OK, I posted about this - gosh, 10 years ago in 2007. I was unable to get others or at least the developer to either see it my way or to have explained it well enough, not sure which.

As I again try and make HoudahSpot the central point of my organization, I will try again. I have some rather severe challenges to organization. It is not a preference but a necessity that I set things up so that I can easily find them again. To that end I am finding it very useful to save searches in HoudahSpot and mark their titles clearly. HoudahSpot is also excellent at finding things I cannot find in any other way. Please, notice that what I am asking for here is a different implementation of a secondary but a very important use of HoudahSpot.

Use 1: HoudahSpot is a very powerful and a very flexible finding tool. As such, in this mode, it makes sense to have several tabs open for different searches at the same time. I am not suggesting that this is a problem.

Use 2: HoudahSpot is a very powerful organizational tool. As such, in this mode, it makes sense to have only one tab open at a time so that any new search will take over the tab from the window (tab) which was already showing results from the previous search.

Possible solutions: Set a preference so that when a search is clicked in the far left panel only (templates), the clicked search triggers the single window behavior. Set the preference to do this or to not do this depending on each users preference. Leave everything else as it is.

I still use HoudahSpot in both ways as I just described, Use 1 and Use 2. I am not arguing here that multiple search result windows (tabs) are a bad idea. However, I am trying to make others aware that there is a secondary use of HoudahSpot that is also very powerful, that of saving your searches and organizing your information so that you don't have to build a new search every time you want to find something.

I find this especially useful for tracking the progress for the many projects I am involved with.

Yes, clicking on a saved search goes to a fresh tab with the results of that search. But the way I am using it is to go from project to project to keep up with my progress on each one. Before too long I have a dozen or more tabs open. It is just too much and really, unnecessary. I have so many tabs that it makes little sense to try and find the tab with the search I was working on 10 minutes ago. It is much easier to just click on the search again. And, I get more tabs - again.

I find myself doing command-w a lot to kill off the extra tabs.

I realize that others may not agree with my desire to have this option available but I hope that I have at least outlined my reasoning for this request well enough?

Thanks for the hearing of the idea.

PS: Tried dragging in a screen shot but got this error:
The text that you have entered is too long (120963 characters). Please shorten it to 65,000 characters long.
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HoudahSpot 3 made a distinction between “live templates” and “ready templates”. Live templates are created by saving a running search as template. “ready templates” are created by saving a stopped search. HoudahSpot expects you to further configure the search before starting it. When opening a “live template” HoudahSpot 3 checked there already is a window created from that template and bring it to front rather than opening a new one.

HoudahSpot 4 always creates a new window or tab when you open a template. No matter if it is “live” or “ready”. Many found the previous behavior confusing.

Would the behavior of HoudahSpot 3 fit both your uses?
There still would be several windows or tabs, but you would no longer need to find the right one: opening the template would take you back to the existing window.


Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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I guess the point here is that I am speaking of the user environment of HoudahSpot. There are times when you want to have many tabs and there are times when your user environment should not have multiple tabs. Clicking on a template in version 4 will take me to a tab with results of that template. So no, I am not talking about reverting to the behavior of version 3.

As I outlined, there are two distinct and very important uses for HoudahSpot, one is for finding things and it excels at that. I wouldn’t want to change that. I appreciate that I can go in and change any search criterion for any search - template or not.

But, there is also a very important use of HoudahSpot where you do not want to see multiple tabs. They only add unnecessary visual clutter and they are therefore a hinderance to finding things.

Perhaps one analogy could be how many people today drive four wheel drive, off-road vehicles.
If it is a well made off-road vehicle such as a Toyota or Land Rover or Mercedes, it could also go off-road, run through rivers, climb hills, go thorough mud, etc. This is how HoudahSpot is designed IMHO. It is great for looking everywhere and anywhere for whatever lost data you want to find.

But, as we all know, many people who drive four wheel drive vehicles today, also drive them on the road as their daily driver. The modern four wheel drive, off-road vehicle has to function on and off the road, with good road manners as well as good off-road potential.

I suppose the point of this analogy is to suggest that there could be a better implementation of the on road use of HoudahSpot. If you already have made a commitment to using HoudahSpot for your daily tracking of projects and things to get done and your pieces for those projects are filed separately, then you are going to appreciate using tags and saved searches. You are going to appreciate clicking on a template and seeing just a single tab result of that, or the next, template driven search.

And then you can also change back into off-road mode and have as many tabs as you can do now. A choice in preferences, option-clicking a template puts it in the current tab and wont create a new tab,,, (?)

I hope that helps?


Post script: I recently commented on a TaskPaper forum how I have been using links in TaskPaper to external saved HoudahSpot searches. This was good news to some others who had not yet considered this way to make use of HoudahSPot. Again, my point is not to water down or stop HoudahSpot from being what it already is, a very good search engine. My point is to introduce what that HoudahSpot may also be used - and is already being used, as a stand alone (-ish) search tool for what you already know you are looking for. That is, no further customization is required once you already know why you have launched the search file. Single window and no tabbing is what this use of HoudahSpot is all about.

The template searches happen so quickly, why not just refill the one open window/tab?
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