The default Windows search cannot search large amount of different documents locally. DocFetcher is an opensource tool which indexes the defined folders and can then search quickly for document of any type.
I am usually not a big fan of installed software, in this technological age portability is the way to go. DocFetcher has both installer and portable version, the portable tool can run on both Windows and Linux.
To begin, first index the folders where you want to perform the search. Right-click the blank area under Search Scope and select Create Index. Select the folder and then Run the operation in Index Management window.
The indexing takes quite some time depending on the number of documents. Most users will now assume DocFetcher is slow in indexing. Actually it is slow because it indexes the document completely which means extracting the text as well.
Once indexing is complete, hit the search term and the documents will be displayed instantly along with their preview. You can always choose which file types to search and specify the minimum/maximum file size to filter out some results if you have a rather large collection of documents.
If new documents are added to the already indexed folder, select that folder under Search Scope and hit F5 or you can right-click it and manually select to Update Index. You can also choose to Rebuild Index, Remove Index, and Remove Orphaned Indexes.
It is not a new tool but the new portable version can indeed come handy. Once all documents are indexed you can freely move the folder around, put it inside encrypted drive, or even share it over the local area network.
The documents it can index are:
- HTML and plain text (both customizable)
- Portable Document Format (pdf)
- Microsoft Office (doc, xls, ppt)
- Microsoft Office 2007 (docx, xlsx, pptx)
- OpenOffice.org Writer, Calc, Draw and Impress (odt, ods, odg, odp)
- Rich Text Format (rtf)
- AbiWord (abw, abw.gz, zabw)
- Microsoft Compiled HTML Help (chm)
- Microsoft Visio (vsd)
- Scalable Vector Graphics (svg)
If you are looking for an all-in-one portable search tool, try out Everything.