SOLVED: Searching comments with HoudahSpot and Spotlight

I have a Mac Mini M1 running the most recent version of Big Sur. I am using the most recent version of HoudahSpot. I have a file on the desktop named “test0123”. In the Comments box in Get Info I have added the word “flubber”. When I search with HoudahSpot it will not find this file. Spotlight will find this file. Any thoughts?

CleanShot 2021-01-09 at 11.17.04
CleanShot 2021-01-09 at 11.16.43

I duplicated your test and got the same results on my Intel Mac mini. Spotlight found it, Houdaspot didn’t using only flubber as the search. HS did find the file by search the contents. I’m going to guess it’s a bug.

Flubber? That took me all the way back to The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)

Yes - the original

Thank you for checking this for me. I did find the answer. I needed to search in HoudahSpot by using Spotlight Comment.

CleanShot 2021-01-09 at 12.19.55

1 Like

I’ve never noticed that option. Good to know.

Update: I’m not sure I have this figured out. I am experiencing wonkiness with search in both Spotlight and HoudahSpot (which I think depends on Spotlight) or I just don’t understand how search works. At this point I can’t really describe what is happening. Will report back later.

I have created 3 files:
Test01 - on the desktop
Test01 - on a mounted external SSD
Test03 - on an opened sparse disk image bundle

They all have a tag of “Gray” and a Comment of “flubber”.

I created a smart folder and used the search criteria within.

When I search by “name begins with” - “Test”, it finds all 3 files
When I search by “Tag is” - “Gray”, it finds the file on the desktop and on external SSD
When I search by “Spotlight comment is” - “flubber”, it finds the file on the desktop and on external SSD

I have rebooted my Mac and rebuilt Spotlight.

Is this expected behavior?

I emailed and received a response from Pierre Bernard, the developer of HoudahSpot: “HoudahSpot relies on the Spotlight engine. This in turn relies on an index to find files by metadata or text content. In the absence of an index, HoudahSpot can often find files by their basic file properties like name and creation date.” So, apparently, Spotlight does not index an open disk image.

With that in mind, a post by @tjluoma on another thread got me to thinking:

I downloaded MacPilot (via Setapp) and was able to successfully enable spotlight indexing of specific open disk image files. Once I did this I was able to search and find files by tags and spotlight comments both in HoudahSpot and through Spotlight directly.

I believe that this stresses the importance of having a good file naming system even if you use tags or spotlight comments. You never know for sure that you’ll be able to search by tags or spotlight comments wherever you may store these files. Can you search by finder tags, spotlight comments, etc on OneDrive, Google Drive, or DropBox? I have not tested this.