I heartily recommend Copernic. I've been using their desktop search for about a year now and have just switched over to the Beta of their version 2.Originally Posted by smithdoug
It is fast - I don't time the indexing, but after the initial indexing of your hard drive, you won't even notice it. It indexes only when your machine isn't busy, and you can adjust those settings as well, e.g., mine will index if my machine is not busy for 2 minutes. In addition, you can have it set so that it indexes on the fly, i.e., as soon as a document changes. I've got this option set, and haven't noticed any performance problems. (Well, actually, when I first got the beta for version 2, this setting caused a bit of a problem when I came back to my machine after a while, but it was a beta after all. I contacted Copernic and within a week, they had sent me a patch which had fixed the problem - excellent customer support in my mind.) It's also fast while searching - amazingly so. I use the copernic toolbar and often before I finish typing, the search results are coming up. (As an aside, the toolbar is good for quick and dirty searches, but I prefer opening the main program so that I can see the location of my files, and the preview.)
CDS finds everything that I need: standard office documents, pdfs, email in outlook (don't know about saved mail or journal entries, since I don't use those), contacts, favourites (and you can tell it to use Firefox), music, pictures, etc. etc. etc. You can set what kind of files you want it to look at (love this feature over Google and MSN when I was trying them out), and you can add new file extensions. This last is good for when you deal with say, .bat or .pl files. Since they're text, you can see the contents in a preview. For other strange extensions, you can just see the titles, but that's okay too.
You can tell it what directories to search, or not search. I have no need to search my program files, so they're turned off, as are a couple of miscellaneous directories. You can even tell it what kind of thing to look for in a directory, e.g., just music or just files or everything. I just did a quick check, and when you add in a new folder/directory, you can browse to your network computers, so I think you should be able to look at networked drives no problem. And as far as I remember, it doesn't search online. I thought the older version did have that option, but I don't see it in my settings.
The preview is awesome. You can see Word, Excel, PPT, text, HTML, etc. You can even see pdf content. (Sometimes the pdf isn't really pretty, but it's good enough to see the context of what you're searching for).
Also, when searching, you can designate what kind of thing you want to search for, e.g., all, images, music, files, email, etc. You can also specify a file type, e.g., txt, doc, etc. You can specify even a location to look, if want to narrow things down a bit, and specify size and date. These last few I never even have to use because the basic search works so well for me. I have the results sorted by date (and grouped), so things that I access often are near the top of the list - this structure works well for me, since I can usually remember if I've worked on something yesterday, last week, last month, last year, etc.
Anyway, I hope this review helps you. I've played with a few other desktop search programs but as far as I'm concerned, CDS takes the cake.