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Efficient File Searches using Filters

HoudahSpot uses the Spotlight index maintained by macOS. This allows for lightning-fast file searches and enables HoudahSpot to find all kinds of files by name, text content, and metadata.

Spotlight does have its limitations. Some of these affect HoudahSpot. While HoudahSpot lets you combine any number of search criteria to hone in on specific files, you however cannot find or exclude files by their path.

You can, of course, use HoudahSpot to search in multiple folders at once. HoudahSpot also allows you to exclude folders from your search.

Screenshot: Smart Folder Exclusion
Multiple search locations. Smart exclusion

You do, however, need to list the folders you want to search or exclude. Since the Spotlight index does not know about file paths, you cannot set up a criterion on file paths.

For example, you cannot configure a search to ignore all files where some parent folder is named Temporary. You’d need to explicitly list all such Temporary folders.

Fortunately, HoudahSpot can filter search results to hide unwanted results. A single filter can prevent all Temporary files from cluttering up your file search.

Continue reading Efficient File Searches using Filters

Hook-ed on Files

Hook by CogSci Apps lets you create links between your documents, emails, web pages, and notes. On the Internet, links between web pages allow you to discover related content and navigate a vast sea of documents. Likewise, Hook puts files into order on your Mac.

Much like HoudahSpot, Hook is a productivity tool in the guise of a utility. Rather than solve problems you wouldn’t have without a computer, these tools empower your Mac to help you get your work done.

Of course, HoudahSpot and Hook work great together.

Continue reading Hook-ed on Files

Working With the Tag Cloud

The tag cloud is a new addition in HoudahSpot 6.0. The tag cloud helps you incrementally refine your search to include only the most relevant files.

In previous blog posts, we have looked a how to assign file tags in HoudahSpot and the different ways you can find and filter files by tags. Let’s see how the tag cloud fits in and helps you find files faster.

Finder tags are a useful way to categorize your files. They are color-coded labels that you can assign to files. You can use tags to flag certain files. For example, you may want to flag your favorite photos. You can also use tags to organize files. What makes tags particularly useful is that you can assign multiple tags to a file. A single file can be organized into different categories. Tag a file with “Acme Corp”, “Painted Tunnel Project”, “Invoice”, and “Past Due”. You can find the file when listing all correspondence with “Acme Corp”. You will find the same file when searching for “Past Due” and “Invoice”.

The true power of HoudahSpot lies in the fact that it helps you narrow down a search to the point where the list of results has only relevant files and is easy to manage. File information and previews then make it easy to quickly pick the files you actually need.

The tag cloud is the latest addition to your HoudahSpot file searching toolbelt. You can use the tag cloud to quickly find tagged files. The tag cloud is also a very powerful way to incrementally refine your search when you are looking for files.

Acme Corp file tag Continue reading Working With the Tag Cloud

Video Tour of HoudahSpot 6.0

Finding files on your Mac can be a difficult and sometimes a frustrating task because of their sheer number — we all have so many!

HoudahSpot is an application that allows you to do refined searches to get just the files you are looking for and includes several useful presets right out of the box.

Todd Olthoff of ScreenCastsOnline revisits HoudahSpot and shows you all that is new in version 6.0.

Don McAllister of ScreenCastsOnline has covered HoudahSpot in the past so this screencast from Todd focuses on the updates that version 6 brings to the search party.

Below is a short preview. Watch the full show for free with a 7-day trial ScreenCastsOnline subscription. Continue reading Video Tour of HoudahSpot 6.0