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  1. #1
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???

    Member Since
    Dec 31, 2009
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    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???
    OK. I have a large (4,000) collection of .html essays by G.K. Chesterton. On my PC, I could "search" any words that came to mind, and as I typed, relevant essays would appear, with the search terms highlighted.

    I want to set up the same thing on my mac, but Finder won't show me inside documents at all, and Google desktop won't highlight the search term.


    The only programs I've found with half-decent search capability are big industrial-strength document/scan/memo/email/life-coach-and-personal-secretary apps, like DevonThink, eagleFiler, Yojimbo, Yep, etc, etc, etc, etc.... These are all severe overkill and they all cost around $40.

    Am I asking too much? I mean, it seems like such a very simple task. There are ten million free windows apps that do exactly what I want, which is to search documents (I'd used Copernic Desktop search, back when I had XP). Is there even one like this for OSX? Tell me there is....

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Spotlight, built into OS X, should be able to search through those documents with no problem. But if you've installed Google Desktop, it's most likely superceded the built in Spotlight index. I'm not certain how effective Google Desktop is compared to Spotlight, but I've never had any issue with Spotlight's search capabilities.
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  3. #3
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Have you tried Spotlight (Mac's built in search software)? If not, click the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of your screen. Enter the search term in the box that appears and see if it doesn't search inside your documents.

    Spotlight can do quite a bit more. From the Finder go the Help menu and choose Mac Help. If you type Spotlight as the search term you will find out more useful Spotlight tips. Or check out Getting Started: Spotlight Searches | Mac Guru Lounge. I think you might really like the Saved Searches feature.
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  4. #4
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???

    Member Since
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    Yes Spotlight is great and is already built into Macs. It can do more than just search through documents, folders and applications, but gives you dictionary searches and is a calculator.
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  5. #5
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???
    Slydude's Avatar
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    @ kingtoe

    Here's a link to a video on Spotlight. I think it might do a better job describing the type of search you are looking for. With this method you can add criteria and "drill down' to specific items fairly quickly Focus Spotlight searches on your Mac - Tutorials - butterscotch
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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  6. #6
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???

    Member Since
    Dec 31, 2009
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    Wow, y'all on this forum are great. Thanks for the replies.

    You all suggested Spotlight, and I'm sorry I was unclear when I said:

    "Finder won't show me inside documents at all..."

    By "Finder" I meant "Spotlight."


    SPOTLIGHT is great, but I want something to show me the document's CONTENTS as I search.

    GOOGLE is better still, but I want something that HIGHLIGHTS the searched terms.

    I've searched long and failed to find a mac app to display a document like this (short of the $40+ suites, as I mentioned above).

    If there's nothing else, I'm just going to buy DevonThink.
    I'm sad, though, to pay $40 just to accomplish this simple task... it seems like a college student could program something that does what I want.

    Thanks again for the help!

  7. #7
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???
    hughvane's Avatar
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    You say in your first post that the docs are .html, which indicates that you use a browser to view/read them.

    I know that within Camino - and, I believe, other browsers - there is a comprehensive Search function using Cmd-F. Eg. I type Chesterton in the search field and it leads me immediately to your first post on this web page, highlighting that word.

    Try Cmd-F from desktop as well. It uses Finder, and I'm persuaded it does a better, ie. more thorough, job than Spotlight (which I very seldom use nowadays).
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

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  8. #8
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???

    Member Since
    Dec 31, 2009
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    I really apprecciate the help, but it looks like I still haven't communicated clearly what I need.
    I'll try to be completely, 100% precise about what my document search apps do, that I need in OSX.


    1. When I type words into a search box, my app must show me all indexed documents that contain what's in the search box.

    2. The app must also preview the documents in a pane, while

    3. showing me clearly where the searched terms appear, (say, by highlighting the words).

    I've given up looking at this point. I'm going to buy DevonThink when my trial expires. If anyone has any ideas, though, let me know.

  9. #9
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???
    hughvane's Avatar
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    Three things:
    1. Yes, a browser page search will show you only what is on that page, I should have made that clearer,
    2. I'm a little surprised that neither Cmd-F from desktop; nor Spotlight, will show you what you seek. I cannot replicate your situation, but in searches I've done myself for (sometimes) obscure items, Cmd-F has located every example.
    3. Showing everything you ask would appear, I think, in your situation, to be beyond the MacOS, and, as I think you've already realised, will require a third-party application.

    PS. Let Apple know of your requirements. They do read and listen, and occasionally act on what people tell them the OS needs.
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

    I'm leaving now to go and find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

  10. #10
    Just want something to search my documents--am I asking too much here???
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Cmd-F is Spotlight also. So I've been told...

    It is more robust in the resulting window than the "quick" menu search box.

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