If you are an information worker (academic), having great support from powerful search tool is crucial. Unless you have that sharp searching too, you will have trouble to pick that grain of information from the gigantic jungle of information coded in the form of data, sentences, or books.
There are great tools everywhere; but, some stand out in their capabilities than others.
The three giants in the Windows environment you might need to check are:
- Dtsearch (Windows)
- X1 search (Windows)
- Copernic desktop (Windows)
- FoxTrot Professional search (Mac)
- ? Devonthink (Mac)
Personally, I am not that much fond of Copernic mainly because it has no internal previewing tools; and, it seems to consume too much resource of my machine.
My number 1 pick is DtSearch. It is the best in its class in digging the tiniest of information. The proximity search is an invaluable tool to find associated ideas.
X1 comes closer. It is more of a document manager just like Devonthink in the mac than a specific searching tool. X1 also a wonderful application. It is cheaper than DtSearch.
As to FoxTrot, it is quite comparable to the DtSearch. But I like the preview system in FoxTrot even more.
The proximity search in DtSearch requires you to write the distances between the words(phrases) explicitly like Mary w/5 John (‘search Mary and John within the distance of 5 words’); while Foxtrot has a little scrolling window to search within a paragraph, within a sentence or less closer phrases.
One might put DT as a competitor to Foxtrot in the mac. But, I think FT is much superior on the search side while DT rocks for its AI and other organizational tools.
(Note, I don’t like giving links to the products because I don’t want to sound that I want to get a penny by associating them to my small, free, blog….I am dropping these notes because I believe these notes might help somebody out there; not because I have some other agenda. I used to keep these notes in my internal system; i put them out now in case somebody get sth useful out of these notes).