HoudahspotHoudahspot is a separate application that gives a front end to Spotlight on OSX. You get templates, predefined searches, keyboard shortcuts and integration with Finder and Launchbar. Also you have a menu icon for a Blitzsearch. On the left is a criteria panel where you do your searches. The sections are what, where, exclude and limit. It allows you to search for all sorts of files with all sorts of criteria. I usually do well with Spotlight for searching, so lets see what we can do with it, to see if there are extra facilities to make paying for it, worthwhile.

Tags Or Keywords

I am interested in seeing how I can use tags or keywords to make files be found easier. You can do this in the criteria section of the application and put in the search term, the tag. In Houdahspot you get to choose which columns you see. There is a bit of confusion with there being a keywords columns and also one for tags. In other applications keywords and tags are synonymous, but not so here.

Searching for files

In the Any Text part ,you can search for fuzzy text searches. So with the build up of searches that look for ALL - ANY - NONE of the criteria being true, you should be able to make some really complicated searches that will give you just the files you want. And none of the files that you don’t want.

The Tray - What Can You Do With It

I didn’t know where the tray was at first and didn’t know I needed it until I looked into the features list on the web site. It is since version 3 that tagging is supported with the OpenMeta format, and you do the tagging of files by dragging them to the tray. The tray is hidden at the side of the screen, hence me not knowing it was there. I had been thinking - It would be nice to have a list of recent tags used, as you have in Tag it. Only when I discovered the tray did I also find out that there is that feature. There is a drop zone at the bottom of the tray where you can tag the file or files.

LaunchbarLaunchbar vs Alfred

It is possible to do the drag and drop with files from the application into applications or into other folders. Or you can right click and get a host of options of what to do with the file. Show inspector, open the file with another application or reveal in finder. There is integration with Launchbar, another fine application that people swear by, but I use a free application called Alfred for launching apps. From Applescript you can call upon the Blitzsearch feature.


Should You Buy Houdahspot Or Not?

You kind of have to do some playing with the searches to see all of what Houdaspot can do and decide if it is worth the cost of buying it. You may only need the searches that are already in OSX Spotlight, and if all you want to do is some tagging, then there are free applications such as Tagit. There is a bug in Tagit which might stop you from combining the searches of tags with star ratings but apart from that it could be all you need. There is a trial version of Houdahspot so you can have a play and explore its capabilities.