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Search tools revisited September 30, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

I decided to go ahead and revisit the Desktop Search tools available. Most of them are out of beta so things have changed. Does Copernic still rule my desktops, lets see shall we:

Copernic Desktop Search: Not much has been done to this tool since its release. It has had some minor bug fixes and more formats added but its pretty much the same. It still doesnt index .sxw (Openoffice format) or .odt (OpenDocument) format so you cant preview those files. On my main desktop its still king because I can index Network drives with it.

Google Desktop Search: While much has been done with this tool, and alot of the work has been impressive. GDS still sucks. I dont like Webapps like this, especially ones that install a seperate web server makes me nervous. Due to security reasons I dont suggest GDS. It does have plugins available and its a very opened community and people like it. If it was an actual local application, I would say yes but I cant do it.

Windows Desktop Search: Still a good application and I used to use it on my tablet. Fast, extensible through iFilters but many features are hidden. I like the add-ins featiure for the MSN Toolbar suite. It also indexes network drives. This app is much more secure than GDS and clearly defines how a rich application should behave. Its a perfect mix of a local application yet embedding some web function into it.

Yahoo Desktop Search: Perhaps the most improved desktop search tool of them all. When Yahoo first came out with YDS it for the lack of a better word (sucked). Since it came out of beta it is much faster at indexing than Copernic and Windows Desktop Search. It has an expansion pack that indexes other filetypes and its just a much better system. The UI is very clean and easy to understand and use. Even with having indexing set at aggressive it runs very smoothly and doesnt hog resources. Its also a riuch application that integrates web fuctionality. The only downfall to this application is that YDS does not index network drives. I have switched to Yahoo Desktop Search on my latop and TabletPC because I dont use my network that much whilke using the mobile devices.

Of all oif the Desktop Search apps, Copernic is still the winner. Yahoo is catching up very quickly and when/if they add the networked drives support, YDS will probably kick Copernic out of the top slot



1. Anonymous - October 4, 2005

I’m with you. Yahoo has been the best tool for business use. All the others are lacking in one important feature or another. I just which yahoo would have a more detailed site about the in’s and out’s of the software.

2. Anonymous - October 8, 2005

What about X1? It incorporates some features that the free version (Yahoo Desktop Search) does not — like Network Search…

3. Anonymous - November 27, 2005

I don’t disagree with your (Roberto’s) comments, but I can’t part with Google Destop Search for one reason: the ScanSoft/Nuance Image Search plugin. I have a lot of scanned articles in jpeg or PDF format which can ONLY be searched by GDS (as far as I know). Are you aware of any other desktop search apps that have this OCR capability? Thanks, Karl

4. Anonymous - February 15, 2006

Yeah, YDS is the winner for me. Though Copernic is interesting it is more limited and conservative in indexing pdf files. The problem with GDS is that it only indexes the first 500 words of a document. This makes it virtually useless for anyone that’s working with longer documents and wants to search through the whole document. My main complaint with YDS is that the support for it seems nonexistent. They don’t even tell you which version is current. Anyhow, it’s been running rock solid since coming out of beta. Quite a miracle to be able to access your files including content with such ease. There are lots of hidden features and key combos. For instance, you can use shift and + for moving to the next instance of some search match. and the minus for going back.

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