CustomShortcuts 1.0 – Free Tool to Customize Menu Shortcuts

Are you using the same menu item over and again? Are you always reaching for the mouse because that menu item has no keyboard shortcut?

Are there keyboard shortcuts you simply can’t remember? Have you noticed that a key shortcut that might be easy to reach on a US keyboard layout requires two hands on your keyboard?
CustomShortcuts 1.0 Screenshot
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Use “Service Station” to Start a HoudahSpot File Search From Finder

Service Station is a new utility by Knurling Group to customize the Finder context menu with applications and scripts. It is a free download with in-app purchases on the Mac App Store.Screenshot: Finder Context Menu with Service Station Extension

HoudahSpot by Houdah Software is a powerful file search tool for macOS. It takes the guesswork out of Spotlight searches and helps you find files hidden deep in the “haystack” of files accumulated over the years.

You can point HoudahSpot at a particular Finder folder using the Services menu or the HoudahSpot Finder toolbar item.

Service Station can put HoudahSpot at the top level of the Finder context menu. You can then right-click or control-click a selection of folders in Finder and start a new HoudahSpot search within these folders.

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HoudahGeo 6.0 Video Tutorial

Todd Olthoff of ScreenCastsOnline takes you on a tour of HoudahGeo 6.

HoudahGeo 6 is an application packed with features to help geocode and add metadata to your photos. With its simple steps of Load, Process, and Output; with all of the features packed in each of these steps HoudahGeo is the application that could start your entire photo workflow and it is the first application that launches when I load my photos to make sure I have all of the metadata embedded in the images themselves so that that data will follow the photo into any photo management application I choose to use.

Todd walks you through the various ways to get photos into HoudahGeo and then covers all of the steps from geocoding, over exporting metadata, to sharing and publishing. Todd does an excellent job describing the many features and finer details. We recommend all HoudahGeo users watch this tutorial.

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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.

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Apply Color Tags to Files Using Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

In previous posts, we looked at how using tags can help you organize your files and folders and quickly locate them when they’re needed.

We have already explored the different ways you can use HoudahSpot to tag files. In this post, we will focus on keyboard shortcuts for fast tagging.

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What’s New in HoudahGeo 6.0

This week we released HoudahGeo 6.0, and we’re really excited about it!

We have distilled years of customer feedback and feature requests into one big upgrade that you will love.

HoudahGeo 6.0 brings so many enhancements for your geotagging workflow that we could not possibly list all of them. Here are a couple of highlights:

Support for JPEG + RAW Pairs

Some cameras can save two versions of the same photo: a JPEG and a RAW file.

HoudahGeo 6.0 recognizes such pairs and handles them as a single image. During EXIF / XMP export, HoudahGeo will update both files with the same information.

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Find Multiple Files. Find Files From a List of Names

HoudahSpot is a file search tool that builds upon macOS Spotlight. You turn to HoudahSpot when you need to:

  • Find a specific file. The proverbial needle in a haystack. A specific song. A letter you want to use as a template
  • Browse files related to a specific task or subject. Review research material, documentation, client correspondence, etc.
  • Collect files that share a common property. Tagged files. Photos and videos from last summer

What if you need a specific set of files? E.g. multiple files of which you have the names in an email, a CSV list, or a spreadsheet. HoudahSpot can help you with that too.

HoudahSpot: Find Files From a List of Names
Search for a list of files

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Mail Search on MacOS Catalina

Note: This blog post strays away from our usual focus on tips & tricks. It does not provide a solution or workaround for Mail searches on macOS Catalina. It rather discusses technical background and ethical considerations.

Spotlight vs. Core Spotlight

Recent versions of macOS use two indexing technologies to power local searches in the Spotlight window: Spotlight and Core Spotlight.

Spotlight was introduced with OS X 10.4 Tiger. It indexes user files. Whenever a file is modified, the Spotlight engine calls upon the appropriate importer plug-in to read metadata and text content from the file. That data is then indexed for searching.

The fact that Spotlight works only with files can be a problem for some applications. For “shoebox” applications, it is often more natural to store data items in a single file or database rather than use one file per data item. Such data items cannot be indexed by Spotlight. Thus such applications either have to change their data storage to fit Spotlight’s requirements or resort to tricks to get their data into Spotlight.

Core Spotlight is a more recent addition. Core Spotlight does not watch for data or files to appear. Instead, applications actively submit data to Core Spotlight for indexing. This reversal of roles allows Core Spotlight to index any kind of data.  Continue reading Mail Search on MacOS Catalina