Regarding dumb Smart Folders

Christopher Breen
20 November, 2008
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Since Apple took away the option in Leopard of specifying which disks to search for individual smart folders, the feature has become almost unusable when large volumes of images are spread across numerous drives. But there is a solution.

While Spotlight has improved immeasurably since Tiger, it seems like Apple’s Search Team considered the job done once Spotlight lost its lameness. Smart Folders are not nearly as smart as they ought to be. In a situation where you want to designate multiple search sources—Drives 1, 3, and 5 but not 2, 4, and 6—Smart Folders is useless. Rob Griffiths, our resident Leopard critic, has written at length about issues like this and I agree with him.

And now to the answer: Houdah Software’s €15 ($A29) HoudahSpot.

Rob has written an extensive review of HoudahSpot 2.x, the current Leopard-compatible version of this remarkably flexible search application. I urge you to read it if you’re routinely frustrated by the limitations of Leopard’s search capabilities.

For the purposes of your question, John, you need know only that you can tell HoudahSpot exactly which areas of your Mac and its attached volumes to search and you can save your searches as templates or saved search documents that you can easily return to. And yes, just as with Smart Folders, HoudahSpot searches are dynamically updated. So, for example, should you add half-a-dozen of these high resolution images and have HoudahSearch configured to look for them, within a second or two of adding them, they’ll appear in HoudahSpot’s results.


Also note that HoudahSpot installs a Finder menu item that includes any search templates you’ve created (as well as templates bundled with the application). This means that locating your files is just a click away.

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