Customize Your HoudahSpot Search Setup

In HoudahSpot, you can choose between hundreds of criteria to search for files. HoudahSpot also lets you specify in which folders to search and how to sort results.

Lots of options to choose from – and settings you don’t want to make over and again.

Search criteria, results display, and sort order are a matter of personal preference and habits. You may, for example, find yourself frequently searching for files by file name extension. You may prefer to search your full hard drive rather than just your home folder. You may want search results to always list file size.

Let’s see how you can set up HoudahSpot so that a fresh search window matches your preferred way of searching.

Continue reading Customize Your HoudahSpot Search Setup

Search DEVONthink Databases using HoudahSpot

DEVONthink is a smart document management solution for Mac. It lets you organize and work with all your documents — bookmarks, email messages, text files, images, PDFs — in one place, regardless where they come from.

Now that you have all your documents stored and organized in DEVONthink, you can rely on both DEVONthink and HoudahSpot to always find the piece of information you need.

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Photos & Track Log: Documenting an 8-day Kilimanjaro Trek

We’ve been dreaming about trekking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro for quite some time. Last October, we finally made the trip. Climbing Africa’s highest mountain, crossing its different climatic zones and finally reaching the summit was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. We documented this unique vacation by taking hundreds of photos – and by recording a track log.

Snow-covered peak of Mount Kilimanjaro
Looking through rainforest foliage at the snow-covered peak of Mount Kilimanjaro

Continue reading Photos & Track Log: Documenting an 8-day Kilimanjaro Trek

Find PDF Files That Need OCR Processing

Scanning paper documents to PDF files lets you archive important (and not so important) documents without filling up cabinets.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) makes these scanned documents much more useful than their paper originals. Once a scan has been processed by OCR, the PDF file contains both an image of the document and an invisible text version. The text can then be searched using HoudahSpot.

Unfortunately, you will find that not all of your PDF files have text content. You may have forgotten to run them through OCR. Or you may have received the scanned document from someone else.

How can you find these files and rectify this?

With a little trick, HoudahSpot can find PDF files that lack text content. It is safe to assume that any text contains either a space or a period. Thus, we will be looking for any PDF file that contains neither space or period.

This translates to the following search:

Find PDF files that lack OCR text. The first search field contains a “space” character

Continue reading Find PDF Files That Need OCR Processing

macOS Services: Quick Access to Searching with HoudahSpot

The Services feature in macOS allows you to quickly perform actions – no matter what application you’re working in. HoudahSpot provides the following Services to start new searches from right where you currently are:

  • Search in HoudahSpot
  • Search Folders in HoudahSpot
  • New HoudahSpot Search

Services are available system-wide. Just choose Services from any application’s main menu or from the context menu. Assigning a keyboard shortcut to a Service makes access even faster.

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Create Custom KML Templates for Google Earth Export

When you export your photos for viewing in Google Earth or Google Maps, HoudahGeo creates a KML file from one of two templates: “Default” or “Extended Track Info”. The later includes more details and thus produces larger files. This makes the “Default” template the better choice for use with Google Maps.

There are occasions where you may want to customize these templates:

  • Modify the appearance or contents of the photo “balloons”
  • Modify the appearance of the track logs or photo pins
  • Change the Places folder structure within the KML file
  • Add your own branding or contact information

Please note that KML template customization is not an official feature of HoudahGeo 5. It is very much a work in progress and still has rough edges. Moreover, the template system is subject to changes. The intrepid may read on and learn how to create custom templates for KML output in HoudahGeo.

You will need a basic understanding of HTML, XML, the Google Earth Keyhole Markup Language as well as the Mustache template system.

Please let us know if you use custom KML templates. But do understand that we cannot provide support for template customization. Malformed templates may produce unexpected results or cause HoudahGeo or Google Earth to crash.

Continue reading Create Custom KML Templates for Google Earth Export

Find MacOS Files by Extension

The default search form in HoudahSpot lets you to search for files by name, text content and content kind.

Default HoudahSpot search
A fresh HoudahSpot search window

When you know the type of the file you are looking for, you may want to search by file extension.

Let’s say, you want to search for .png files. Here is how:

  1. Click the pop-up menu that is currently set to “Content Kind” and select “File Extension”
  2. Type “png” in the form field on the same row
Search for .png files

Do you frequently search by file extension? Wouldn’t it be convenient if the “File Extension” search was available by default?
Continue reading Find MacOS Files by Extension

Export Geotagged Photos for Viewing in Google Earth

Google Earth can be a great tool to explore – and show off – your photos: as “balloons” pinned to the locations where they were taken. Add a GPS track log and you get a bird’s eye view of your trip and the spots where you stopped to take photos.

Photo viewing in Google Earth is not limited to holiday snapshots. A real estate agent, for example, can create a Google Earth file with photos of a particular property. Buyers can download this file. It lets them explore the property and neighborhood – and see the exact vantage points from where the photos were taken.

Google Earth: Leopard in a tree
Google Earth: Leopard in a tree

With HoudahGeo, it is easy to prepare your geotagged photos and GPS track logs for viewing in Google Earth. Continue reading Export Geotagged Photos for Viewing in Google Earth