In this era of Internet, most people are frequent users of computers. Many of us use computers
through out the day, accumulating morasses of information in various formats,
which include email, digital photo, word document, spreadsheet, presentation
file, ebook, article, other downloaded files, music, visited web pages, and many
others. We stuff them in multiple folders in our PC. Before we know it, our hard
drives become a storeroom of misplaced items. As a result, finding a needed file
of information some times become a daunting task!
The search function
integrated to Microsoft Windows is not a big help either. It requires you to
know, albeit vaguely, where the file could possibly be located. If your data
storage is significant and you made a search on your whole hard disk, it might
take ages to get search results and, then again, there is no guarantee that you
will find the right file. Frustrating? Thanks to new Google Desktop Search
this is about to change!
What is Google Desktop Search?
Search is a free downloadable small program, which will quickly and easily find
your files no matter where in your hard disk they are stored. The great thing
about this program is by making your computer searchable, this program frees you
from having to manually organize and sort your files, emails, and downloads. You
no more have to mull over where in your PC the information you are looking for
is residing – in your email, files or web pages that you browsed
At present Google
Desktop Search works only with the full text in Outlook and Outlook Express
email, text, HTML, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, AOL chat, and Web pages
viewed through Internet Explorer. Other files like PDF will be probably added in
How it works?
Search is fairly easy to download and set up. The address for downloading
the program is http://desktop.google.com. Once you
installed the program, it begins initial indexing process of your hard disks.
This may take several hours for an average size disk. The one-time
indexing process only works when the computer has been idle for more than thirty
seconds. Indexing for Google Desktop Search is an ongoing process, new files and
emails get updated automatically. The search index created by the program
resides on your own computer.
On your system tray
you will see a swirled icon in Google colors, by clicking on it you will open
the regular Google search page with the addition of Desktop along side with
other search areas. Once the indexing is done, files are searched in under a
second and the results are impressively precise. The top bar shows quantities of
files found under the four categories, which include emails, files, chat and Web
history. The results are shown in much the same way as regular Google interface.
You can choose to see relevant results from all or any of the categories. You
can also sort results by relevance or by date. By clicking on any result you
open the file in respective application software.
The email query
results are the best! No longer have you had to remember in which folder you
stored the email written to John in reference to Peter. By searching for Peter
or John, you will find all relevant emails and related correspondence. You can
read and answer to any of the discovered email from the thread. This really
saves time when you need to follow up to a large numbers of emails each
There are two more text buttons
next to the search field. One is Desktop Preferences and other is Remove Items.
Desktop preferences allow you to choose the types of files you would like the
program to include in its index out of available ones. You can also point out
not to index specific folders from your hard disk. If you share your PC with
others, it’s a good idea to eliminate your private folders from the Desktop
index. You can also specify not to index certain websites from your cached web
history as well. The Remove items button allow you to eliminate selected results
from the index.
The advance search option allows
you to search by phrase by putting the phrase within quotation marks, to
eliminate a word from search by putting a minus sign in front of the word, to
search by file type, and to search within a web URL. A neat feature is to
integrate your desktop search with your web search. This is very handy if you
have already done an extensive search for some information and after a few days
doing search for similar information once
By default, Google Desktop Search
collects a limited amount of non-personal information from your computer and
sends it to Google. This includes summary information, such as the number of
searches you do and the time it takes for you to see your results, etc. You can
opt out of sending this information during the installation process or from the
identifying information, such as your name or address, will be sent to Google
without your explicit prior permission.
What is missing?
I bemoan not having PDF files in
the search process as yet. I have dozens of e-books and PDF whitepapers residing
in my PC, and I really would prefer to have them indexed. That way, I’d have
been able to read materials, when I needed them most.
The other thing I want to see is
clustered result of my query, which shows organized search results into
meaningful hierarchical folders similar to the way Vivisimo
search engine works. This
clustering is particularly helpful for desktop search, as this allows us to see
other relevant documents connected to the searched
Due to Google’s immense
popularity as a search engine, it’s logical that most users will prefer Google’s
desktop search program as oppose to other similar programs, such as Copernic and Hotbot. Finally you can search your very
own computer with similar ease and preciseness as you have been searching the
Internet for quite some