of the time in less than a second.
    * What if the original document repository is changed? Then the index files will get out of sync with the repository, obviously. However: (1) DocFetcher can listen to file system events and automatically update its index files when it's running. (2) In constrast to completely (re-)building an index, an index update is usually a matter of seconds.


Supported Document Formats:
    * HTML and plain text (both customizable)
    * Portable Document Format (pdf)
    * Microsoft Office Word (doc), Excel (xls) and PowerPoint (ppt)
    * OpenOffice.org Writer, Calc, Draw and Impress
    * Rich Text Format (rtf)
    * AbiWord (abw, abw.gz, zabw)
    * Microsoft Compiled HTML Help (chm)
    * Microsoft Visio (vsd)


Features:
    * Detection of HTML pairs (e.g. "foo.htm" and a folder named "foo_files")
    * Various file operations on the document repository (e.g. creating folders, inserting new files) can be performed through DocFetcher's interface.
    * Customizable text and HTML file extensions (e.g. "nfo", "cpp", "java", "py", "shtml", and so on)
    * Regular expression based exclusion of files from indexing
    * Automatic index updates on changes to the indexed documents (optional).
    * Preview panel with search-term highlighting and a simple built-in web browser
    * Search results can be sorted and filtered according to different criteria (filetype, filesize, path, etc.).
    * A portable version for both Windows and Linux is available, which, amongst other things, is useful in combination with volume encryption (TrueCrypt).

http://docfetcher.sourceforge.net/index.html
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Darwin
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« Reply #446 on: October 29, 2008, 08:30:45 AM »

Interesting find, Curt. Thanks for pointing it out to us  Thmbsup Off to read up about it now...
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Darwin
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« Reply #447 on: October 29, 2008, 08:39:10 AM »

OK, not much else to read, but the screenshots are worth a thousand words. Very nice! I'll be interested to hear from anyone who gives it a go...
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urlwolf
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« Reply #448 on: October 29, 2008, 12:47:44 PM »

I'm using locate32, but it doesn't index text inside files, just filenames.
I want the best indexer for pdfs only. Which one is it ?

I have live search installed just because onenote needs it to index its files. If that's good enough, I could use it for pdf too.

Thanks
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Darwin
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« Reply #449 on: October 29, 2008, 01:05:14 PM »

Hmm... I've had good luck with all three of the indexers that I use re: indexing pdfs (Archivarius, X1, dtSearch). These are all shareware, however. Windows Desktop Search 4 (is this the same as Live Search?) might be a good one to look at first as it's free, espeically if you are running Vista (?). I run Vista but have X1 installed on that machine and set it up to take over from WDS (before putting WDS through its paces), so can't comment or even test it... I do recall trying it at version 3 on my wife's machine and the pdf searching and previewing capabilities were pretty good, but I really didn't put it through its paces.
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