Advanced tips for searching in Windows 7


W

W. eWatson

I'm puzzled.
See
<http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/advanced-tips-for-searching-in-windows>

Go down a short ways to Adding search filters. See 1. and 2. just below
it. Suppose I want to search C:. I guess I use

C:
Xyz
pqr

There is no "search" in the C: window. Are they talking about the ball
at the bottom left of the screen? 3. makes no sense to me.

Comments?

If I use Google to look around for other Win7 search explanations, the
first 2-3 show mow many people found the explanations useful. There's
definitely a lower number of voters who agree the page was useful than
those who decided to vote one way or another. Maybe < 40%. Is there a
really good page that does a better job than what I'm looking at?
 
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P

Paul in Houston TX

W. eWatson said:
I'm puzzled.
See
<http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/advanced-tips-for-searching-in-windows>


Go down a short ways to Adding search filters. See 1. and 2. just below
it. Suppose I want to search C:. I guess I use

C:
Xyz
pqr

There is no "search" in the C: window. Are they talking about the ball
at the bottom left of the screen? 3. makes no sense to me.

Comments?

If I use Google to look around for other Win7 search explanations, the
first 2-3 show mow many people found the explanations useful. There's
definitely a lower number of voters who agree the page was useful than
those who decided to vote one way or another. Maybe < 40%. Is there a
really good page that does a better job than what I'm looking at?
My recommendation: Dump windows search and get Search Everything.
http://www.voidtools.com/
Very fast and tailorable.
 
J

Jason

On Mon, 27 May 2013 21:26:27 -0500 "Paul in Houston TX"
-snip-

My recommendation: Dump windows search and get Search Everything.
http://www.voidtools.com/
Very fast and tailorable.
Search Everything is indeed useful, but it doesn't index contents, just
filenames. I've fiddled with Win Search and told it to index more stuff
than its defaults. The first time takes a long time, but thereafter, it
finds things very quickly. Searches based on the content of files, not
just their names, is handy. It wakes up each time I boot and spends some
time updating, but then it settles down and is not a performance issue
for me.

File Locator is also worth having. I sprang for the paid version and use
it a lot. It does not index file contents, but can search within files if
you want to spend the time. Its ability to use regular expressions can be
very useful.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

I'm puzzled.
See
<http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/advanced-tips-for-searching-in-windows>

Go down a short ways to Adding search filters. See 1. and 2. just below
it. Suppose I want to search C:. I guess I use

C:
Xyz
pqr

There is no "search" in the C: window. Are they talking about the ball
at the bottom left of the screen? 3. makes no sense to me.

Comments?
Yes. Look at the right end of the bar at the top of the window (i.e., to
the right of the address bar). Note the word "Search" (in grey) there.
It is followed by the name of the directory (also in grey) to avoid
ambiguity.

This is visible in the screenshots on the web page you pointed to...
 
R

Rob

Yes. Look at the right end of the bar at the top of the window (i.e., to
the right of the address bar). Note the word "Search" (in grey) there.
It is followed by the name of the directory (also in grey) to avoid
ambiguity.

This is visible in the screenshots on the web page you pointed to...
Some other tips when using Windows Search:

To only search within the content of files (ie ignore filenames), type
"content:" before your search term. Eg to find the word "xtest" inside
any type of file, type

content:xtest

To only search for files with a certain extension, type "ext:" before
your search term. Eg to find only files with a .doc extension, type

ext:doc

You can combine, so to find the word "xtest" inside only .doc files,
you would type:

content:xyz ext:doc

This stuff isn't well documented but sure helps sometimes.
 
B

bevoveb

Some other tips when using Windows Search:
To only search within the content of files (ie ignore filenames), type
"content:" before your search term. Eg to find the word "xtest" inside
any type of file, type
content:xtest
To only search for files with a certain extension, type "ext:" before
your search term. Eg to find only files with a .doc extension, type
ext:doc
You can combine, so to find the word "xtest" inside only .doc files,
you would type:
content:xyz ext:doc

This stuff isn't well documented but sure helps sometimes.
Thanks!
 
J

jason

Search Everything is excellent, and I also recommend it. *However*, it
can search only for file names, and not for the contents of files.

For that reason, I recommend having two programs (both free), Search
Everything and Agent Ransack
(http://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack/), which can search for
content.
Does Agent Ransack index file contents or does it just perform a
sequential search?
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Does Agent Ransack index file contents or does it just perform a
sequential search?
I don't know about sequential, but it does an ad hoc search each time.
However, a second search later in the same session[1] goes quickly, as
though the directory structure is buffered. Hmm. I actually typed
buttered, but decided it needed correction :)

[1] I'm not sure how long the buffer is kept. It definitely doesn't
survive a reboot...
 
J

Jason

Does Agent Ransack index file contents or does it just perform a
sequential search?
I don't know about sequential, but it does an ad hoc search each time.
However, a second search later in the same session[1] goes quickly, as
though the directory structure is buffered. Hmm. I actually typed
buttered, but decided it needed correction :)

[1] I'm not sure how long the buffer is kept. It definitely doesn't
survive a reboot...
Windows has a huge buffer for recently-read files (directories included).
I think that's the speedup that you are seeing. FileLocator blazes
through a second search right after the first one for the same reason. (I
think)

Nevertheless without a prefabricated index on file contents, searches
within files will be slow. This machine has more than half a million
files - a sequential search through them all (for something that will
never be found) takes *forever*.
 
P

Paul

Jason said:
On Mon, 27 May 2013 21:26:27 -0500, Paul in Houston TX

My recommendation: Dump windows search and get Search Everything.
http://www.voidtools.com/
Very fast and tailorable.
Search Everything is excellent, and I also recommend it. *However*, it
can search only for file names, and not for the contents of files.

For that reason, I recommend having two programs (both free), Search
Everything and Agent Ransack
(http://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack/), which can search for
content.
Does Agent Ransack index file contents or does it just perform a
sequential search?
I don't know about sequential, but it does an ad hoc search each time.
However, a second search later in the same session[1] goes quickly, as
though the directory structure is buffered. Hmm. I actually typed
buttered, but decided it needed correction :)

[1] I'm not sure how long the buffer is kept. It definitely doesn't
survive a reboot...
Windows has a huge buffer for recently-read files (directories included).
I think that's the speedup that you are seeing. FileLocator blazes
through a second search right after the first one for the same reason. (I
think)

Nevertheless without a prefabricated index on file contents, searches
within files will be slow. This machine has more than half a million
files - a sequential search through them all (for something that will
never be found) takes *forever*.
It could be, the size of the cache is tune-able. I've never bothered
to try tuning it myself.

http://www.fanhow.com/knowhow:Optimize_File_System_Memory_Cache_in_Windows_7_59095223

Paul
 
J

Jason

- snip -

I've grown old waiting for some text searches even in a subset of
folders :)
Try turning bad ol' Windows Indexing loose... I modified its settings to
include a LOT more folders than its default. It took a while at first to
paw through everything, but searches are blazing fast, including content
searches. The index files amount to a GB or so - worth the cost. I don't
understand why it is so maligned.

Jason
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Try turning bad ol' Windows Indexing loose... I modified its settings to
include a LOT more folders than its default. It took a while at first to
paw through everything, but searches are blazing fast, including content
searches. The index files amount to a GB or so - worth the cost. I don't
understand why it is so maligned.

Jason
In my case, I have to confess to two moral flaws:

1. I was too lazy to figure out the Windows search commands

2. By the time I learned more, I was using other tools, so I still
rarely use the Windows tool.

3. Oddly enough, I do have the Windows indexed running, although I
haven't expanded its purview (Yes, I know - I can't count).
 
J

Jason

In my case, I have to confess to two moral flaws:

1. I was too lazy to figure out the Windows search commands

2. By the time I learned more, I was using other tools, so I still
rarely use the Windows tool.

3. Oddly enough, I do have the Windows indexed running, although I
haven't expanded its purview (Yes, I know - I can't count).
IIRC, the Program Data folders are excluded from indexing by default. I
included them so that all the help files get indexed. I find that handy.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

IIRC, the Program Data folders are excluded from indexing by default. I
included them so that all the help files get indexed. I find that handy.
I have to say that I feel silly not taking advantage of a tool that can
be fairly useful :)

Anyway, if I did use it more, I would definitely make the effort to
configure it to my liking, or as close to that as it will let me.
 
B

bevoveb

IIRC, the Program Data folders are excluded from indexing by default. I
included them so that all the help files get indexed. I find that handy.
How do you include the Program Data folders in the indexed set?
 
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J

Jason

How do you include the Program Data folders in the indexed set?
Clicks Start, enter "index" in the Search box and select Indexing
Options. When it opens, click Modify. It will show an Explorer-like
listing where you change the selection of indexed locations.

Jason
 

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