Everyone performs a certain amount of searches on their Macs. There are different tools for this purpose. The macOS “Find” command is not too bad. The Spotlight App is better. Then there are free programs like EasyFind which are even better. However, if you do a lot of searching for things on your Mac or externally attached drives nothing compares to HoudahSpot from Houdah Software.
The HoudahSpot App is not free, it costs $29 from their website. If you only do occasional searching on your Mac, you probably do not need it. If you perform a moderate to heavy amount of searches on your Mac, I highly recommend this software. It is super sophisticated. It can do just about anything when it comes to searching for stuff on your Mac.
Here is the main window of HoudahSpot, this is how I normally use the App:
You type in your search term in the little window up top. It provides a path to the file you select in the bottom of the window. For doing a simple search the App is easy to use and very fast. If you want to get more specific, you can adjust the myriad of settings in the left sidebar. I do not use these too much, but if you have tons of files of a certain type then this advanced functionality would be very handy.
You can search different locations with Houdahspot. Just click on the Locations dropdown and choose where you would like to search:
The search defaults to your Home Folder, I am sure that is where we search the most. However, the Locations feature allows you to search attached external drives which is very handy if you use them for some type of storage.
By the way, if you do not plan to use the Advanced search features very often you can click this little button:
And the Advanced area closes up and out of the way. Just click the same button to open it up again when needed.
There are other handy features in HoudahSpot. If you click on the last button in this top row of buttons, HoudahSpot produces an Info window on your document:
This is a super handy feature. You may have several documents that are named similarly or for some other reason are difficult to differentiate. The Info window can give you a better picture of each document.
For an even better picture of a particular file, just click on the little “eye” symbol in the Info Pane:
HoudahSpot gives you a “Quick Look” at the document. Sometimes you just don’t remember the title of a document or you have several files with similar titles. The “Quick Look” feature creates a “picture worth a thousand words”.
HoudahSpot has a few more features. It has Snippets that you can create for frequently used searches. You can also save searches as Templates. It just does a lot of stuff.
This is a fast, excellently designed App that has been around on the Mac platform for many years. The $29 price tag makes this a serious purchase, but Houdah provides a Trial Download if you just want to give the App a spin. Not a bad idea before spending that kind of money. I almost forgot. I am using HoudahSpot in macOS High Sierra with no issues at all.