Product Reviews

All Is Not Lost

When you need to find a long-lost document, dtSearch Desktop delivers quick results.

Do you keep all of your important documents in perfect order? Do you have subfolders within subfolders for every category known to man? If this sounds like you, you may need therapy, but you probably don't need a file search utility.

If you're like the rest of us mere mortals, you could probably use a little extra help to find long lost files. That help is here—dtSearch Desktop is a powerful search engine that will help you find any file almost instantly.

You set up dtSearch Desktop using a simple wizard, but the real configuration comes after installation. Your first task is to define your search indexes. An index is a group of files that you want to be able to search. You could have multiple indexes for different types of documents, such as work files, personal files, and so on. You could also configure a single index containing everything you might ever want to search.

The latest release of dtSearch Desktop, version 7.0, claims it can search more than a terabyte of text in a single index. Besides searching through individual files, you can also include web URLs and outlook folders in your search indexes.

Once you've defined your indexes, you have to let dtSearch Desktop build them. This is the only time you will spend waiting on dtSearch Desktop. Again, indexing time will vary depending on the number of files you're including in your index.

After dtSearch builds your indexes, you can start searching. Simply open the search screen and type in what you're looking for. It's that easy. The results come back as a list of documents containing the term or terms you entered as search parameters (see Figure 1). The bottom of the results screen shows a preview of an individual document with the search term(s) highlighted in yellow.

Figure 1. Search results show you a thumbnail image with the target words highlighted.
Figure 1. Search results show you a thumbnail image with the target words highlighted. (Click image to view larger version.)

Sophisticated Searches
Besides a basic word search, dtSearch Desktop lets you do several other types of more advanced searches. DtSearch lets you do stemming, phonic, synonym and fuzzy searches:

  • Stemming searches will return results in other grammatical forms. For example, searching for the word "secure" will return documents containing "securing" or "secured."
  • Phonic searches will find words that sound similar.
  • Synonym searches base their results on a thesaurus to locate words with similar meanings.
  • Fuzzy searches help you sort through misspellings.
Documentation 10%
Installation 10%
Feature Set 40%
Performance 30%
Management 10%
Overall Rating:

1: Virtually inoperable or nonexistent
5: Average, performs adequately
10: Exceptional

Connector searches are also quite useful. A connector lets you search for words that are within a specified proximity of other words. For example, a search for "security w/2 policy" will find all occurrences of the word security that exist within two words of policy.

There are many free desktop search tools available from companies like Google, but the features of dtSearch Desktop are far superior.

DtSearch Desktop is a powerful document search engine that can be helpful to just about anyone. Whether you're doing research or just looking for something you lost, it would be hard to beat the speed and ease of dtSearch.

About the Author

Eric Johnson, SQL Server MVP, is the owner of Consortio Services in Colorado Springs providing IT systems management and technology consulting. He is also the President of the Colorado Springs SQL Server User Group. He can be contacted at


comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe on YouTube