dtSearch: Not Dead. Not Yet.

Despite my love of indexers (and I’m in Seventh Heaven now that all the big boys are throwing out desktop search engines like it was a Bay City Rollers’ reunion) I still stick for most of my searching with dtSearch. It’s expensive, it’s tough, it’s ugly, but it gets the job done. And now they’ve added a feature which might not get you too excited, but for me is key: better viewers (or file parsers, if you want to get technical) for Microsoft documents.

Version 6.5 of dtSearch Desktop (free to those who are 6.x users) means you can see Word documents or Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations in their original glory. Now folks are going to say, well I can do that with X1 or more or less any of the other indexers that include built-in viewers, but I’d like to correct you: You can’t. Well you can if you don’t have big files, but over a certain size, you will get an error. And I have big Word files, all tabled up, and they nearly always don’t appear. In dtSearch they did come up, but not in with any decent formatting. Now they do. (Other features listed here.)

DtSearch, long the mainstay of a once sparse field, is not going away quietly. Good for them.


  1. You need to check out Copernic Desktop Search. Free version is capable, fast, and does the large-file preview you’re wondering about…I’ve been quite happy with it. I use it to index source code too.

  2. Ross, thanks for this, and for pointing it out. Copernic has certainly done a good job with this feature, but it doesn’t quite match dtSearch in my view. The font-choices tend to be rather eccentric and the CDT’s screenspace-hogging interface doesn’t best suit large tables (at least the tables I have). That said, it does do a better job of this than X1.

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