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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 259289 times)
Armando
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« Reply #750 on: October 18, 2010, 08:17:08 PM »

Very good news... I was quite surprised that WDS was so unreliable.

What about Spinbitz (I love that title...) ?  tongue
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Darwin
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« Reply #751 on: October 18, 2010, 08:35:09 PM »

That doesn't seem right. Turning that option on tells WDS to conduct full-text search for non-indexed files. If a document's content is found only when the option is on, IOW, it's not indexed.

I agree - as I said, counter-intuitive, but it worked...
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Darwin
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« Reply #752 on: October 18, 2010, 09:34:20 PM »

Following from my previous two posts... I *did* reset WS 4.0 by disabling it, rebooting, reenabling it, and then reindexing last night. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that it took this long for indexing to complete (rather than changing the setting that I referred to earlier)...
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mwang
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« Reply #753 on: October 19, 2010, 08:49:18 AM »

By any chance the "Allow files in this folder to have contents indexed in addition to file properties" option is unchecked (disabled) for your Documents folder, Darwin?
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Darwin
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« Reply #754 on: October 19, 2010, 11:08:51 AM »

By any chance the "Allow files in this folder to have contents indexed in addition to file properties" option is unchecked (disabled) for your Documents folder, Darwin?

Yes, it is. However, I haven't changed that setting in ages (that I can recall).
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J-Mac
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« Reply #755 on: September 06, 2013, 11:21:13 PM »

The warning in red atop the reply text box is telling me to start a new thread because this one is so ancient.... but after all, I am a professional thread necromancer!



So anyway... I guess everyone is perfectly satisfied with their desktop search engines? Since no one sems to be posting about them anymore? There didn't appear to be any consensus winner here. E.g., the poll shows Copernicus as very popular, but I think that those votes were mostly before it became what it is today: a "Pro" version with less features than the older free version had.

Has X1 died? I hear almost nothing about it anymore. WDS is still hit or miss for me. Sometimes it finds items that amaze me and other times it misses very obvious searches. I also dislike the search bar being in the Start menu. Can that be changed? If you lose focus on the Start menu you often lose the search too. I hate that!

Thanks!

Jim
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J-Mac
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #756 on: September 07, 2013, 06:57:05 AM »

How do you lose focus on the start menu - just press the windows key on the keyboard.

Personally I have given up using any of the alternatives - I really like X1 but had lots of problems with it - especially in the days I used Outlook. I couldn't definitively prove it but I seemed to suffer a lot with corrupted PST files when it was installed and it magically resolved when I got rid of it.
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #757 on: September 07, 2013, 07:25:45 AM »

So anyway... I guess everyone is perfectly satisfied with their desktop search engines? Since no one sems to be posting about them anymore?
Over the years, I've tried a number of different desktop search engines.  Copernic, Yahoo Desktop Search, Archivarius, and UltraFinder come to mind, but far and away my favorite is File Locator Pro.  None of the other search engines I've tried comes close.  (I'm not counting Everything Search, which is my go-to search engine if I'm simply trying to locate a file and I know all or part of the filename.  But Everything doesn't search file contents, whereas the others I've mentioned do.)

File Locator Pro doesn't index, so it doesn't consume system resources and is always current.  And while it can be slower than an indexing search engine, it can be set to be very narrowly targeted.  I've also found it much easier to use than Archivarius.  In my experience, if FLPro didn't succeed in finding something, that something almost certainly wasn't on my computer.  There's also a free version of FLPro called Agent Ransack, which is very good, but I've opted for the commercial version. 
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« Reply #758 on: September 07, 2013, 03:26:13 PM »

far and away my favorite is File Locator Pro.
I've had good service from BareGrepPro, but it is after all primarily a grep, and often I want Boolean searches.  Archivarius does well for me, but I don't index it often enough.  It would be nice to have a DC discount on FLPro.
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« Reply #759 on: September 07, 2013, 06:07:49 PM »


I tend not to need search inside capability, but I don't exactly use a desktop search per se. I still stand by the slightly unusual method of doing a drive read via Karen's Directory Printer, and then searching the resulting text file! Doing the drive read from the "desktop down" takes some five minutes. And then good ol' Control-F in the text file finds stuff *instantly*!
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« Reply #760 on: September 07, 2013, 06:53:45 PM »

far and away my favorite is File Locator Pro.  None of the other search engines I've tried comes close.

 Thmbsup +1

I've also tried many and File Locator Pro is the only one I now use on a daily basis.

I do use dtSearch for research purposes, where I need to find some reference in the many thousands of (mostly pdf) documents I have accumulated, but dtSearch is overkill, to say nothing of too expensive, for most users
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J-Mac
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« Reply #761 on: September 07, 2013, 09:03:09 PM »

Thanks all! So File Locator Pro is one to give a serious look, huh? OK, then I shall!

@Carole: How do I lose focus? I don’t - I almost never lose focus! Well, maybe sometimes I do nowadays....   Grin  Seriously though, the Start menu loses focus more often than I'd like. If my cursor strays outside the menu area and a popup occurs from any other software the Start menu - and therefore its search terms and results - are gone. Also if you click on one result and it isn't really what you thought, you have to start again and type in your search term(s), wait for results, etc. Of course I could wait for the first result and then click on the "See more results" link to open the explorer window, but I prefer a window to begin with. A simple search bar similar to the Start menu's search box would be fine if it couldn't lose focus, and if it did not lose all results upon looking at one result. That's a "fail" imo. But if it works for you, hooray!   thumbs up

Now, File Locator Pro. Hey, I remember downloading Agent Ransack in the past. I don’t think I actually installed it though. Apparently I should have. I guess I didn't expect much because it was free. Go figure.

Thanks again!

Jim
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« Reply #762 on: September 08, 2013, 04:35:15 AM »

I ended up using Archivarius, because it supported some file types that the others did not (specifically it was able to index my old The Bat! e-mail archives). The author seems to work hard on supporting new formats, as an example it already has RAR5 support.

It's not as fancy as some of the others though, and probably not as integrated with Microsoft applications.

One nice thing about search software that builds indices, is that you do not need the original files to retrieve information. I have an index of a computer I had ten years ago, which lets me dig up old discussions about compression I saved back then, even though the hard-drive is long gone.
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« Reply #763 on: September 20, 2013, 10:56:32 PM »

I don't know if it is the best, but I have been using Ultra FileSearch for 2 years and find it better than most that I've tried. I manage a large database and find myself daily needing to find documents based on specific text contained in them and by selecting the drive and specifying the text, the program gets me there without fail. They have a 30 day trial period on the full version, and a lite version with a few less features which is free.
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michaelkenward
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« Reply #764 on: September 21, 2013, 03:50:47 AM »

The title of this now very old poll may be misleading, but if you look at the options you will see that it is about desktop "index and search software". In other words software that maintains a database of your data and uses that when you want to find something.

Ultra FileSearch "does not use background Indexing". It finds things "on the fly". It is not, therefore, comparable with the programs in the poll. It is a different beast.

Anyone whose task is to "find documents based on specific text contained in them and by selecting the drive and specifying the text" will almost certainly find that index and search software, any index and search software, will be quicker and more efficient than on-the-fly search and find software.
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MK
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« Reply #765 on: September 21, 2013, 01:45:45 PM »

To be honest, I never was a big fan of software that has to create an index, robbing a computer of resources by having a service running in the background that often at inconvenient times start to do its indexing.

Quite some time ago IBM and Yahoo! offered their OmniFind search engine software for free with a (rather generous) limited data set size, exceeding that limit and payment would be required. At the time I had a spare PC lying around so I tried it.

It still runs, it is a set-and-forget solution that indexes all kinds of document types at timed intervals using a separate PC. For on-the-fly searching files and/or their content on my desktop PC I use BareGrep, as I find it's speed very good. For the rest I trust on the search engine.

Now I know that the search engine has been discontinued, but until now I didn't see the need to change it or look for an alternative. However, you might be lucky to find the executable and the manual somewhere on the interweb.

If you are interested in a similar solution, look at this DonationCoder thread for an alternative.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #766 on: September 21, 2013, 03:02:15 PM »

I'm now using Agent Ransack and it does indeed find text buried deep within documents - and it does it rather fast, too.

Jim
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michaelkenward
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« Reply #767 on: September 22, 2013, 06:23:42 AM »

I'm now using Agent Ransack and it does indeed find text buried deep within documents - and it does it rather fast, too.
Agent Ransack is another non-indexed search tool.

software that has to create an index, robbing a computer of resources by having a service running in the background that often at inconvenient times start to do its indexing.

That was much more valid as a criticism in the days of slow PCs with limited memory and small hard drives. But that world is long gone for most of us.

The thought of running individual searches when I want to find something in the 174,071 PDF files on my PC is just too horrible to contemplate. I barely notice any effect of my indexing software (X1) on this 64-bit PC with 8GB of memory and a 256-GB solid state drive. (The data is on a regular HDD.)

Of course, using on-the-fly searching means that when you do want to find something, all that disk thrashing and chasing all over the place will drain the PC's resources, far more so than the limited disk activity that is involved in indexed searches.

With resources no longer a real issue for anyone with a half decent PC, the choice between indexed and non-indexed searching depends on what you want to do. For example, non-indexed searchers can't work with most email software, especially something like Outlook. So you either have to go for indexed or use the software itself. Going for indexed means that the same software can look at email and files at the same time. I can even tell X1 to look for things in in email and files at the same time.





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Darwin
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« Reply #768 on: September 22, 2013, 08:57:30 AM »

dtSearch is awesome! I've been using it for years - I like it because the previews and overall interface are nicer than Archivarius (own a license for that, too) and because it is less resource intenstive and produces a small index file. What I like about both dtSearch and Archivarius is that you can opt to run index updates manually, in fact, with dtSearch, that is the default setting. Finally, dtSearch is great because as noted the resource hit is negligible. I recently revisited X1 and wish that I could say the same thing... As xtabber noted, dtSearch is way too expensive for home use, though...
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J-Mac
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« Reply #769 on: September 22, 2013, 10:28:45 AM »

I'm now using Agent Ransack and it does indeed find text buried deep within documents - and it does it rather fast, too.
Agent Ransack is another non-indexed search tool.

software that has to create an index, robbing a computer of resources by having a service running in the background that often at inconvenient times start to do its indexing.

That was much more valid as a criticism in the days of slow PCs with limited memory and small hard drives. But that world is long gone for most of us.

The thought of running individual searches when I want to find something in the 174,071 PDF files on my PC is just too horrible to contemplate. I barely notice any effect of my indexing software (X1) on this 64-bit PC with 8GB of memory and a 256-GB solid state drive. (The data is on a regular HDD.)

Of course, using on-the-fly searching means that when you do want to find something, all that disk thrashing and chasing all over the place will drain the PC's resources, far more so than the limited disk activity that is involved in indexed searches.

With resources no longer a real issue for anyone with a half decent PC, the choice between indexed and non-indexed searching depends on what you want to do. For example, non-indexed searchers can't work with most email software, especially something like Outlook. So you either have to go for indexed or use the software itself. Going for indexed means that the same software can look at email and files at the same time. I can even tell X1 to look for things in in email and files at the same time.


Michael,

I agree to your comments about indexing - at least for myself and my computers. I don’t want to make any assumptions with regard to the system capabilities of others however.

My problem is finding an index-based search engine that is worth its salt for a somewhat reasonable price. dtSearch, for example, at $200 for their desktop offering, is well beyond my budget! I don’t use search for any business or formal educational research. My needs are purely to assist me in searching my own saved data. And I do have a fair amount of data! My main desktop box has a 160GB SS system drive, an inernal 3TB SATA drive, and two external drives, one 2TB and one 1TB. I was using X1 - as a matter of fact you were one of my best sources of help on the X1 forum, Michael! - but somewhere around the later V.5xx to V6.0 X1 became very buggy for me. Also the ability to search other drives on my home network became almost impossible. Using the Client Deployment fix stopped working and I became disillusioned. You did help a lot on the forum but the developer was very unhelpful, so I ended up abandoning X1.

I mentioned Agent Ransack above because it did surprise me. I downloaded a very large PDF file last year named "SZ_Interface Philosophy_0.999...ebook.pdf" as was suggested in an earlier post in this thread - I think by Armando. I selected at random a unique word from near the end of that file and one of my tests for search engines is to search for that word. I do narrow my searches whenever possible, like keeping most of my personal research documents on my 3TB internal SATA drive in one main directory, and I limit the search for that word to that directory. Ransack found that word - along with other rather unique words in that file - in a matter of seconds. It did surprise me!

Michael, I would go back to X1 in a flash if I could be assured that they have their support act together better than it was a few years back. What say you?

Thanks!

Jim
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« Reply #770 on: September 22, 2013, 11:09:23 AM »

Bit surprising that it looks like X1 is removing support for things like Thunderbird huh. I guess they are focusing mainly on Microsoft products and corporate needs.
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« Reply #771 on: September 23, 2013, 04:03:42 PM »

I will not use a non-index based search program. All the arguments about indexes taking more resources are false. Think about it.

non-index search : has to examine all files on filesystem. If it's smart it uses NTFS MFT table (like in Everything). If you need to search contents, it has no option but to open every file and search through it, over and over again for each search.

index-based search: does the same process, but only once. After that it gets updated whenever the file changes, through a file change notification, which is very efficient. The cost is just keeping the index on disk which is trivial. The advantage - much less disk access and much higher speed.

The indexing service doesn't even do much compared to other similar services on the pc that also look at the file. e.g. every time a file is touched, many things like your AV/malware program will hook into it, read the file contents, compute its signature etc.
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Armando
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« Reply #772 on: September 28, 2013, 03:48:42 PM »

dtSearch is awesome! I've been using it for years - I like it because the previews and overall interface are nicer than Archivarius (own a license for that, too) and because it is less resource intenstive and produces a small index file. What I like about both dtSearch and Archivarius is that you can opt to run index updates manually, in fact, with dtSearch, that is the default setting. Finally, dtSearch is great because as noted the resource hit is negligible. I recently revisited X1 and wish that I could say the same thing... As xtabber noted, dtSearch is way too expensive for home use, though...

Same here. DtSearch is great -- using it at work. There are a few things Archivarius does better (like intelligently managing hyphens and other stuff), but dtSearh overall the best solution because of certain features like RegEx support, filters saving, etc.

Archivarius is very good too-- that's what I'm using at home -- but support has been close to non existent. I've emailed the developper a couple times about what I consider a pretty severe bug, but... Nothing. The bug goes lie this: Archivarius doesn't include file content modifications in its index if the files are locked; and on the next indexing, it won't update them either... The only solutions are: 1- to reindex all files every time from scratch -- which is an absolute impossibility in my case -- OR  2- make sure all files are closed when updating indexes; that's what I do, but it's inconvenient. Once in a while (every six months), I'll do #1, just to be sure nothing is missing from the index. Takes a long long long time.

DtSearch, by contrast, never misses a file and updates ***FAST***. Ideally, I'd like to combine dtSearch and Archivarius. Maybe one day.
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« Reply #773 on: September 28, 2013, 04:23:53 PM »

Totally agree about how fast dtSearch updates its index - this is one of the things that I love about the software  Kiss The other thing that I like about it is that I haven't had to pay for an upgrade since I started using it, back in 2008. My first indexing love was X1, btw, and I still love the interface and the previews (courtesy of Stellent previewers) but on my computer, which I've also had since 2008 simply doesn't have the horsepower to run it, it seems.
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« Reply #774 on: November 28, 2013, 03:04:03 AM »

http://www.bitsdujour.com...copernic-desktop-search-4
Quote from: Giveawayoftheday 28 Nov. 2013


http://www.bitsdujour.com...copernic-desktop-search-4
was also offered yesterday, so will probably not be offered again tomorrow

Homepage, features: http://www.copernic.com/e.../desktop-search/features/
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