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FoxTrot Personal Search delivers the fastest, most focused and precise way to find data in the files on your Mac. Based on the revolutionary FoxTrot search engine -- used in more than 40 countries by users of CTM's PowerMail -- FoxTrot Personal Search brings high performance document retrieval and indexing to your most important files.

What's New

Version 5.0:
  • Full support for OS X 10.9 Mavericks tags
    • Multiple color badges displayed in the result list
    • List of tags displayed in the preview header
  • Updated toolbar and icons to adopt the OS X 10.10 Yosemite user interface
  • Ability to search in a specific folder
  • Thumbnail popover in list of found items
  • System menu, AppleScript and Services more...


  • OS X 10.7 or later

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FoxTrot Personal Search User Discussion

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Lord-Lightning Member IconComment+305

JUST DO NOT BUY THIS - The Personal version has one purpose only. That is to give a consumer the impression that the Personal Product is a stand alone product and fully functional. It is technically deceptive advertising to provide what appear to be functional processes that have no function other than to throw a Push Promotion for another product. This is even more deceptive than ‘in-app’ purchases.

This contravenes Consumer law in this country under ACL 2010.

Macupdate should verify my claim and if I am found to be correct then it should ban this app from the MacUpdate site.

Here is the latest from CTM:


thank you for your message. I understand your frustration to see that quite a few features are available in Pro.

unfortunately, we have to do things this way, because Foxtrot Personal does not cover its costs and hence is subsidized by the Professional version. It is important to us to have an entry level product because not everyone can afford Pro, but we do need the upgrade revenue to justify having an entry level product.

There are two things that can be done. One is that you get used to ignoring the features which are not inherently part of FoxTrot personal.

Exceptionally, I can offer a second alternative to you, which is to to offer you a discount on a copy of Pro, which, as you will have understood by now, does bring you much more functionality, instead of the 30% you are entitled to as a personal user.

Jean-Michel / CTM qa

Reply0 replies
Version 5.0
Lord-Lightning Member IconReview+305

Being very careful what I say incase I offend any loyal Fox Trot users. This is strictly about v5.
Just about everything I said about earlier versions has been fixed - Good Show! BUT why the hell do all the exhortations to buy an upgraded version - to Pro - keep coming up at almost every button click, particularly on the Result List view under what you expect to see as thumbnails? It looks like all other versions are just marketing gimmick you pay for to be bombarded with Uprade to V 5 PRO.
Damn irritating. Looks like I have to stop using it again - after dropping another $30 for the upgrade to the Personal version (v5). Extortion.
My advice - try the others BEFORE you buy this version.
I am now leaving the thing forever. Disgusted.

Reply2 replies
Version 5.0

Like a few others I just discovered that it is critical to use the actual download link that CMT send you at purchase or the trial Pro version seems to keep appearing - even though you have licensed the Personal version.
So use the correct 'Personal' version and all is fixed and no exhortations to upgrade the Pro version appear.
All a bit weird but it works fine.


Now it's back.
To hell with it.

Lord-Lightning Member IconComment+305

Pretty much abandoned this app. You need to keep on contacting CTM after you do any work on your computer - such as a directory rebuild in DisWarrior. Fox Trot zaps the license and it tells you that your app is unlicensed. Can't be bothered - but hell, I feel ripped off. Too expensive - far too expensive for an app that behaves like a beta app. Look at the other options - just as good and they seem to work.

Reply5 replies
Version 3.2b1

I couldn't believe this, so I tested it (OS10.6.7, DiskWarrior 4.2 and Foxtrot Pro).
After a directory rebuild on my system boot clone I started from that and FoxTrot Pro did fine. The app was registered as expected and all my indices were working, searches performed correct.
The license is written in a regular plist in your home folder. I don't see how a directory rebuild should affect this.


Also ran CleanMyMac and MacKeeper - maybe it was one of those. Seriously though I have contacted CTM previously on this issue and got the reply OldMiller gives. This is probably particular to my system - but I am not inventing it and it is a bummer to see an app you have paid for fall over with a license alert. Last fail was in an attempt to run the app to look for the current update. Believe it or not, it happened and I am now a sadder and wiser ex client of CTM.


Well, as I said FT reads the license info from a file in your preferences folder. Tons of apps store this kind of information in a file somewhere on your disk. If you shred the file, it is just inevitable that you will be asked to enter the registration details again, which is a matter of seconds if you are organized.

I suspect that one of the maintenance tools you have used was set to delete plists, that haven't been used for period x.
Matter of fact is you're rating this app with only half a star because you're blaming it for things it is not responsible for.


Well, I've been using macs and teaching computing at University since 1986, but thanks for the lesson. I do know how to enter and save a preferences file. The half star is because the software that cost me $40 or so lets me down repeatedly. CTM have given me the answers you gave me. It just does not work without a license/registration call - every single time in spite of doctoring the Pref file using PlistEdit Pro. Hey, I'm one user. Loosen up. I'm entitled to relate my experience to potential users. This story is just a sigle user experience suggesting that folks look at the other search tools such as those listed above - Easy Find is Free, Grupa Dupa and HoudaSpot consistently get terrific user affirmation. Others have had problems with FoxTrot. So why are you getting pernickity? I just call it as I see it and have over a long period if time. My receipt for the Fox Trot purchase goes back to v2.6 and I have stayed with it since then - but not any more. Half a star is generous. However, I respect your advocacy for what probably is a fantastic search app for you. It's just not for me.


@Oldmiller: I have that de-licensing issue with other applications, too. It is not unusual.

I used Foxtrot for a brief period and then did away with it, followed by abandoning PowerMail.

Anon-Bud Member IconComment+599

I used Foxtrot back in the day (pre-X and a bit post-X) and it worked well. But then something happened and it quit working as well and there was an upgrade policy that I thought was a bit, shall I say, odd. Haven't used FT in quite some time.

I've tried it again and can say that, IMO, both HoudahSpot and Leap outperform FT, both in terms of speed of searches and in number of results found.

So, for my money, HoudahSpot and Leap. Your results may be different.

Reply0 replies
Version 3.1
Jean-Pierre Gattuso Member IconComment+1
Jean-Pierre Gattuso

Foxtrot is a great program which I have used for a long time. However, there is NO technical support. Every time I have a question or a request, it takes several reminders to get a reply. Sometimes, there is no reply at all.

This is appalling and I have enough. I have purchased HoudahSpot, which may be a product inferior to Foxtrot but its support is reported to be outstanding.


Reply3 replies
Version 2.5.3
Ctm Development Sa (Developer)

On February 22nd, 2010 we wrote you back with a reply, Mr. Gattuso, to which you said that this had solved the issue. Ever since then, we've been trying on FIVE occasions to kindly request that you remove your misleading comment and cannot get so much as an acknowledgement back. Is it fair for a consumer to do such damage without any recourse for the developer ?

Jean-Pierre Gattuso

I was contacted once (not 5 times) by "jean michel/ctm qa" on 13 March 2010. He asked me to delete my comment on the lack of support, which I did not do. This comment is not misleading, accurately described the situation at the time, and I stand by it. Looking at the other comments on MacUpdate, it looks like I am not the only one who experienced similar problems with tech support in 2009 and 2010. That being said, FoxTrot is a great program and will have a go with v3.0 when it will become available, hoping that the company has understood that it is critical to provide high-quality customer support.


I agree. Your comment is not misleading at all. Any damage to CTM is done by CTM themselves and their lack of support. You can view other similar comments regarding their professional version. I stopped using their products years ago. I did give Foxtrot Professional a try, but the lack of support prevented me from making a purchase. For general information in my computer I also use HoudahSpot. For more specific information I have several DevonThink Pro databases. I'm no longer interested in Foxtrot.
If their support ever improves I may consider them again for a future version.

Superglide Member IconReview+0

This app is awesome. I was on deadline to submit a grant proposal and couldn't for the life of me find a document containing pertinent information. Fortunately for me, I had a trial version of FoxTrot Personal Search (FPS) still active, so I fired it up. Upon first starting the app you are given a choice which folder on your hard drive you want to index. The index building process takes several minutes depending on the number of records it has to process. The index created makes for very fast searches using key word(s). The FPS uses normal boolean logic and wildcards. Well, when I typed in the search box the phrase "united way" that I so desperately needed to find, bam, a list of records (rtf, doc, pdf, etc.) popped up with all occurrences found in the folder selected to index. A separate viewer below this list shows a preview of the record with the phrase "united way" in bold and highlighted. There's also another window on the side that allows you to further drill down. For example, there's a section with a slider you use to narrow the date range to search. A second section shows the location(s) where the records were found (folders and subfolders on your hard drive) and the number of items found containing the key word(s) or phrase. You can also see in a third section the file type found (e.g., pdf, word processor, plain text, mail message, etc.) with the total number found. Within a few seconds I found the phrase I was looking for in a mail message from a colleague. That made my day and allowed me to complete the proposal on time. I immediately and gladly bought a license. There's more power under the hood (in Preferences) where you can add additional folders to include in the index (like User/Library/Mail for email searches), but it's not a good idea to index the entire hard drive because that will increase the size of the index file and slow down searches. Moreover, you can exclude certain folders (like a Backup folder) which will reduce redundancy and speed up the search function. I'm thrilled and highly recommend FPS if you have thousands of documents and/or email messages you need to regularly search for arcane data that you couldn't possibly keep straight in your head.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.5.3
ajoe Member IconReview+12

Wow, this is an amazing application. I have been looking for a fast local search tool that provides live previews and FoxTrot does the trick.

I often have to search thousands of pages of developer references to find answers and this is the only search program I have found that is worth keeping open on my desktop.

Using FoxTrot 2 on Mac OS X 10.5.4 (Intel)

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0.2
lev Member IconComment+457

The new FoxTrot Professional beta is promising, although at €99 it's pretty steeply priced. BUT... it can't index Mail.app emails. Just ignores them. And if you index them with FoxTrot 1.5 and then upgrade the index (automatically) to 2.0 beta, it's unable to preview them, which rather kills the point.

Hopefully this is a beta bug. If not, it obliterates FoxTrot, which would be a shame.

I'd have filed a bug reported, but their website -- perhaps the worst developer's site I've ever seen, so bad it makes me want to demolish the internet -- has no means of doing so. Perhaps they just don't want to know bad news. Perhaps it's some Swiss secrecy thing. Who knows?

The skinny: stick with 1.5 for the time being.

Reply1 reply
Version 2.0b3

FoxTrot Professional 2.0.2 (and, I presume, FT Personal) does indeed search email.

MacMaria Member IconReview+113

It's been now more than three months using FT. I must say I'm very happy with it. It has been very stable, including the indexing process. I really love its capability of searching inside packages. That makes all the difference.
My only cons is the price. It's a bit pricey, however it was the only app that did all that I wanted/needed...

Reply0 replies
Version 1.5
MacMaria Member IconComment+113

I have to say that I don't agree with Anon Bud at all.

I knew of FoxTrot for the first time in a user's forum of a different application (DEVONthink). Someone said it made an amazing job on searching files and contents, including metadata. (For instance, it finds pdf contents that are inside a DEVONthink database without it being open.) Since I don't like Spotlight capacities (or lack of them) I decided to give it a try.

Version 1.1 indeed made a fine job on searching (and indexing). Its capacities are great. However, it crashed from time to time. So, while on trial mode, I reported this to the developers. They were fast and very competent on their reply. More so for two weeks they asked me to try several builds and report the crash logs to them.

I got today a final build (already on 1.2) made specially for me. I'm thinking: "Wow! These people really care about users. Even when they are still trying their application."

It has not crashed so far. I'll give it some more use and if the great behaviour continues, I'll buy it. Then I'll make my review here.

I must say that on terms of support I can already give this application *5 stars.* I wish all developers would behave like them. :)

Reply0 replies
Version 1.2
There are no Ratings for this App yet.
> 3 9


Current Version (5.x)


Downloads 11,454
Version Downloads 89
License Demo
Date 08 Jul 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X
Price $37.00
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