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08 Oct 2011  
Bill McClenney

Windows 7
Windows 7 search engine

First post here. I am really surprised not to see more discussion of this, and I have not found any sort of acceptable alternative since starting with Windows 7 in March of 2011

I simply do not understand the Windows 7 search engine capabilities. Perhaps the best way to highlight this is with a current example. I have a large digital library I call my cybrary. At this very moment it contains 16,561 files broken into 1,609 folders and occupying 32.4 gigabytes. A top level folder named "geology and hydrogeology" is the most likely one to have a writeup, a word document, on surface tension and viscosity, somewhere within it. That single top level folder contains 2,469 files divided into 320 folders.

If I open Windows Explorer, navigate down to that directory, type in "surface tension" in the top right search opening and a drop box that contains the words "Add a search filter" with two buttons for date modified and size.

How odd! I doubt I would have much of a clue about any of the dates of my almost 17k files, much less care. Searching by size? Never had a reason to for 4 decades now.

But the search that is then executed not only looks for filenames, it searches within every single file in that folder for the string "surface tension". In time, and this is a very fast system, or just under an hour later, the list is ready. It found several hundred files. I suppose the one I was looking for was in there, but I had absolutely no interest, this time, for searching the text string out in any file, I just wanted a list of files with the string "surface tension" in the name.

In XP, and previous versions of Windows, you at least were given the choice of search windows for either names or within the files themselves. If that choice still exists, it is particularly well hidden.

Am I just not "getting it", or will searches now be sped-up to the point where they can take hours and provide nearly worthless clutter? Is there no way to search a folder and set of subfolders for just a filename or piece of one, only? If there is, how in the world is it turned on?
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