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Windows 7: Simple file name search

09 May 2011   #31
mborner

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by monelle View Post
I searched this morning for a .jpg. I knew only the number in the file name. You can't very well check for content with a photograph.
You most certainly *can* search for photographic content. It's called metadata. You can search for a particular photograph using any of its metadata, including date taken, date modified, camera model, lens used, exposure, flash, compression, focal length, file size, and the list goes on.


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09 May 2011   #32
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
You most certainly *can* search for photographic content. It's called metadata. You can search for a particular photograph using any of its metadata, including date taken, date modified, camera model, lens used, exposure, flash, compression, focal length, file size, and the list goes on.
True enough technically, if you're wanting to search on the basis of a metadata field. Like using MP3Tag to search for music files on the basis of fields in music file tags as part of its "extended fields" option on its "filter" capability.

In this case I'm sure he was referring to something more like trying to find a picture of his grandmother... by the picture image itself. How can a program know what image content to look for, to satisfy this search criteria objective? I'm sure that's what he meant.

Like trying to find a TXT file that contains the word "Washington" inside of it, which requires that you actually open the text file and browse it during the search... looking for the text data inside the file. That can be done.

But looking for a picture of grandmother... not possible.

In any case just a slicker and easier-to-use search utility (like either Everything or Search My Files) could locate the partial file name search criteria which was acceptable for his particular need in this situation.
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09 May 2011   #33
James Colbert

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
True enough technically, if you're wanting to search on the basis of a metadata field. Like using MP3Tag to search for music files on the basis of fields in music file tags as part of its "extended fields" option on its "filter" capability.

In this case I'm sure he was referring to something more like trying to find a picture of his grandmother... by the picture image itself. How can a program know what image content to look for, to satisfy this search criteria objective? I'm sure that's what he meant.

Like trying to find a TXT file that contains the word "Washington" inside of it, which requires that you actually open the text file and browse it during the search... looking for the text data inside the file. That can be done.

But looking for a picture of grandmother... not possible.
But this is true for any search engine. None have the technology to find an image based on subject matter. But it's a simple matter to use tags. I have amassed well over 10,000 images over the years, and the majority of them are tagged. It's a system that works and works well.

Quote:
In any case just a slicker and easier-to-use search utility (like either Everything or Search My Files) could locate the partial file name search criteria which was acceptable for his particular need in this situation.
I've tried both of these, and agree that they are quite fast and efficient. A thread search through these forums on the term 'search' will turn up many of my contributions to the topic of what's wrong with Win 7 search..

I found its performance so abysmal that I tried several 3rd party utilities. But I was also intrigued by the fact that so many seemed to obtain good results and 'swore' by it. This inspired me to investigate why my results were less than desirable (i.e., searching for a file I could actually see, but win search couldn't find).

I found that there were a few factors involved.

1. My production machines have as many as 14 partitions, which were selectively indexed. No point in searching my Acronis partition, which contains only .tib files.

2. Configuration. Instead of selectively indexing my partitions, I added all of them to the index (which, oddly, is not endorsed by MS). To keep from searching uneccessary files (such as the afore-mentioned .tib), I employed selective filtering (CP\Indexing Options\Advanced\File Types), i.e., I removed the checkmark next to the file type I wished 'unindexed'. I also changed settings in Folder Options\Search tab.

3. I decided to thoroughly educate myself on the use and syntax of W7 search. Very important to my current success with search.

Now, I can honestly say that, between a configuration that works and use of proper syntax, I can find anything quickly and easily. It's not perfect, and sometimes I need to narrow the search to a particular partition to find something, but now, I wouldn't use anything else.


Where search truly falls short is not in it's function, but in its ease of use (read 'setup and education'). The average user will have neither the inclination or technical ability to use it. And some who possess the skills just don't care to learn it or plain don't like it. Nothing wrong with that.

Many here will attest to my aversion to search, so my 'new testimony' is likely a surprise. I just thought that the testimonly of a converted Win 7 search antagonist belonged here, especially since so many of my negative comments are to be found in this forum.

James
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09 May 2011   #34
mborner

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
Many here will attest to my aversion to search, so my 'new testimony' is likely a surprise. I just thought that the testimonly of a converted Win 7 search antagonist belonged here, especially since so many of my negative comments are to be found in this forum.

James
James, it's great to hear that you're finally endorsing Windows search. I know it took a while. I remember way back when.........................
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09 May 2011   #35
monelle

Windows 7
 
 

I guess I misspoke. What I should have said was, "I don't use tags. I don't know which camera I used to take the picture, or the size of the file, or the date I took it. I only know it's a photo of hydrangeas and the number 2742." I downloaded a little program called "Search My Files," and it found it instantly. Why couldn't Win7 find a file called DSC_2742 when I told it to look for 2742? I know I sound negative and obstructive, but I just feel like every version of Windows is progressively more frustrating and difficult to use
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09 May 2011   #36
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

Like trying to find a TXT file that contains the word "Washington" inside of it, which requires that you actually open the text file and browse it during the search... looking for the text data inside the file. That can be done.

.
File Locator Lite / Agent Ransack does both. That is, it locates the file(s) the string eg."Washington" is located in, location and surrounding words in the file(s). It does this for multiple locations of the word in a single file. This is carried out in one operation.
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09 May 2011   #37
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by monelle View Post
I only know it's a photo of hydrangeas and the number 2742."
Exactly. Partial file names are, for me, the most common search need.


Quote:
I downloaded a little program called "Search My Files,"
If this was as a result of my suggestion above, right after your original post about this topic, then I'm glad I have helped you solve your need.


Quote:
and it found it instantly.
Yes, it's a terrific, fast, convenient, user-friendly, intuitive, and very effective search utility.

If you want to try out the second recommendation I had made above and give yourself another smile, install that "Everything" program and experiment.

In your case, using Everything to look for a file which had "2742" in it, you would simply have opened its search window and started typing... 2742 and your file location would have been instantly found (probably by the time you had typed the second or third digit). It works off an index it has constructed, of every file and folder on your machine (other than what you tell it not to look at, etc.)... and it's purely a scanner of folder/file names from this index, matching fragments as you type whatever you want. Multiple hits are presented as you type more and the list of multiple hits reduces as your search results get more precise the more you type, but it's really a fabulously easy and simply way to find ANY folder/file from anywhere on your machine on the basis of a partial or full name.


I'm in agreement with you, that I really used to use the old "simple" Windows search facility, where you put in a full or partial file name with or without wildcards, specified the drive(s) you wanted it to look on, and said GO.

With the recent "enhancements" into a WINDOWS SEARCH SUB-SYSTEM, I honestly feel like I must be missing something... because I don't seem to be able to search for something in the old "simple" way I used to. I know I probably could, if I tried to figure it out and learned about how to use it. But why should I need to "learn how to use it" for simple basic intuitive things that represent 90% of my need for the function? The interface should be intuitive, and you should instantly fall into that basic usage intuitive interface (or wizard) that will solve 90% of your needs. It should be obvious how to use itself and it should be simple to use easily and get results quickly... as Search My Files is, and as Everything is.
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09 May 2011   #38
monelle

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you, dsperber. Yes, it was at your suggestion that I downloaded Search My File, and I thank you--I should have given you credit. I will try Everything as well. Maybe the Microsoft folks are all young. As you get older, you value your time more and more, and if I want to spend my time left on earth learning configuration and syntax in order to find a file with the number 2742 in it (which I could easily do in XP), it should be my choice, not Microsoft's.
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18 Jan 2012   #39
jlua

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Syntax is filename:myfilename

The correct syntax is filename:myfilename, not name:myfilename. I have tried both and only the first one works.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by joema View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dougham View Post
...999 times out of 1000 when I search, I search for a filename, often using only part of the filename...How can I get a simple, search filenames only?...
Win7 does allow searching filenames only. You can also restrict searching to a specific folder. However you cannot INDEX only filenames (at least not easily). The additional overhead of content indexing is why MS warns against indexing entire drives.

To search only filenames from the Start | Search box, just use "name: myfilename", where myfilename is your file. You can also use leading and trailing wild cards.

If you've already navigated to a folder in Windows Explorer, searches are done within that folder by default. E.g, navigate to My Documents, and in the upper right search box type "*.pdf", which searches within your current folder for pdf documents (by filename).

Note there is a powerful search syntax called Advanced Query Syntax. You can use this from the initial Start|Search box, or anywhere else. You can use Boolean modifications like NOT and OR, search only specific file types like folders, start searches in a specified folder from the original search box, etc. See: Advanced Query Syntax

If you want a fast, simple, filename-only indexer there are several available 3rd party tools. I use "Everything.exe", which is free and runs OK on Win7: Everything Search Engine
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15 Aug 2014   #40
donfrench

windows 7 starter
 
 
Most irritating thing about Windows 7 and Vista

It really, really irritates me that MS did not offer the option to use the old tried and true file search system. Just as an option if nothing else. It worked great - you could search for files by name or by content. It had a simple drop-down menu of choices for types of things to search for - like Folder for example, which I often need. I use file search A LOT and the original was as comfortable as an old pair of jeans. I get screaming mad at the current abomination. And for those who bought a Sony laptop it doesn't at all because of the way they protected the file system. Horrifying as hell.
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