Search function in Apple’ latest OS Tiger aka Spotlight is extremely powerful and easy to use. You just type a word or a phrase, and Spotlight will look up not only the titles but also contents and tags of all kinds of files (document, pdf, email, picture, mp3, etc.) for you. A categorized result will be there in a flash. But since it’s very powerful, you may get much more results than you expect. And since it’s very easy to use, it’s not designed to have more advanced function which means you can’t add more condition to filter the results. Fortunately, we have HoudahSpot. You can choose to search the letters you input as word, phase or prefix in diplay name, content or both of the files. You can aslo add more conditions such as size, kind, when last opened, when modified and so on. When you get the result, you can see much more information about the files than what you can see in Spotlight. One thing I like a lot is the preview function of pdf files. I often need to find a specific paper in pdf. While the names of the files usually don’t ring a bell, a quick preview is really handy especially for scientific papers since there is an abstract on the first page. Of course HoudahSpot is not as easy as Spotlight to use. In Spotlight all you need to do is typing, while in HoudahSpot you need to choose the conditions of your search. So if you don’t have a large amount of files to search from thus don’t need additional filters, Spotlight is more than enough. Otherwise, HoudahSpot should be on your list.

NOTE: HoudahSpot as seen on If you’re seeing this on June 16, 2006 head over to MacZOT, you might be able to get a Free copy of HoudahSpot

Search easily in Tiger, Mac OS X, with HoudahSpot