HoudahSpot icon

Quick Access to HoudahSpot Search Templates

In HoudahSpot, search templates serve as starting points for searches that you perform repeatedly.

HoudahSpot comes with a set of sample templates. These include, for example, a template for finding photos. This template is set up to search for image files having a resolution of at least 7 MP. Search results show image previews. The Refine pane is pre-configured for searches by camera make and model, ISO speed, and flash settings. To find photos you just need to fill in the blanks and start the search.

Templates can also act as dynamic file lists. The Recent Files template, for example, lists files used or modified within the last 7 days.

You will certainly create your own templates or customize the sample templates to fit your needs. You may, for example, want to update the My Photos template to search only for files matching your camera make and model.

As templates become a central part of your workflow, you will want quick access to your favorite ones.

Templates Within HoudahSpot

Templates are listed in the sidebar of HoudahSpot search windows. You can reveal the sidebar using the View > Show Sidebar menu item. Alternatively, you can use the show/hide sidebar toolbar button.

Screenshot: Search templates in the HoudahSpot sidebar
Search templates in the HoudahSpot sidebar

Templates can obviously also be found from the Templates menu. The sidebar and menu both list templates in subfolders or submenus according to your preferences. You reorder and reorganize templates from Templates > Manage Templates…

In HoudahSpot > Preferences > Templates you can assign keyboard shortcuts to frequently used templates. Press the Record Shortcut button next to the template for which you want a custom keyboard shortcut. Next type the shortcut you want to use.

Screenshot: Keyboard shortcuts for search templateYou can now use your custom shortcut within HoudahSpot to create open new windows modeled after your search template. The same shortcut will work withing the HoudahSpot search bar to select the template.

Templates in the Menu Bar

Outside HoudahSpot you can find templates from the HoudahSpot menu icon. You can enable the menu icon, from HoudahSpot > Preferences > Shortcuts. First, enable HoudahSpot Helper, then tick the box for Show HoudahSpot icon in menu bar.

Screenshot: HoudahSpot global menu itemTo see your list of templates click-and-hold the HoudahSpot menu bar icon. You can also click and drag downwards for quicker access to the menu. Select a template from the menu to use it in HoudahSpot.

Screenshot: HoudahSpot Search Bar

Templates are can also be used in the HoudahSpot Search Bar. From here you can quickly start a search using your default setup or one of your templates.

To access the search bar, click the HoudahSpot menu bar icon or press the keyboard shortcut that you have set up in HoudahSpot > Preferences > Shortcuts.

The keyboard shortcuts that you have assigned to individual templates work within the search bar to select a template.

Templates in the Dock

While HoudahSpot is running, you can find your templates listed in its Dock icon menu. Click-and-hold, right-click, or control-click the HoudahSpot icon in your Dock to access the menu. This works even when HoudahSpot is running in the background.

Screenshot: HoudahSpot Dock icon

After you quit HoudahSpot, the Dock menu can only show the default system actions. It cannot list search templates.

Fortunately, it is easy to add the templates folder to the Dock so that you always have access to all templates. You can find the Templates folder using the Open Templates Folder in Finder button in HoudahSpot > Preferences > Template.

Screenshot: Open Templates Folder in Finder

In the Finder, grab the proxy icon for the Templates folder and drag it to the Dock.

Screenshot: Folder proxy icon

Now your HoudahSpot search templates are always just a click away. We recommend that you configure the Dock icon to show folder content as a list. In this setup, folders will show as submenus.

Screenshot: Dock icon for the search templates folder

Templates in the Finder

In the upcoming HoudahSpot 5.1 update, templates can also be used from the Finder toolbar item.

Screenshot: Search templates in the Finder toolbar item

For the HoudahSpot Finder toolbar item to be available, you need to enable the HoudahSpot Finder Extension in System Preferences > Extensions.

Screenshot: Enable the HoudahSpot Finder Extension

The HoudahSpot Finder toolbar item can now be found in the toolbar of all Finder windows. You can re-arrange toolbar items from View > Customize Toolbar… in Finder.

Click the toolbar item to get a menu that lists all your templates. Select Search with HoudahSpot to open a new HoudahSpot window. The new search will focus on the folders you had selected in Finder. With no folder selected, the search will focus on the folder you have open in Finder.

Similarly, you can select one of your templates from the list. HoudahSpot will open a new window modeled after the template. Search locations, however, will be replaced by the Finder folders. Exclusions remain in place.

You can thus, for example, use the My Photos template to search for photos in a specific folder.