I was reading my local feeds folder and saw this call for help on ypsi~dixit’s blog:

Here’s the deal. I have Mac OS X and a pile of documents on the desktop in .DOC format. What I need is a search engine with a preview box feature that will allow me to search for key phrases and preview the results, so that I can quickly assess if the search results are what I’m looking for.

My first instinct was to leave a comment pointing to Spotlight but that has the same shortcoming as the search tool she tried, Spotlight doesn’t show previews. Context is important for figuring out which result is the one you’re looking for. Imagine if a Google search didn’t include context, the difference would be subtle but important.

So if you know of a way to cajole Spotlight into showing text surrounding the matches, please let ypsi~dixit and me know in our comments. Lazyweb, I beseech you!

3 responses to “Help ypsi~dixit!”

  1. George, you are as usual very kind to take the trouble to help. I don’t mean to waste anyone’s time; it’s just that with Macs having a measly 5% market share there just aren’t that many desktop search options, it seems. Not with the all-important preview box, anyways. I am grateful to George for his kind help; thank you.

  2. That’s funny, I almost left a comment suggesting Spotlight when I found that while it previews .pdf files, it does not preview .doc files, which is what she wants.

  3. Previews in Spotlight would be nice!

    George has an excellent point: Why isn’t there a better preview function in Spotlight? It works nice with pictures and PDFs, but not in many other documents….

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