Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Extra Credit: Find Files Faster with Desktop Search Tools

You don't need to open an Office program to find a missing document. Desktop search utilities index the entire contents of your hard drive, including email messages, Office documents, music files, digital photos, and just about anything else. By entering a search term or two, you can display all matching documents and quickly zero in on the one you need.

Windows Vista includes an exceptionally well-designed and integrated search capability that is available within Office and practically everywhere within Windows. With Windows XP, you'll need to install a separate program to add this capability. Our two favorite programs in this category are both free and easy to install and use—Copernic Desktop Search (http://www.copernic.com) and Windows Desktop Search, which is included with the MSN Search Toolbar (http://desktop.msn.com/) and is based on the same program code as the search tools in Windows Vista.

One of the best features of Windows Vista's integrated Desktop Search is its capability to save searches based on multiple criteria. For example, you can search an entire folder and all its subfolders for Word documents that were saved since the beginning of last week and that contain the word homework. After running that search, you save it and then open the Searches folder to rerun it any time. Here's how:

  1. Open your Documents folder in Windows Explorer and type homework in the Search box.
  2. Click the arrow to the right of the Type heading and select the Microsoft Office Word Document check box. (If you also have documents saved in other Word formats, select those check boxes as well.)
  3. Click the arrow to the right of the Date Modified heading and select Earlier This Week and Last Week from the calendar control.

You now have a filtered list that meets all your criteria. As the final step in the process, click the Save Search button on the Windows Explorer Command Bar and give your search a name, such as Recent Homework.

Now, any time you want to retrieve documents that match these criteria, click the Searches shortcut in the Favorite Links pane and then click the shortcut for your saved search.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account