HoudahSpot version 5 coming, beta available!


HoudahSpot has a new version 5 coming in Februari 2019. It has an open beta available at:

HoudahSpot licenses bought on or after October 1, 2018 will upgrade for free.

Listed new features are:

  • Smart Text Preview: Focus on paragraphs that match your search
  • Finder Extension: Summon HoudahSpot from Finder and from open/save dialogs
  • Recent Attributes: HoudahSpot remembers recently used search attributes and result columns
  • Recent Values: HoudahSpot remembers recently used file extensions, tags, and file types
  • Enhanced Grid View: See pertinent file info right next to name and icon
  • Arranged Results: Group search results by date, size, or application
  • Dark Mode: HoudahSpot looks good in black
  • Touch Bar: Access common functions from the comfort of your keyboard
  • Faster File Tagging: Custom keyboard shortcuts, favorite, and recent tags
  • Compact Mode: Shrink the HoudahSpot window to allow for easier drag-and-drop to other applications
  • Vertical Layout: Show details and previews below search results. Save screen space
  • Fewer Windows: Reset a search. Start over with a new search in the current window
  • New Icon: There are many more noteworthy enhancements. Yet the icon is the most visible change

If you are wondering for the why of HoudahSpot, see, e.g. the thread HoudahSpot – instant buy:

The this quote from the post by @JoelAnderson in What’s your favorite app that even Apple power users don’t know about, but should?:

HoudahSpot - for turbo-charged searching, and especially for the creation/export of saved searches as “Smart Folders” (for more on this see my discussion with David & Katie on MPU #245


I absolutely LOVE this software. I use this so much everyday. I NEVER use spotlight and just passed over some usability issues. Highly recommended to anyone that wants to simplify search and find everything.


Houdah Spot is one of those apps that should be shipped with every Mac. It is essential.


Has anyone tried the beta yet?


Have been testdriving it since the 25th of January (and renewed my license). I really like it. Having the previews of results, and being able to search all Devonthink databases with HoudahSpot are very useful.

For integration in your regular workflows, HoudahSpot is offering extensions in its Preferences for:

  • Finder
  • Quick Actions
  • Alfred Workflows
  • Launchbar Actions
  • Popclip Actions

And just today I saw the tweet by DefaultFolder, also offering integration with sending Houdahspot results to their open dialogues:

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Terrific news on both fronts. All those integrations and new features will be excellent to have. Thanks for posting this!


Well now you can’t download the beta & it’s coming soon…can’t wait.


You can again download the beta from http://houdah.com/houdahSpot/beta/

You are no longer asked to sign up for the beta mailing list. The beta should automatically suggest you update to the release version once that is available. The only thing missing from the current beta is the user guide.

The latest beta is basically a release candidate. Unlike earlier betas it requires a license.


Got 5. Bought 5. Using 5!

Great product. Thank you @houdah.


I just got v 5 and I’m finding it a little disappointing. I had hoped that the smart text preview would also me to select multiple documents and focus into all of their matching paragraphs at once. No such luck. And the actual focusing can’t be adjusted (e.g. adjacent # of words, lines, paragraphs) as I had hoped.

Search results can’t be grouped by tag. You can get around this by exporting results as a smart folder and then grouping that in Finder but it’s a rather inelegant workaround.

Still happy to pay for a program I use daily but I had hoped for more.

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