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
When you import photos into HoudahGeo, it asks about your camera clock settings. HoudahGeo needs accurate time information so it can match photos to GPS tracklogs. Thus HoudahGeo needs to know what time zone your camera clock was set to and if the clock was going slow or fast.
Let’s look at an example. You traveled to Croatia but left your camera clock set to UK time. The camera had been left unused for a while and the clock is going 5 minutes fast.
You may have seen the following warning: “HoudahSpot” is not optimized for your Mac and needs to be updated. Worry not, HoudahSpot 5.0 is “optimized” for current and future versions of macOS.
Caveat: macOS 10.15 Catalina bans third-party applications from searching the Mail.app Spotlight index. On macOS Catalina, HoudahSpot will thus no longer be able to find your Apple Mail messages. If you rely on HoudahSpot to search your mail messages, we recommend that you voice your concerns through Apple’s Feedback Assistant.
Some GPS cameras use a barometer to determine the current altitude. These cameras can write altitude information to photos even when the GPS feature is switched off. This is often seen in Panasonic cameras.
The camera creates photos that have altitude information, but lack latitude and longitude coordinates. This comes as a bit of a surprise to HoudahGeo and requires a few additional clicks on your part.
File tags can also be used to temporarily mark files. Since macOS has the handy ability to assign colors to file tags, such tags can be used to visually identify files. Both Finder and HoudahSpot flag the tagged files with colors of their tags.
This is particularly useful when shifting files around, merging folders, exporting photos to files, etc.
This is a follow-up to an older post. It has been updated for the new DEVONthink 3. Users of the older DEVONthink Pro (Office) can refer to the original post.
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 of 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.