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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.

There are 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 extension. You may prefer to search your full hard drive rather than just your home folder. You may want search results always to list file size.

Let’s see how you can set up HoudahSpot so that a new search window matches your preferred way of searching.

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Searching Apple Mail Messages

The good news: HoudahSpot 6.0 can again find Apple Mail message files!

With macOS 10.15 Catalina, Apple moved the indexing of Mail messages files from traditional Spotlight to “Core Spotlight.” The problem with this change is that Core Spotlight does not allow searching by third-party applications like HoudahSpot.

More precisely, applications are only allowed to search data they have submitted themselves. Thus the Mail application can call upon Core Spotlight to find messages. Core Spotlight is of no use to search tools like HoudahSpot. HoudahSpot does not manage or create data and thus never has data to submit to Core Spotlight. Instead, as a HoudahSpot user, you expect to find all kinds of files regardless of which application created the files.

This limitation of Core Spotlight does not only interfere with search tools. Many other utilities, scripts, and productivity tools suffer from the fact that messages, notes, and bookmarks are no longer searchable. Previously, a contact manager like BusyContacts could rely on Spotlight to watch for mail messages and maintain an activity list for each contact.

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macOS Big Sur Compatibility

macOS Big Sur introduces the biggest design update to macOS since the introduction of Mac OS X. Still HoudahSpot, HoudahGeoTembo and Type2Phone look quite at home on the new version of macOS.

As always, we recommend you hold off upgrading for at least a couple of weeks and give Apple a chance to fix the most glaring bugs.

HoudahSpot will soon get a major upgrade. HoudahSpot 6.0 will fully adopt the new appearance of macOS Big Sur. First and foremost, the upgrade will bring a host of new features and enhancements. You can check out the latest beta by signing up for the HoudahSpot beta newsletter.

HoudahSpot

HoudahSpot icon
HoudahSpot: Powerful File Search for Mac

HoudahSpot 5.1.6 has been updated to work with macOS 11.

With the release of macOS 10.15 last year, Apple no longer allows third-party applications access to the search index for Apple Mail messages. The situation has not improved with the release of macOS 11.

The upcoming HoudahSpot 6.0 upgrade will include a plug-in for the Apple Mail application. This will again allow HoudahSpot to search Mail messages.

 

HoudahGeo

HoudahGeo icon
Photo Geocoding and Geotagging for Mac

HoudahGeo 6.0.8 has been updated to work with macOS 11.

HoudahGeo has also been verified to work with the latest version of Apple Photos and Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.

 

Tembo

Tembo icon
Tembo: Easy and Efficient File Search for Mac

Tembo 2.6 has been updated to work with macOS 11.

Like HoudahSpot, Tembo relies on the Spotlight index to find files. When run on macOS Catalina or Big Sur, Tembo will not be able to search Apple Mail messages.

 

Type2Phone

Type2Phone: Use your Mac as a Bluetooth Keyboard

Type2Phone 3.1.2 has been tested to work with macOS 11 to connect to iOS 14.

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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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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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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