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by JB Burke

Q: I have many documents, and now I’m having trouble finding the documents that I need for research. The document name doesn’t always do the trick. How can I find docs based upon what is inside the document? I’m running Windows 7.

A: No matter how carefully you name a document, you can’t generally describe everything that’s in it. Here are two potential solutions to your problem. First, within Windows 7 itself, do this. (1) Open Windows Explorer (Windows logo key plus E). (2) Click on Organize (at the top) and then Folder and Search Options in the drop down menu. (3) Click on the Search tab. (4) Click the button next to “Always search file names and contents (this might take several minutes). Then, when you search, either across an entire drive or a specific folder, you will fairly quickly see all the documents that contain your word or phrase. The results show your search word(s) highlighted, in brief context, for easy reference.

Another solution is to download and install the free, home edition of Copernic Desktop. Copernic takes a different approach – when installed, it indexes all your files. (You have a great deal of control over what it indexes under Tools/Options.) This makes your searches nearly instantaneous. It will index email, spreadsheets, documents, just about every file type (you can limit this). It has a preview pane, so when you click on a specific item found, you immediately see what it looks like – including images, if the search term is in the image’s filename.

Published: Courier 11/20/11 - Page 7C