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  1. #1
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    Desktop Search-Specific Features

    Hi All,

    I've been looking at the various desktop search programs for some particular features. Looked at their sites and even bought Woody's book for $9.95. I still can't tell if what I want is in any of them. I've not installed any desktop search programs yet to see how they actually work but reading about them also raises more questions. I'm hoping those who used them can provide some insights on the particular issues I'm finding.

    One particular feature I want is the ability to index a particular set of files rather than the whole desktop. I may have several projects that I want indexed separately since I don't want to see matches for term "x" in project A's folders/files if I'm looking for something in project B. Usually my folders for a project are all contained within some top-level folder but not always. For example, I have a folder called "tips" with lots of sub-folders for the various things I get from the Lounge but I don't want an index for "tips" to be included with an index for something else; if I'm searching for a tip, I don't want search time going up while the engine searches thru everything else that's been indexed on my desktop. From what I've seen, it seems that I'd get all files that have "x" since all the programs index everything (ie, all files of a particular type no matter where they're located). A few seem to allow a separate index per user on a machine but that is not really a solution to my rqmt.

    Another thing I've notice is that indexing is "automatic". Some claim to index emails as they come in. Why would one want this? If I'm deleting the email (eg, Woody's daily announcements), why should the email be indexed just because it's been downloaded to my system? It looks like I could re-index with the email deleted but that seems like a waste of time especially if I have to invoke this manually, as seems the case. Or does the action of deleting an email cause the re-index to automatically take place? That still seems like a waste of time.

    Combining the above 2 ideas, any saved email is usually stored in email folders. If indexing a particular set of folders is allowed, can the set of folders include a particular set of email folders and not other email folders? I've certainly not seen this.

    Lastly, the programs index particular file types - each search program having their own set of file types. All of them seem to index Word files. I often create a Word file intentionally that will have a very short life - like print out the contents and then don't save the file or save it for a day and then delete it. I really don't want this file indexed. If indexing a set of folders is available, one answer would be to save this short-lived file in some other folder. I'd prefer not to do that (eg, a lot of my short-lived files end up on the desktop as a reminder to delete very soon). Another thing I might do is download a file to look at it (eg, an attachment from a Lounge email) and then delete it; certainly don't need this indexed.

    Thanks in advance for your insights.

    Fred

  2. #2
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    Re: Desktop Search-Specific Features

    To my knowledge you can't have separate indices for the same user. You can configure what you want indexed. You do not have to index e-mail if you don't want to. You can select specific folders to be indexed. Generally, you can specify what file types to include also. If you want to exclude a 'temporary' Word document you're just going to have to save it in a folder that is not indexed. If you don't save files to a folder that is not indexed how could you reasonably tell the indexing program whether or not to index the file? Would you introduce another dialog in the process of saving? That does not seem desirable.

    Joe

    Joe
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  3. #3
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    Re: Desktop Search-Specific Features

    Joe,

    Thanks for the reply. I kind of thought the answer would be as you replied but I didn't have much knowledge about these things.

    I know you can configure what you want indexed by file type. I also understand you can index some folders and not others. I know you don't have to index e-mail but I'd want to index some email (and preferably via several indices) but not email I'm going to throw away; even with spam filters I still get some I don't want from the server (and that means that things that make it past the server's filters and get put in "junk email" folders by my client filters are still being indexed - worthless!).

    As far as what to do with that "temporary Word document", I have no problem saving it to an unindexed folder, like the desktop. But someone should make a right click option that allows me to manually invoke the indexing procedure (and allows me to pick the index from one of several - kind of like some of these virtual desktops or program launchers).

    For whatever it's worth, I sent a suggestion to Google's desktop search feedback with some of the above suggestions. For my uses, I think having nothing is better than having one huge index where the entries may serve to confuse/obfiscate rather than to help converge. I think I'll wait a while.

    Thanks.

    Fred

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    Re: Desktop Search-Specific Features

    With MSN Desktop Search you can specify which Outlook folders you want indexed. You can see what folder contains each entry in the search result. I think that you'll not ever get an option to index something. Everyone is trying to make the indexing automatic so there is no decision making. IMO, you need to be specific enough in your searches to identify projects or whatever you need to distinguish files.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Desktop Search-Specific Features

    Would a disk cataloging program like Supercat fits your requirement?

  6. #6
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    Re: Desktop Search-Specific Features

    I took a look at Supercat's web site. I can't tell if it will do what I want. I see that you can catalog a disk or a single folder. That's a little better than what the desktop searches do. I'm downloading it now to check it out. I'll see what it does. While it isn't free, $29 isn't too bad.

    Thks.

    Fred

  7. #7
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    Re: Desktop Search-Specific Features

    I just read the readme file for Supercat. It seems like this catalogs file names, not words within the files like the desktop search programs. If that's the case, that's not what I'm looking for. Thanks.

    Fred

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