Google Desktop Search and beyond: More applications that search your hard drive!

spiros · 2 · 35996


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Desktop search tools search within a user's own computer files as opposed to searching the Internet. These tools are designed to find information on the user's PC, including web browser history, e-mail archives, text documents, sound files, images, and video.

An earlier post mentioned Google Desktop and how useful such a tool is! However, there seems to be competition around the corner!

Read reviews of all apart from diskmeta at

Blinkx -
Blinkx Desktop Search, available as a free download, earns an A for originality, but a C for usability. Like Copernic Desktop Search and X1 Search, Blinkx is hot-rod quick, displaying searches on your hard drive and Web matches as fast as you can type. For example, if you had a file on your hard drive called myfinances.doc, as you typed m, then y, then f, the list of possible matches would decrease. Problem is, Blinkx displays a pop-up summary of a document's contents rather than using a full-fledged file viewer like those found in competing search tools. The latter helps you avoid opening duplicate files by allowing you to see the contents before opening them.
Copernic - Free Desktop Search
Copernic Desktop Search brings a search engine right to your PC and allows you to instantly search files, e-mails, and e-mail attachments stored anywhere on your PC hard drive. The application executes subsecond searching of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, Acrobat PDFs, all popular music, picture, and video formats, contacts, the browser history, and Favorites. It features a seamlessly integrated previewer that instantly provides you with a view of the file or e-mail you're looking for. The previewer highlights all search terms and automatically scrolls to the first use of these terms in a document, eliminating the frustration of having to sort through endless text to pinpoint specific words. This latest version provides a more refined search experience thanks to performance optimizations, new customization options, user-interface improvements, and bug fixes.
Version 1.2 adds indexing for Mozilla Firefox history and bookmarks, support for the latest PDF file format, and a redesigned user interface for Web searching. It also improves the handling of French, German, Spanish, and Italian content.

Google Desktop (Beta) -
With Google Desktop, you can search for files on your hard just as easily as you can search the Internet. Read this First Take.

HotBot -
HotBot has potential, combining desktop searches with Internet searches, but this beta version has a few glitches to overcome.

Lookout -
Lookout 1.2 is a free, add-on search tool for Microsoft Outlook. While it lacks the power and sophistication of HotBot Desktop or X1 Search, it's convenient for anyone who relies on Outlook to schedule appointments, enter contacts, and write e-mail. Lookout also allows you to search files on local drives (for example, hard drives, and CD and DVD drives), a feature that's easy to configure via Lookout's Options dialog. This app is so hot that Microsoft recently purchased Lookout Inc., the tiny start-up behind Lookout, so don't be surprised if you see a major overhaul of Lookout soon. Our prediction: Microsoft will integrate an enhanced Lookout into future versions of either Internet Explorer or Windows. But is Outlook really the best place to conduct file searches? Unless you're an Outlook devotee, probably not.

X1 -
Desktop search tools don't get any faster than X1 Search, a scorchingly swift file finder from X1 Technologies. Unlike Lookout, which resides inside Outlook, or HotBot Desktop, which attaches to an Internet Explorer toolbar, X1 Search runs as a standalone utility that loads at Windows start-up. To use it, you click the icon in the taskbar, or you can dock X1 to the desktop (our preferred method), in which case X1 appears as a toolbar at the top of the screen. But in our opinion, you can find comparable results with free apps, such as Copernic Desktop Search.

X1 installs in a few minutes. It proceeds to index every file and e-mail on your PC, a system-slowing process that could take several hours on gargantuan hard drives but worked quickly for us, indexing 7GB of data on our test system in less than 5 minutes. It also indexes the contents of e-mail attachments, an important feature that Lookout doesn't offer.

This standalone desktop search tool, X1 Search, is blazingly fast, but costs about $100 more than the nearest competitor. In our opinion, the free apps perform just as well.

Diskmeta - diskMETA - powerful full text personal search engine for your hard drive.
indexes user-selected folders on local and intranet shared hard drives.
supports PDFs, archives ZIP, RAR, local Microsoft Office files, CHM, HTML, TXT.
allows full text search with wildcards, boolean operators, exact phrase search, sorting, filtering.
easy file preview.
in search speed and result presentation compares to Google in the best sense of the term.

Less important:

diskmeta is both freeware and shareware ($48.50 and $97.50 for professional version). But you can try a full-functional version free for 30 days, just to make the right choice.
diskmeta doesn't search Internet. For Internet you have the unbeatable Google

dtSearch Desktop - dtSearch® — Text Retrieval / Full Text Search Engine [0226]
The dtSearch product line can instantly search gigabytes of text across a desktop, network, Internet or Intranet site.
dtSearch products also serve as tools for publishing, with instant text searching, large document collections to Web sites or CD/DVDs.
« Last Edit: 27 Dec, 2015, 00:07:17 by spiros »


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I know this an old thread, but I just wanted to say that you forget a very important search tool for Outlool


Its extremly fast, reliable, accurate, works with exchange server, searchs through pst fils, even through attachments, adresses, appointments etc. and is also a desktop search!
It is really a great search machine for your Outlook!


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