Search for Top Level Files. Exclude Subfolders

HoudahSpot searches always go into subfolders. For example, when you search in your home folder, you can find letters saved to your Documents folder.

When you don’t want files from a subfolder to clutter search results, excluding the subfolder is easy: just drag the folder from the breadcrumb path at the bottom of the HoudahSpot window to the Locations/Exclude list.

You can repeat the procedure to exclude more folders. But if you want to see only results from the top level folder, it is easier to use the path filter to simply hide results from nested folders.

Continue reading Search for Top Level Files. Exclude Subfolders

How to Access Hidden Folders

In macOS, it’s possible to hide folders. The user Library folder, for example, is hidden by default. Hidden folders are invisible to the Finder and don’t show up in open/save dialog boxes.

What can you do if you need to access a hidden folder, e.g. when searching for a specific file within? Continue reading How to Access Hidden Folders

Save HoudahSpot Searches as Finder Smart Folders

In Mac OS X’s Finder, you can save searches as “Smart Folders”. These give you quick access to all your files that meet certain criteria. For example, all Microsoft Word files modified this month. All JPG photos taken with a specific camera. Or all e-mails you’ve received from certain senders within the last seven days.

Because Mac OS X Smart Folders are actually saved searches, they differ from regular folders: they don’t actually hold anything – they only list files stored elsewhere. The content of Smart Folder is not static but dynamic. It is updated continuously as new files come to meet the smart folder’s search criteria. This means that its content changes every time files on your Mac are added, changed, or removed.

With HoudahSpot (4.1 or later), you can easily set up a search and export it as a Finder Smart Folder.

Continue reading Save HoudahSpot Searches as Finder Smart Folders

Find Copies of a Specific File

You can use HoudahSpot to find out whether a specific file on your Mac has identical twins somewhere in your file system.

This comes in handy if you want to make sure you have a backup copy before you start working on a file. Or you may want to check if a specific file – e.g. in your Dropbox folder – is a copy and not the original before you delete it.

Continue reading Find Copies of a Specific File

See the Total Size of a Folder

The HoudahSpot File Info window shows information about the currently selected search result. For folders, this includes the total size of all items contained within.

It is quite easy to use HoudahSpot to inspect other files or folders. Simply drag a file or a folder from Finder, from HoudahSpot, or any other application onto the File Info window.

You can use this technique to see the total size of a parent folder of a file you have found using HoudahSpot. Continue reading See the Total Size of a Folder

Search the current Finder or Path Finder folder

HoudahSpot 4.0 comes with a “droplet” that you can install in the Finder toolbar. This small application can be found from HoudahSpot > Preferences > Advanced. Follow the instructions found there to install Search.app as a Finder toolbar item.

Finder toolbar item
HoudahSpot search item installed in the Finder toolbar

When clicked, Search.app opens a new HoudahSpot window set to search the folder shown in the current Finder window. You can also drag and drop folders onto the toolbar item to open a new HoudahSpot window configured to search these folders.

If you use CocoaTech’s Path Finder, you should download and install the Search PF.app droplet to initiate HoudahSpot searches from the Path Finder toolbar. Continue reading Search the current Finder or Path Finder folder

Inspect files and folders using HoudahSpot

The HoudahSpot Info pane shows a wealth of information about the currently selected search result. It starts with the basic attributes of the file or folder:

  • name
  • kind
  • total size of files and folders
  • extension
  • creation and modification dates
  • path
  • comments
  • Finder tags

More importantly though, HoudahSpot shows the most relevant properties based on the type of the selected file. E.g. for audio files, the Info pane shows duration and bit rate. Continue reading Inspect files and folders using HoudahSpot