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Review of Copernic Desktop Search

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Can you find your stuff?

So you just bought that 2TB external hard drive… adding to the 1TB external hard drive you already had.  Plus you have the internal hard drives in your desktop PC or laptop. Do you have a home network with a network drive?  How many terabytes is that?  Can you find your stuff?

You have documents like MS Word, Excel, Power Point, Microsoft Project and PDF’s; and you have your digital photos, and music.  What’s in those zip files? Can you find all your stuff?  How many different files types do you have?  Maybe 150 different types of files with all sorts of different content and formats.

I know there is Microsoft search and Google desktop search. The world is filled with options.  Sometimes we are overwhelmed with choices and options.

Compernic Desktop Search

Here is another option for desktop search.  If you don’t lile Windows Search and you don’ t like Google Desktop Search you may want to try this option – Copernic Desktop Search.

Copernic Desktop Search is free – at least the home edition.  If you like it and want additional capability you can upgrade to the Professional or Network versions.  For me, the home edition serves my needs of indexing multi-terabytes of disk and millions of files.

You can get Copernic here – http://www.copernic.com/en/products/desktop-search/index.html

Pro’s

  1. You can fine-tune the search targets down to individual disks and folders
  2. After finding targets the search can be refined within the search result collection
  3. Fine grain control is available to limit the indexing of files based on file size (skip very large files of very small files)
  4. Add/Remove file types to index.  Default is 150 different file types.  You can add any filetype
  5. By file type, you can control if just the name and/or the file content is indexed
  6. Preview pane can show the search term in context and lauch the appropriate application to view or play (music, video) the selected file in the collection
  7. Hover over found music files shows the tags
  8. No real limit to how many files can be indexed
  9. Control of where the index file is located along with ability to move/delete/reindex the file as needed
  10. Intuitive user interface

Additional features that would be of value

  1. The ability to designate the search target among multiple indices.  For example, using this feature, one could index a number of external hard drives and network drives and then perform a directed search against these individual indices.
  2. The addition of boolean operators in the search box such as “AND”, “NOT, “OR” and so on.
  3. How about some way to make a catalog of CD’s and DVD’s by CD name or title?

These may be incentives to upgrade beyond the free Home Edition

  1. Search and index network drives
  2. Export search indices

Conclusion

Some people are highly organized; they can find their stuff.  In the age of terabyte hard drives it is increasingly difficult to keep track of where all this stuff is located.  Even if you know where the file is you may also want a one-step search of the contents.  The  majority of people could use a bit of automated help in searching in-context no matter how organized they are.

There are many desktop search engines from which to choose.  If you are running Windows 7 then you have a desktop search engine built-in for free.  This search engine, integrated into Windows is very powerful including the use of boolean operators.  It may come down to usability.  I find Copernic desktop search very usable and efficient along with a clean interface.  In addition, I get the sense that I have more control over Copernice Desktop search than I have over other engines such as Google Desktop Search and Windows 7 Search. 

Give Copernic Desktop Search a try – the Home Edition is free to use for personal use.

Other info

Compernic Desktop Search can also search the internet.  I use Copernic to search only my local hard drives.  If you want to ensure your privacy and ensure that no search terms go to Copernic you can block Copernics access to the Internet using a typical bi-directional firewall like Zone Alarm (free version).  However, in the free Home edition of the software blocking Copernics internet access will disable the advertisements in the ad-supported home edition.

File types indexed by Copernic Desktop search
http://www.copernic.com/en/products/desktop-search/features-file-types.html

Resources

Read about Windows Search
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa965362(VS.85).aspx
Watch some videos on how to use Windows Search
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/overview/videos.mspx

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Written by frrl

November 21, 2010 at 7:02 am

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