HoudahSpot and ForkLift

Recent updates improve the integration between Houdah Software’s HoudahSpot and BinaryNights’ ForkLift.

HoudahSpot is a file search tool that helps Mac users organize files and finds these if they did not.

ForkLift is an advanced dual pane file manager and file transfer client for macOS. With ForkLift you can browse, manage, and organize files. ForkLift can access remote volumes, sync folders, and much more

ForkLift

The Search in HoudahSpot command in ForkLift allows you to start a HoudahSpot search focussed on the folder you are currently browsing in ForkLift. It is found in the Commands menu.

This tool makes use of HoudahSpot’s custom URL scheme. It can be customized from the Commands > Manage Tools… menu item. Refer to the ForkLift User Manual for more details about custom tools. The HoudahSpot User Guide describes the various options of the houdahspot4:// URL scheme.

Screenshot: ForkLift. Search in HoudahSpot
ForkLift Commands Menu: Search in HoudahSpot

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Use Tags to Organize and Find Files

What are File Tags?

File tags are keywords you assign to files. They allow you to organize and find files.

Example of tagged file: a paid invoice
Example of tagged file: a paid invoice

Organize Files: Folders or Tags?

File tags allow you to organize files when a simple folder structure won’t do. Better yet: file tags can improve your existing filing strategy and make files easier to find. Continue reading Use Tags to Organize and Find Files

How-to: Customize the HoudahSpot LaunchBar Action

Objective Development’s LaunchBar is an adaptive app launcher, document browser, and much more.

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

HoudahSpot 5 includes a LaunchBar action that provides an elegant way to start a HoudahSpot search using LaunchBar. You can install this action from HoudahSpot > Preferences > Extensions.

Screenshot: LaunchBar in action
Start a file search from LaunchBar 6

The action is selected by typing the hs abbreviation in LaunchBar.

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HoudahSpot and Default Folder X

HoudahSpot 5.0 works with St. Clair Software’s Default Folder X to deliver files where you need them.

Default Folder X enhances open and save file dialogs on macOS. It provides quick access to favorite folders and recent files. With Default Folder X you can manage and organize files without having to jump over to Finder.

Select “Search with HoudahSpot” from Default Folder X’s Utility menu
Find files: Select “Search with HoudahSpot” from Default Folder X’s Utility menu

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What’s New in HoudahSpot 5.0

HoudahSpot 5.0 is finally here. Yes, it has a new icon. Yes, it supports Dark Mode on macOS Mojave.

HoudahSpot packs a lot of enhancements that have you find files faster than ever before. We looked at every step of the search workflow and made sure HoudahSpot does its best to get you to the files you need.

HoudahSpot 5.0 Dark Mode
HoudahSpot 5.0 Dark Mode

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Quickly Switch Between File Size or Time Units

Searching by file size can be very useful – not only to find and clean out large files, but also to limit search results to files large enough to be relevant.

When you add a new file size criterion to your HoudahSpot search, it defaults to searching for files that match a size you specify in MB. When searching for files larger than 1 GB, you might be tempted to type 1000 so as to avoid reaching for the mouse to change the unit from MB to GB.

Actually, there is a much easier way.

Screenshot: Switch between KB/MG/KB using letter keys
Quickly switch between file size units

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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.

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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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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

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