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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 e-mail 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.

All the leading desktop search utilities have the capability to index, find, and preview files saved in Office formats. Typically, you install a small program, allow it to create an index of your hard disk, and then begin searching. (The index process can take several hours, so don’t install one of these programs if you need to find a file right away.)

Our two favorite programs in this category are Copernic Desktop Search (http://www.copernic.com) and Windows Desktop Search, which is included with the MSN Search Toolbar (http://desktop.msn.com/). Both programs are free, easy to use, and amazingly fast and accurate.

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