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Idunno
I have decades of work that's been transferred from my old iMac to my brand new Mac Mini. The Mini is maxed out on RAM and Hard Drive; and it's also running OS X 10.10.3, (Yosemite).

My old iMac runs the fifteen-year-old OS X 10.4.11, (Tiger). The reason I've worked all these years with such an old operating system is because every newer system that I've tried has trashed my decades of keyword indexing. I even worked my way up the ladder to Apple's top tech support person, and he couldn't help me. All of the newer versions of Spotlight search everywhere EXCEPT the "Spotlight Comments Field," which is where my keywords are located.

I finally ran across Houdahspot, and at first it didn't find my stuff either. But I got help from our foster son who builds and manages computer networks on four continents. He does that work mostly from his home in Denver. He loaded the following script and got Houdahspot working perfectly. It was like a dream.

UNFORTUNATELY, you left me a message telling me to update Houdahspot; so that's what I did. I now have version 4.0.7. Well, that update put me completely out of commission again. It's unable to find most of my files. It's acting just like that useless Spotlight. It's not searching the "Spotlight Comments Field."

Right now our foster son is spending a couple of weeks in a remote area of Costa Rica, so I need someone else's help. Here's the script that he originally installed to get Houdahspot to work perfectly (until I did the update that is).

tell application "Finder"
    activate
    set these_items to the selection
    log these_items
    repeat with this_item in these_items
        set item_name to (get displayed name of this_item)
        if item_name is not ".DS_Store" then
            set current_com to (get comment of this_item)
            if current_com is not "" then
                set comment of this_item to current_com as string
            end if
        end if
    end repeat
end tell



I want Houdahspot to search the "Spotlight Comments Field," and absolutely nothing else unless I tell it to search something else.
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houdah
Hi!

What version of HoudahSpot were you running previously (4.0.7 or 3.9.1)?
Were you using a custom template to search only Spotlight comments?

I have attached a HoudahSpot 4.0 template to search Spotlight comments.
If that is what you want to do by default, open the template and then select Save As Default from the File menu.

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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Idunno
Thank you for your very prompt response. That's unusually good service in today's world. In fact, it's absolutely impressive.

To answer your first question, I don't know which version I had when I first bought Houdahspot. But I had just purchased Houdahspot days before, and our foster son had just helped me get it working when you asked me to upgrade. Therefore, the version number couldn't be more than one version immediately before the latest one. Whatever version it was, it seemed to be working PERFECTLY for that couple of days before I did the upgrade which blew it out of the water.

In answer to your second question, the search template that you have just sent me has EXACTLY the same settings as the one I was using. It was searching the "Spotlight Comments Field" and nothing else.

Here's the first big problem:  I have decades of work invested in the keyword indexing of my files. That indexing resides in the "Spotlight Comments Field" of each file. When, I first installed Houdahspot a few days ago, with the help of our foster son as explained in my first message, it searched that field perfectly. The upgrade a few days later severely damaged it.

In most cases, I want to limit my search to my keywords, and nothing else. In most cases, any other searching (such as titles or textual content) simply adds noise to the search results.

I think I now see the major contributor to this problem. The search template limits the search to the "Most Recently Opened." That's consistent with society's now commonly held and fallacious idea that new is always better than old. Well, that viewpoint is TERRIBLY FOOLISH. As someone said, "Those who forget their history are doomed to make the same mistakes."

The problem for me is that many of my MOST PRECIOUS files are several decades old, so they're being screened out of the search results because of their age. In fact, some of my most precious documents were created on my first computer as early as 1983. I also have many extremely old family photographs. Even when I pull down the drop-down menu, Houdahspot forces me to choose between recent files and earliest files. What about the middle-aged files? Are they to be considered worthless? I want to pull up ALL files whose keywords match my request, regardless of the ages of those files.

The second big problem is also related to the age of the file: Although many very old files are extremely precious, many other files very quickly and predictably become uselessly obsolete. In fact, it's often already obvious at the moment that a new file is created that it will become obsolete in one year, seven years, or some other number of years. As soon as I create such files, it's smart to prepare them for the time when those files should be deleted.

So I developed a procedure some years ago for handling this problem. Not only has worked fine in the old Tiger operating system, but I was happy to see that it also worked even better in Houdahspot before I upgraded the application. However, the moment I upgraded Houdahspot, my procedure quit working.

Since it worked a week ago in Houdahspot, it would seem that it should be able to work again. So let me explain how my procedure was designed to work.

At the very moment that I save any new file, I immediately assign keywords; and if I know at that time that the file will become obsolete at a certain date, I'll assign a deletion code as one of those keywords. If, for example, it's already obvious that a particular new file will become obsolete by January of the year 2016, I'll assign the special "Keyword,"
                                                                                   \ 2016

Well, the first version of Houdahspot that I purchased and installed had no problem with that backslash, but the updated version doesn't recognize it. It worked at first, so it should work now.

If I hadn't upgraded, I'd continue next January with a search for the above 2016 deletion code. I'd receive a list of files that would  be ready for deletion at that time. As a precaution, I'd then quickly scan through the resulting list to make sure that there was no need to change any of those deletion codes. Then I'd mass-delete the list.

I actually practiced this when I first bought Houdahspot, and it worked perfectly. So it was able to recognize the backslash at that time. Why not now?
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houdah
Hi!

I have just set \2016 on a file in Finder and found it using HoudahSpot by searching for "Spotlight comment" "contains" "\2016". 

How do you set Spotlight comments on files?

Finder stores Spotlight comments in at least two places. Some third party tools update only one of those. The change is then not visible to all applications. The script you posted above appears to be a fix for such a problem: it takes the comment of one file and sets it again on the same file. 

What happens when you run the script on the file tagged \2016 ?


The purpose of the "Limit" is to keep the results list to a manageable size. You can remove the limit by selecting "No limit" from the first pop-up. Alternatively you can add more search criteria so that the search matches fewer files than the set limit.


I don't recall any recent changes that could have impacted the way Spotlight comments are searched by HoudahSpot.
You are of course welcome to download previous versions: HoudahSpot 4.0.7HoudahSpot 4.0.4HoudahSpot 3.9.1.


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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Idunno
I previously searched for the "No Limit" command and couldn't find it, but when you steered me to it, I saw it and selected it. Houdahspot now seems to find everything that I search for EXCEPT my "Mass Deletion" code which involves the backslash. Everything I try still fails to find the backslash in the "Spotlight Comments" field. Yet it was working before the upgrade.

Speaking of upgrade. I found the following four versions of Houdahspot on my computer:
     3.9.6 shows up as unregistered, so it must be from when I was trying it out before I decided to buy it.
     3.9.10 also shows up the same way, so it also must be from when I was trying it out before buying it.
     4.0.5 shows up as registered, so it must be the one I bought.
     4.0.7 also shows up as registered, so it must be the one after the upgrade.

 I see that there's an even newer one now AVAILABLE for upgrade, but I'm afraid now to give permission to upgrade.

You asked what happens when I "run the script on the file tagged \2016 ?" I'm confused. Do you mean that I shouldn't just run the script on Houdahspot, but rather need to run it separately on each of my files?
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houdah
Hi!

A license that is valid for HoudahSpot 4 is also valid for HoudahSpot 3. However, HoudahSpot 3 and HoudahSpot 4 store the license file in a different place. You need to load your license file into HoudahSpot 3 to unlock that too. Once the license file is installed, all 3.x and 4.x will show as registered.

The purpose of the script seems to be to fix Spotlight comments on files. I see no point on running it on the HoudahSpot application. It should be run on files where the comment is not seen by HoudahSpot / Spotlight.

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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Idunno
I ran the script on my saved files, instead of on Houdahspot itself. After running the script, it still can't find the backslash.

You apparently have gotten Houdahspot to find everything else that it's supposed to find in the Spotlight Comments field. I appreciate that. The inability to find the backslash won't really be critical until January. That's when I'll want to do that annual mass-deletion.

I tried to search for the backslash from version 4.0.5, which is apparently the version that was able to find it earlier. It can't find it now.

You also said, "You need to load your license file into HoudahSpot 3 to unlock that too. Once the license file is installed, all 3.x and 4.x will show as registered."

I tried to register version 3.9.10, but it says, "Activation codes work only once to create a license file. Upon initial activation, you are emailed a license file which is needed for future activations."

Well, since the "Activation Code" works only once, I don't now have a workable "Activation Code;" and if I click on the license entry spot, without entering an Activation code, it opens a new window that says, "Please drag your license file to the well below." But the instant I click on the license file with the intention of dragging it into the well, the window that contains the well closes, leaving me no well to drag the license file into. I don't know that there's any value in licensing that version anyway.

Our foster son will soon be home from Costa Rica. I'll send him a copy of all our conversations. Since he got it all working before, maybe he can figure out why the backslash isn't recognized now. I'll report back one way or another after he tries to solve the backslash problem.

I appreciate the fact that you have worked so hard on this problem. After all, I may be the only person you'll ever run across who has this particular problem. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I do have another question. Is there a search code to find all files whose Spotlight Comments field is EMPTY? That would be helpful to find any files that I've forgotten to keyword index.
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houdah
Hi!

You can activate HoudahSpot 3.9.10 by dragging the license file onto the HoudahSpot icon in Finder or in the Dock.

To reach the file well in HoudahSpot 3.9.10 you would need to command-tab back to HoudahSpot after having started dragging the license file.


To search for files without Spotlight comment:

1. create the following criterion: "Spotlight Comment" "is" "*" (without the quotes). The * is the wild card characater. It matches any text. Thus this criterion will find all files with a comment.

2. Nest the above criterion in a "None" group. This reverses the search: it find all files where the above does not apply.


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
0 0
Idunno
You've amazed me again by how fast you responded. I've never had such good customer service.
And guess what!
ALL OF THE ABOVE PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED.

Although Houdahspot still isn't finding the backslash, I've determined that it recognizes the Not-Equal sign (≠), so I'll just use it instead for my mass-deletion code. That character even looks like a crossed-out item, and it's not a character that I'm likely to need for any other purpose in my keywords. It'll take a little while to find and replace those backslashes, but I can handle it.

When you explained how to find any items that were missing their keyword indexing, you said that the second step was to, "Nest the above criterion in a "None" group." I'm not sure what you meant by that, but I found that I could accomplish that purpose by using "Spotlight Comment" "is not" "*". Is that what you meant to say?

Wow! What a powerful system Houdahspot has now turned out to be! It's not only able to almost instantly find any file I need, but it also groups duplicate files together to help me quickly identify and eliminate those duplicates. I can plainly see where each duplicate is located, so I can decide which to keep and which to trash. I've already eliminated a BUNCH of duplicates as a result.
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Idunno
By-the-way. You could make some good money on the side, teaching other companies how to run customer support.
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houdah
Hi!

Glad to hear the problems are solved.

You can long-press the last button in the criterion row (after "-" and "+") to get a menu with the option to nest the row in a group. This way you can combine criteria using boolean operators. Similar options are available from the "Search" menu.

For a single criterion your solution should work just as well. When you want to negate several criteria, you will need to use a group.

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
0 0
Idunno
Guess what! Now, after I've marked a number of files for eventual mass-deletion on a given date by using the not-equal sign (≠) as my new mass-deletion code, Houdahspot has decided not to recognize that sign either.
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houdah
Hi!

It seems Spotlight is not seeing the comments you set on files. Running your script on the files could help.

Try this:

1. In HoudahSpot, select Window > File Info
2. Locate one of the tagged files in Finder
3. Drag the file to Info window in HoudahSpot. The window is visible only when HoudahSpot is frontmost. Bring HoudahSpot to the front. Then grab the file in Finder and drop it onto the window.
4. The Info window shows what information Spotlight has on the file. Does it include the Spotlight comment?


Are you using the Finder or a third party tool to set the Spotlight comments?


You may want to try to rebuild the Spotlight index:

1. Go to System Preferences > Spotlight
2. Add the whole hard disk to the Privacy list
3. Wait a bit to be sure the index has been deleted
4. Remove the disk from the list
5. Let indexing run overnight

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
0 0