HoudahSpot 5.1 Adds Enhanced Previews

Houdah Software announces HoudahSpot 5.1, a file search tool that helps Mac users organize files and finds these if they did not. HoudahSpot combines fast and precise file search with a customizable results display and previews. This app makes it easy to find the right document, photo, or video file.



It’s already been a year since we released with HoudahSpot 5.0 a major upgrade. Today HoudahSpot 5.1 adds a handful of improvements. These are not so much features as seemingly small tweaks that delight by subtly improving the file searching experience. In the words of coach John Wooden: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”


HoudahSpot 5.1 brings better Quick Look previews for XMP sidecar files and DEVONthink catalog items. As unimpressive as this sounds these visual previews greatly improve the file search experience.


XMP sidecars are files that sit next to image files to hold metadata like location information, keywords, and description. Precisely this rich information sometimes makes it easier to find the sidecars than the actual image files. Yet it is the images we want to see. Quick Look preview in HoudahSpot 5.1 locates the image file associated with the XMP sidecar and uses that image for a preview.


The purpose of HoudahSpot is to provide quick access to all kinds of files. It achieves this with searches that can be iteratively refined to return a manageable list of results. HoudahSpot shows search results in an interface that keeps relevant details within easy reach. Combined with previews of file content and text matches, this makes it easy to sort through search results and assess the relevance of the found files.


HoudahSpot is a productivity tool that takes center stage of many workflows. Full-text search and a multitude of precise search criteria can be used to hunt down an elusive document. Search templates provide starting points for specialized searches. E.g. a search for video files. HoudahSpot is the go-to tool for Mac users who need to find a particular document or piece of information in a “haystack” of files.


Find the files you need:

  • Word processing files that mention an “invoice” or “estimate”
  • Image files named “logo” or “icon” that are more than 512 pixels wide
  • Files created, modified, or opened within the last 7 days
  • Any file source code, invoice, letter mentioning a particular client


Feature Highlights:

  • Quick search field: start a search by typing just a few words
  • Multi-criteria file search: Find files by name, text, content kind, author, recipient, image dimensions, and more
  • Easy-to-use criteria editor: Combine search criteria to narrow down search results to the exact files you need
  • Smart location selection: Search multiple folders at once, and exclude others
  • Customizable results display: View search results as list or grid. Add columns. Sort. Arrange in groups
  • Concise file info: See properties relevant to the selected file type
  • Preview of file content: Peek inside files. See text matches in context
  • Saved searches and templates: Use as starting points for recurring searches
  • Fully customizable. Set the default search window to match your preferences and workflow


What’s New in HoudahSpot 5.1:

  • Enhanced Quick Look Preview: Quick Look Preview of an XMP sidecars item now shows the actual image file
  • Enhanced Quick Look Preview: Quick Look Preview of a DEVONthink item now shows the cataloged file
  • Use Templates from Finder: The HoudahSpot Finder toolbar item now gives direct access to HoudahSpot search templates
  • Simplified Chinese: Improved support for searches using Simplified Chinese
  • Re-save Templates: When saving a search created from a template, HoudahSpot now suggests updating the original template
  • New Keyboard Shortcuts: Set custom keyboard shortcuts to start a HoudahSpot search from Finder or bring HoudahSpot to the front
  • Improved File Tagging Control: Click a recently used tag to add it to the files’ tags
  • Text Preview in Dark Mode: Text matches are now highlighted with colors that provide better contrast in dark mode


HoudahSpot 5 is priced at $34 (USD) for a single-user license. A family license is available for $42. Upgrades are priced $19 and $29 respectively. HoudahSpot licenses purchased on or after October 1, 2018 qualify for a free upgrade. A full-featured trial version is available. Licenses can be purchased from the Houdah Software store.

Comments are closed.