Goodness knows Spotlight is powerful enough.
It’s almost too powerful for its own good. For example, it loves to get going as soon as you type in the first few letters of your search, which can be frustrating. And it loves to find everything it can, smothering you in an avalanche of hits from your hard drive.
Productivity takes a hit from the waiting and from the extra sifting of results.
Two apps can help. HoudahSpot helps you to control Spotlight’s power for more focussed searches and Searchlight extends Spotlight’s reach to files on a network’s server.
HoudahSpot: Sharper focus for Spotlight’s muscle
HoudahSpot is a “front-end” for Spotlight. It offers an easy way to create complicated Boolean searches in Spotlight and to restrict results easily to a particular class of object (image, document, PDF, etc).
It comes tooled up with pre-defined templates for “long lost” documents and recent documents, and with hotkeys for saved searches.
The interface consists of a series of familiar fields for constructing your search:
Say, for example, I wanted to find a paper I began two years ago, which seemed like a good idea at the time but ran out of steam unfinished. I know that it was about Tertullian, but I don’t want to wade through the 450+ hits Spotlight will produce by itself.
I remember that it mentions Tertullian and Augustine and that it was a Word Document.
A HoudahSpot search quickly finds the most likely matches and even gives me a preview of the selected one so that I can double-check that it’s right:
HoudahSpot is shareware (USD 14.95) is available from the developer’s web site .
Searchlight: Spotlight searching for servers
Searchlight brings Apple’s Spotlight to the network.
Searchlight brings Spotlight searching to a Mac OS X server, allowing all the clients on the network to search it for files. The recently released version 1.1 also supports SMB, so that Spotlight can also search mounted Windows volumes.
It provides a web interface to its searches, built with Ruby on Rails and accessible to Mac, Windows and Linux users.
Document subscription via RSS keeps users informed when documents change or new ones are created.
Searchlight is shareware (USD 29.90) and is available from the developer’s web site .
Tags: Apple Mail Tips, helpful apps, network, not apple mail, Productivity, searches, server, Spotlight