HoudahSpot 6.1

HoudaSpot, the Finder-replacement search tool that spelunks your drive for you, just got a nice update. With version 6.1, there changes are both big and small, like hiding the Tag cloud when not in use or improving the legibility of texts like source code and tabulated data by using a fixed-width font.

The update improves the performance of Apple Mail message searches. It can search message keywords and project names. And with this update, it can now find Apple Mail messages tagged by SmallCubed’s MailTags plug-in.

The Quick Look preview pane in HoudahSpot now lets users select text. It is thus possible to copy-paste from search results without the need to open the found files. This latest version also brings enhanced Quick Look previews for files hosted by DEVONthink (and you know what I think about DEVONthink).

For a power user, the $34 price tag for a single-user license is well worth it. If you have a previous versions, you can upgrade for only $19.

HoudahSpot 6.0

You know I hate looking for a needle in a haystack. We’ve got better things to do with our time and for year’s HoudahSpot has been that tool we use on top of Apple’s Finder to get really drill in. The good news is that it recently got an update. HoudahSpot 6 has added support for Macs with Apple silicon processors, giving you the best performance on the latest Mac hardware.

This update includes:

  • A plug-in for Apple Mail that allows HoudahSpot to include Mail message files in your search results.

  • The Tag Cloud, which lists your favorite file tags as well as all the tags found in the current search results. It also shows the number of occurrences of each tag.

  • Powerful filters to help you focus on relevant files by only showing you a subset of the search results, show only those that share a common property, and filter files by name, path, and folder names.

  • Arranged results to help break up search results into manageable chunks, such as by date, size, kind, or application.

  • Sharing a search that you can send to a colleague or friend.

My congratulations to team Houda on a solid update, HoudahSpot 6.0.

HoudahSpot 5


HoudahSpot is an application that unlocks the full power of Finder and Spotlight on the Mac. It simplifies the process of searching through your Mac for specific files. Using HoudahSpot, you can build searches that are as complex or as simple as you want. The beauty of HoudahSpot is that it is a visual process, and anyone can do it. I think I’ve been using HoudahSpot since version 1.

They have now released version 5, and it is a whopper
. There are a number of new features that justified the upgrade for me, including faster file tagging, keyboard shortcuts, popclip support, and I really dig the new vertical layout. There is a list of new features on the website.

If you spend any time at all working with files on your Mac, this is one of those applications you should own.

Find Files on Your Mac with HoudahSpot 4

Several years ago I was walking the floor of Macworld Expo and met Pierre Bernard. Pierre is one of the legions of smart, indie software developers that chooses to ply his trade on the Mac. 

Pierre showed me HoudahSpot and explained that this application was like Spotlight search on the Mac if the Apple engineers were allowed to turn it several notches up. That was years ago and Pierre is still plugging away at making HoudahSpot the best application for finding files on your Mac. A few weeks ago, he released version 4.

While Spotlight has improved a lot since then, it still makes you jump through hoops to find files. HoudahSpot has a simple interface that lays the search criteria out for you before you start searching. 

HoudahSpot can find files by name, text, content kind, author, recipient, pixel count, and many more search criteria, all of which can be mixed and matched on a single search. You can also specify which folders to search or which to exclude. There simply is no faster way to ferret out files on your Mac. 

You can save frequently used search criteria as snippets to use again in the future. The app even has templates to get you started with commonly used searches, like photos or “long lost files”.

One feature, that feels a bit like witchcraft is “Find by Example”. Drag a file from search results (or from the Finder) onto a search criterion. HoudahSpot then matches the file properties and looks for other, similar files. It’s nuts.

There is a lot to like with the 4.0 update. I also just think it’s pretty great that after all these years Pierre can still pay for his shoes by making high-octane search tools for my Mac. Download the trial at the website and see if you don’t get hooked. Also, check out the online user guide and HoudahSpot tips blog for more ideas about how to use it.