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HoudahSpot Reviews

5.0.11
20 November 2019

Advanced file-search tool.

Macbookpro
05 July 2019

Most helpful

This is the app to go to first when you are looking for that hard to find file that you know is on the hard drive somewhere. It is an essential tool that saves a ton of searching time. Do watch the tutorial created by ScreenCastsOnline as suggested on the Houdah Spot tips and tricks page.
Like (2)
Version 5.0.6

Read 110 HoudahSpot User Reviews

Rate this app:

Svenster
25 September 2019
Another reason not to use Apple Mail. HoudahSpot is much more efficient at what it can do than Apple Mail is or ever has. Perhaps Mail might be able to search its own database in Catalina. Now that would be useful and a first for Mail.
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Version 5.0.9
Macbookpro
05 July 2019
This is the app to go to first when you are looking for that hard to find file that you know is on the hard drive somewhere. It is an essential tool that saves a ton of searching time. Do watch the tutorial created by ScreenCastsOnline as suggested on the Houdah Spot tips and tricks page.
Like (2)
Version 5.0.6
Biox
19 April 2019
Two stars removed because file listings are messed up and getting this right is fundamental. For example: file attributes shown for a file may be wrong and actually be the attributes of another file in the same folder that's next in lexicographical sort order; or a file may be shown as being a folder when it's just an ordinary file. I love the speed at which it produces errors though! ;-)
Like
Version 5.0.2
Pik80
06 April 2019
Version five is another fantastic major update like like version four. FINALLY includes the Adobe Bridge "compact mode" which is by far the best feature from that program. I suggested they incorporate that feature into the program nearly a decade ago because it was such a good idea for being able to drop files into programs particularly layout software. Now that some people are leaving Adobe these days that feature becomes all the more important. Lets hope that same feature makes it's way into the developer's other search tool "Tembo" as well. Other notable features are dark mode and the ability to now add tags in the right column. Version four didn't let you add tags as easily.
Like (2)
Version 5.0
Ean
05 April 2019
Version 5 as a solid upgrade. Overall the app is faster and I've only begun to scratch the surface of the new features. For example I haven't tried the DefaultFolder integration but a looking forward to it. The only thing that bothers me at this point is the new finder extension is not just a button, but a button that opens a menu with a single item in it. This is dumb. It should go back to just being a button unless there are some choices to be made.
Like (1)
Version 5.0
Fariborz
04 April 2019
There isn’t a single folder, file, word, etc that can go unnoticed once you install and use HoudahSpot. It quickly scans all your emails, documents for that tiny part of whatever you remember of that forgotten document hidden somewhere on your computer. It has saved me long hours of search for whatever name that has come to my mind. Amazing to put it mildly. Fariborz AMIRSHAHI - Verona (Italy)
Like (1)
Version 5.0
dwp-1
04 April 2019
I've lost track on how many years that I have been using HoudaSpot but I couldn't do without it. It has found files for me that would have possibly taken me days or weeks to locate manually. Ask it and if it is there, HoudaSpot **Will** find it. Best searching app I have ever used.
Like (1)
Version 5.0
The-Blinded
08 October 2018
Wonderful... It has all features and options that someone would want from a search app! Very simple for a simple research, powerful options for advanced researches.
Like (2)
Version 4.3.9
Tedg
22 September 2018
Use this several times a day. Wouldn't want to be without it.
Like (2)
Version 4.3.8
Ubucraig
13 September 2018
There hasn't been a search app this effective on Mac since Norton FastFind.
Like (3)
Version 4.3.7
1 answer(s)
Svenster
Svenster
20 September 2018
That was the best thing Norton ever did. Well I really did like Disk Doctor.

And Speed Disk.

So annoyed when they got bought out.
Like (1)
csk137
11 September 2018
I haven't even gotten around to trying most of the company's suggestions for the app's effective use which I think will be helpful, but just the occasional search have made HoudahSpot very worthwhile. I immediately found files that I though were lost but were just too hard to find in the haystack of the Finder's default search. Someone commented that the interface was a bit unappealing at first glance, but try it anyway. An app for finding files might sound like a solution in search of a problem, but it is not; it has saved me time every time that I've used it.
Like (1)
Version 4.3.7
xflyhorse
02 July 2018
HoudahSpot is an excellent application - its the most useful I own. It has saved me much time locating needed information, particularly when I'm in a hurry.
Like (1)
Version 4.3.7
LeMerlot
17 April 2018
Without question one of my most beloved and used apps – great developers who are caring. Highly recommended for professional Mac users.
Like (1)
Version 4.3.6
jack2001
17 April 2018
terribile e costa pure tanto
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Version 4.3.6
bobembry
17 December 2017
Very helpful in finding and then tagging files scattered across multiple folders
Like (2)
Version 4.3.4
Morlo
18 September 2017
if it doesnt find un-spotlighted files, then it is just a prettier finder window. same kind of searches you can do in the finder.. the only feature i see handy is that you can save searches and sync them with other devices.. other than that it is just a glorified finder window.
Like (2)
Version 4.3.1
Funjoy
03 August 2017
For anything more than a file-name search I automatically bring up HoudahSpot. I have tens of thousands of text files archived and the ability to do detailed searches of phrases within date ranges becomes invaluable. If you just want a souped-up Spotlight look at their less expensive, prettier app Tembo. But if you need to perform sophisticated searches on (and in) your files you really need this app.
Like (3)
Version 4.3
Potatoes
01 July 2017
HoudahSpot has completely taken over any type of search for files on my computer. I don't use finder, spotlight, launchbar, or any other alternative. It's HoudahSpot all the way. Simply because it is so fast and so reliable. It actually finds the files I want to find. It is often faster for me to search in HS than to drill down to the file by other means. The interface is so-so. Not the most intuitive interface for newcomers, but one eventually will learn to use it. I wish the developer would hire a designer so HS could become even more awesome. The app is well-maintained and the developer is responsive. Highly recommended.
Like (3)
Version 4.3
David-Stevens
31 May 2017
I've used quite a few different search apps over the years, and Houdahspot is now far and away my favourite. It does the job very well, is fast and flexible, and it's also a pleasure to use.
Like (3)
Version 4.2.10
Gilby101mu
15 April 2017
I am a hoarder of documents (and things in real life), but how to find them again? HS is the solution. Now it is always open on my Mac and use it many times a day. I am now rediscovering all sorts of stuff I collected years ago.
Like (2)
Version 4.2.10
dwp-1
12 October 2016
I have to agree with the two previous posts in that HS is fast and VERY customizable. It's capabilities for search put the Finder to shame.
Like (3)
Version 4.2.5
fearmore
15 August 2016
This is the most-used app on my Macbook Pro. It is fantastically useful. I have a fair number of files, and searching via the Finder seems so primitive, frustrating, and slow compared to HoudahSpot. It is easy to use from the start, and as you discover its power, it is extremely powerful. General example 1: I download my bank account and credit card statements each month. I've set up a HoudahSpot one-click search that searches for any dollar amount I enter. Bam, I can instantaneously nail any payment FAST. Example 2: I download a lot of PDFs. I can search NON-PDF files instantaneously to filter out info I didn't create myself (including mail, Things do-list items, text notes, etc.) It's just so damned fast. I have separate one-click searches for JPG, JPEG, or PNG extensions; for Tagged files; for Folder names only; for App Aliases only (try doing *that* with Finder!); for recent emails; for a set of selected folders I know might contain Tax info. I absolutely love this software. I appreciate the fairly regular updates, and am constantly finding new ways to use it. I am in no way connected to the developers, but I wish them all the best for one of the best values on my laptop. Thanks, guys.
Like (3)
Version 4.2.3
Mikenesmith
05 December 2015
Well worth the cost - a smarter, better, faster way to find files. Finder works for easy things - Houdah Spot does the heavy lifting.
Like (3)
Version 4.1.2
Prof-T
16 September 2015
Had to post a review because of the value of the app. I've used Find Any File for many years as my "go to" file finder, as well as Spotlight, LaunchBar, Alfred, et al. I had not devoted much time to HS for two reasons: (1) the name (which I thought was weird (but certainly not a good reason not to try the app)); and (2) the GUI complexity. However, when I spent the time to learn how to use the app, which really wasn't an overwhelming amount, I found its power to be unparalleled. Simply put, it finds everything, and it does so remarkably quickly. I find its ability to dig into email message particularly valuable. I like to ability to easily see the file paths and to "look" into the files and actually see the text, figures, etc. Secondary and tertiary selection criteria allow rapid parsing of results. In short, it's worth the $.
Like (6)
Version 4.0.10
LeMerlot
06 September 2015
For me a true killer app since years – helped me so often finding long missed info fast and easy… Thanks very much to the developers, who update HoudahSpot on a regular basis.
Like (2)
Version 4.0.10
hwgray
26 August 2015
This update, v4.0.10, crashes on launch in OS X v10.11 El Capitan prev.7. That's most uncool, Houdah Software! No previous version has done that, even v4.0.9 in v10.11 El Capitan prev.7.
Like
Version 4.0.10
4 answer(s)
Houdah Software
Houdah Software
27 August 2015
HoudahSpot 4.0.10 has been tested briefly on the latest El Capitan developer beta. It actually includes a few fixes for minor glitches discovered. There are currently no know problems running on El Capitan.

Please email us with details on the crash and, if possible, crash reports.
Like (1)
hwgray
hwgray
27 August 2015
I re-installed .09 and went back to work, forgetting about .10. Then, it occurred to me to check back. Your reply motivated me to re-install .10, and launch it, to get the crash-report. .10 just worked! WTF?! I quit .10 and launched .09 and it immediately crashed! All that I can tell you is this. When I originally updated to .10, it was from within .09 and .10 crashed on launch. But, this time, when I updated, it was from a .10.dmg file from here, not from within .09. Now, .10 works and .09 crashes. Deus vult. Thank you for your reply, BTW.
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hwgray
hwgray
27 August 2015
Today, both .09 and .10 launch and function as expected. Status: nominal.
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Gary30
Gary30
22 November 2015
Somehow I clicked on an option to update HoudaSpot in MacUpdate Desktop. So I went from 3.9.10 to 4.0.10. Of course my license did not work. So I went back to the old version 3.9.10 and have not been having any problems under El Capitan 10.11.1. I am going to stick with version 3 until it breaks.
Like
Macbookpro
01 March 2015
The latest update for version 3.x can be found here. http://www.houdah.com/houdahSpot/index_assets/HoudahSpot3.9.10.zip
Like (3)
Version 4.0.3
ben-stamp
28 February 2015
What does this do more compared to the finder search options? Could not find one
Like
Version 4.0.3
2 answer(s)
Pierre-Bernard
Pierre-Bernard
06 March 2015
HoudahSpot quickly gets you to you your files without getting in the way.

Feature wise: search multiple locations, exclude locations, criteria snippets, customizable columns, text preview with text matches, continue searching for text in target application, templates, filter results, copy results as tab delimited text, etc.
Like (2)
Big Johnson
Big Johnson
06 January 2016
A01110010101 said: "It makes you intelligent!"

Looks like it's not working for you, ask for a refund.
Like
MacDev
25 February 2015
HS 4 is a very nice upgrade and the support from the company is quick and helpful.

However, HS, even in version 4 cannot find hidden files on the Mac. Thus, if you're a web developer and need to find a file that starts with a dot ("."), you'll need another search tool as well.

HS does everything so well, it's hard to believe this invisible file search functionality is not there. Maybe in version 5?

For me, I could have stayed with version 3 since I still need to use two search tools...yet, HS 4 has some very nice UI upgrades that still make it worth it.

Recommended.
Like (1)
Version 4.0.2
Pik80
24 February 2015
Hooray! You can now drag select! (Click on a file and move the mouse up or down.)
Like
Version 4.0.2
Jytx
23 February 2015
Version 4 is great. you can look at the content of the files directly with quicklook view in a large window, I find it more efficient that version 3. Spotlight is a great indexation tool, this is a great search tool for it.
Like
Version 4.0.1
Kaidoh
14 February 2015
Great new version. This is Spotlight done right. You can built complex searches in an easy way without having to remember spotlights arcane KMDItem spells. It makes searching the abysses of my file system a joy. Snippets, Tabs, the quick search bar, the side bar - all of the new features are useful additions implemented the right way. And unlike Spotlight (which, by the way, seems to connect to the internet in the background quite too often) HoudahSpot gives you nice tools to actually do something with the results of your search (view tag, rename, move). And to all that cheap skates on this list who rate the program with one star just because they think they know something about update pricing - you can't repeat the old argument often enough: developers have to pay bills too. Houdah Software is not known for throwing out paid updates every few months to milk its user base. On the contrary, the developer is active, very responsive and devoted to his software. It is tested and ready when released. For me it is an easy calculation. Paying a reasonable amount every few years for a tool, that makes using my computer so much easier is a no brainer. Your milage may very and if that calculation doesn't work out for you there is a simple solution: do not buy it - and stop wailing to the internet. (and to make this absolutely clear: I'm not affiliated with the company in any way - just a satisfied user)
Like (2)
Version 4.0.1
Kp-gores
14 February 2015
so you want me to pay 75% of the price if upgrading from version 3, BUT there is no way to import saved searches or templates from the older version?! Am I missing sth?
Like (1)
Version 4.0.1
2 answer(s)
Houdah
Houdah
14 February 2015
The upgrade is only $17.

A migration tool for existing searches and templates is available from http://forums.houdah.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1286178745&postcount=6
Like (1)
Kp-gores
Kp-gores
14 February 2015
Thanks for the info! a google search did not find this tool...regards.
IMHO the new version should have this migration feature built in
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Drdul
10 February 2015
It would have been nice to know that version 4 is a paid upgrade, like in the "what's new" description, for example, or on the dev's website (maybe it's there, but I looked and didn't see anything). So I installed version 4.0, launched it and discovered that an upgrade is CAD $21.95.
Like (2)
Version 4.0
5 answer(s)
Gary30
Gary30
10 February 2015
In my view this is a valuable utility but not so valuable that a $22 upgrade price for a $29 piece of software is warranted. Using a combination of EasyFile and FindAnyFile I can get results I want more quickly and precisely than I can from any GUI front end for Spotlight. I will continue using H'Spot until they cripple it but at that point unless they reconsider their upgrade pricing, it's "Adios!"
Like (2)
22duke
22duke
11 February 2015
same here, will not update for $22 will use
DEVONagent Express for $9.95 or the free Easy Find
Like (2)
Houdah
Houdah
11 February 2015
The upgrade from previous versions is $17 USD + tax. Licenses purchased on or after November 1, 2014 qualify for a free upgrade.

I have submitted a clarification for the MacUpdate listing.
Like (1)
Memphisbird
Memphisbird
11 February 2015
I don’t begrudge Houdah Software a $17 upgrade fee for Version 4. The update to Version 3 was only $5 in July 2010, and we have had every 3.x update for free since then. While I may be able to do the same or similar searching with other apps, I know this app, like it, and I trust and want to support these developers. Plus, I got a real bargain on another one of my most used apps: Houdah’s Type2Phone, $4.99 when I bought it in 2012 and only $5.99 today.
Like (2)
Pik80
Pik80
11 February 2015
Whether $17 or $22 it's a great deal to upgrade this app to version 4. I feel the product is much better then version 3 and think that others would feel the same way if they spent a lot of time using it like I have.
Like (1)
Pik80
10 February 2015
Nice update! File preview plane, snippets, templates in the sidebar, etc. It would be nice if it was easier to drag templates and smart search to the dock like you can with the Finder's Smart Folders.
Like
Version 4.0
baxsur
10 February 2015
Big feature improvements.
Like (1)
Version 4.0
Gary30
30 June 2014
This is a far superior front end for Spotlight. It gives easy access to Spotlight features which Spotlight itself makes difficult to use. However," live by the sword, die by the sword." If a file is not listed in Spotlight then it will not be found by HoudaSpot. You can force Spotlight to index a particular folder and its subfolders using the Terminal. Here is the command to force it so index a user's Mail folder: mdimport /Users/[yourusername]/Library/Mail This also works with root level folders. However, strangely, Spotlight will sometimes index a folder and fail to find a file that you know is there and which has no unusual permissions or other characteristics. Two search utilities that are independent of Spotlight are EasyFind which will search for file contents and Find Any File which will not do so (but which will find package contents like EasyFind) and has several criteria for searching files. Finally, HoudaSpot is often available with the major Mac bundle offers. That is good because $24 is a lot to spend on such a utility--for me anyway.
Like (5)
Version 3.8.7
1 answer(s)
Big Johnson
Big Johnson
13 July 2015
Well if you thought $24 was too much, take a gander at the price now.
Like
Mtcobra
09 March 2014
When I check the internal “Check for Updates” function on my Houdahspot, it reports that I am up-to-date with the latest version, 3.8.4. Either I'm up to date, or I'm not. I’ll wait until the app tells me to update, because my copy is registered, and I don't want to risk over-writing that with a direct download. Am I missing something? mTC
Like
Version 3.8.5
1 answer(s)
Mtcobra
Mtcobra
10 March 2014
Houdahspot's internal update function is now working. Disregard previous message.
Like
Applestuff1729
09 March 2014
This is a fantastic app for debugging/modifying large code bases. It will search inside files while restricting the search to certain file names or extensions or many other options. It can rapidly reduce 50,000 search results down to the 10 most relevant in a large code base.
Like (1)
Version 3.8.5
Bento de Espinosa
20 February 2014
I use it a lot and it works very well!
Like
Version 3.8.4
Drdul
16 February 2014
This is a far better way to use Spotlight than OS X's built-in search functionality, especially if you take the time to create custom search templates within HoudahSpot. I particularly like HS's support for both Mavericks and OpenMeta tags, and the ability to filter results to see files where the tags don't match. I was having problems with unwanted tags periodically reappearing in my system, and using HS I traced it down to a bunch of OpenMeta tags created long ago by some forgotten application. I'm taking off half a star because HS does not provide a way to disable the tagging tray when HS isn't running. It's either on all the time, or not on at all. I find the tagging tray useful, but only when I'm using HS. The rest of the time, I don't want it hanging around getting in the way (it pops up at unwanted times, even if I haven't pressed one of the modifier keys that I have set to control it).
Like (3)
Version 3.8.4
Mextex
01 February 2014
Version 3.8.3 update on Mavericksmakes HoudahSpot now displaying Finder label colors as dots. AAAH. Come on. This is a bug, not a feature. Please add this to the preferences. I would like to keep the old way of displaying the label colors.
Like (1)
Version 3.8.3
xgman
30 January 2014
Bad marks due to showing spots like in finder. Preferred the labels.
Like
Version 3.8.3
Dalexand
21 November 2013
I have many 10s of thousands of DNA sequences on my computer. So, when I come across a partial sequence (generally given to me by a student) I need to be able to find partial strings in microsoft word documents. HoudahSpot can do this. It has become an essential tool for my research. Partial string search capabilities of version 3.8.1 seem to be much improved compared to previous versions. (Previously I had to run a HoudahSpot search while rebuilding the Spotlight index.) I would also like to add my thanks to the developer for keeping HoudahSpot available for 10.6.8. (I give HoudahSpot a value of 5 stars, but the the star thing won't go past 4.5)
Like (5)
Version 3.8.1
Midavis
30 October 2013
HoudahSpot continues to be a fantastic alternative to Spotlight, and this new updated look is very nice. My thanks to the developer for keeping this available for 10.6.8
Like (2)
Version 3.8
1 answer(s)
Xenophile
Xenophile
27 December 2013
Not to nitpick, but HoudahSpot isn't an alternative to Spotlight, it IS Spotlight. All that's different is the GUI used to interact with Spotlight. Agreed that it is superior to the OS X Finder's Spotlight interface.
Like (2)
Sherman-Wilcox
28 October 2013
Nice Mavericks update to a very useful application.
Like (1)
Version 3.8
Ean
28 October 2013
I love this app. Great search ability and all results are live--that is movable and draggable as if in the Finder. The Finder plug is great for doing quick window-specific searches. My only gripe is that it does not have an easy means of going back and forth between recent searches.
Like
Version 3.8
Anon-Bud
24 October 2013
This is a pretty good program and is very fast finding things. My consistent problem is that the tray does not work. One is supposed to be able to drag a file to the screen edge and a tray pops up allowing to drop the file and tag it. One is also supposed to be able to mover the cursor to the window edge and the tray opens to allowing for a quick search. This only works for a short time and almost never works when HS is closed [it is supposed to work whether the app is open or not]. And now, under Mavericks, it doesn't show up at all, whether or not the app is open. So, minus two stars for this consistent bug. BTW- I've worked with their support, which is very responsive and quick, but they've not been able to fix the issue.
Like
Version 3.7.11
MetroMrX
18 August 2013
It is not bad but a bit more expensive then Tembo. I bought Tembo just for being cheaper. :) I recommend trying both and see which fits the bill for you.
Like
Version 3.7.10
Sanchai
17 April 2013
Houdahspot 3.7.5 update crash on my Macbook Pro with Retina display running 10.8.3, After replacing the download Houdahspot.app in Applications folder and restart it, Houdahspot prompted me to update its templates. I click update. Suddenly it just crash and stop working. Revert to 3.7.4 by replacing the 3.7.5 with the old version also prompt that Houdahspot has crashed last time it open, and ask me to reopen it. When I reopen, it just crash again and again, So I cannot use Houdahspot right now. Help please The 3,7,5 is a very buggy update. This is impossible. I have contected the dev and send them crash report. Hope a solution will come out,
Like
Version 3.7.5
4 answer(s)
Foulger
Foulger
17 April 2013
Me too. I just told it not to install the new templates and eventually it started to work.
Like
Sanchai
Sanchai
17 April 2013
won't work for me. Told it not to install template but stillo crash and crash
Like
Houdah
Houdah
17 April 2013
Unfortunately it seems HoudahSpot 3.7.5 is incompatible with FinderPop. I am working on a fix and will re-release 3.7.5 soon. Pierre Bernard Houdah Software s.à r.l.
Like (1)
Houdah
Houdah
17 April 2013
I have re-released HoudahSpot 3.7.5. This version works around the incompatibility with FinderPop. Please download a fresh copy of HoudahSpot 3.7.5
Like (3)