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.
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.
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.
MacOS file metadata holds many useful and diverse file facts. This is not limited to file size, extension or creation date. Depending on the type and the application that created it, there is a whole lot of information available on a file’s properties.
Sender name, duration, f-stop number – and more
For e-mail messages, this can be sender name, e-mail subject and attachment type. Or duration, bit rate and musical genre for audio files. In photos, you can even find information on camera model, f-stop number and exposure time.
This metadata is useful when organizing files by specific criteria or searching for files with certain properties. E.g. images with a resolution higher than 72 dpi, audios shorter than thirty seconds, or e-mail messages containing PDF attachments.
Inspecting file metadata using HoudahSpot
But what metadata is available for a specific file type? How is it labeled? And what kind of information does it contain? HoudahSpot can help you find out.
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.
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.
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.
HoudahSpot searches always go into subfolders. For example, when you search in your home folder, you can find letters saved to your Documents folder.
When you don’t want files from a subfolder to clutter search results, excluding the subfolder is easy: just drag the folder from the breadcrumb path at the bottom of the HoudahSpot window to the Locations/Exclude list.
You can repeat the procedure to exclude more folders. But if you want to see only results from the top level folder, it is easier to use the path filter to simply hide results from nested folders.
When you remember where you took a photo, wouldn’t it be great if you could geocode it by simply dropping it on a map?
In HoudahGeo 5, you can do just that. In the video demo, I am geocoding a series of photos taken at Taj Mahal. I distinctly remember walking from bag check to the great gate. On the way, I took a few photos as the majestic site revealed itself.