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lchutton
Sorry, but I couldn't find this very basic information:

Does HoudahSpot take the Spotlight results and allow you to customize the results?

Or can it find files that Spotlight can't?  For example:

Somewhere in the not too distant past, "Find File" in the Finder could find text in Microsoft Works 1, 2, 3 & 4, WordPerfect and even AOL e-mails files that were saved outside of their PFC.  I think that ability went away in 10.4 (or maybe before, but was there for sure in 9.1).

In my business, files that go back 20 years, or more, need to be viewed, and the old finder made them easy to find.

Can I use HoudahSpot to find them?
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houdah
Hi!

Thank you for your interest in HoudahSpot.

HoudahSpot is a front-end to the Spotlight engine. It will thus "only" find the files known to Spotlight.

There however is no reason for you 20 year old files not to be known to Spotlight.

What do you mean by PFC?

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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lchutton
Pierre,

Thank you for your quick reply.

If you one chooses to save all incoming and sent e-mail, AOL puts them (I think), in a data base.  AOL has its own search engine for finding e-mail's within that database that they call a Personal Filing Cabinet.  Since it is not indexed, searches can be very slow.  AOL also allowed you to save an individual e-mail as a separate file in any folder in the Finder.  Spotlight does not search these files, nor does it search inside older applications like MS Works, WordPerfect, etc.

Apple tech support guided me to the place where the search enablers are located.  If there is not an enabler for the file type you have, Spotlight can't search for text inside that file type.  Just found them.  They are "mdimporter" files. They are located here:

Library>Spotlight


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houdah
Hi!

Indeed, Spotlight works only with individual files. Items grouped into a single database are, at best, seen by Spotlight as being a single file.

Spotlight relies on importers to access the text contents of files. These importers are provided by the software publishers. Only they know the file format they have created. This gives them the ability to extract contents.

Spotlight can still find files for which no importer was provided. It will however not be able to search by content.

Earlier systems tried more of a brute force approach to text searches. They viewed unknown files types as being text. By doing so, binary data appears as garbled text. Depending on how the file format was encoded, one might get lucky and spot bits of the original text. Usually words would be jumbled. The second part of that approach was to sequentially read in all files on disk and scan them. With the ever growing disk sizes, this has long since become impractical.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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