Friday, June 08, 2007

Google Desktop versus Mac Spotlight versus Vista

One thing that frustrated me when I started using Google Desktop Search was that I would type my search, it would correctly identify and highlight the top result, but when I hit Enter it would open my browser and show me the search results there (instead of just running/opening the top result). Eventually I discovered you could change this in the Preferences "Launch Programs by Default" (instead of "Search by Default").

I guess I should mention that I use Desktop Search as much or more to launch programs rather than find files. My Windows Start menu has so many programs on it that it is a hassle to use.

Now I have the same hassle on my Mac. Spotlight finds the right result, but when I hit Enter it brings up a search window instead of running the top result. Unfortunately, so far I have not found a setting to change this. It hasn't been too annoying yet because I don't have as much software installed on my Mac so I don't need to use it as much.

As much as I like to dislike Microsoft, they appear to have got this right in Vista. The new search box defaults to running the top result when you hit Enter.

I wonder how Beagle on Linux works in this respect?

PS. I normally have my Google Desktop set to show on my Windows task bar, but today it was missing. I thought it must have crashed or something so I rebooted. But still no search box. I checked whether it was still set to run on startup but that looked ok. When I tried running it manually from the Start menu it displayed in "pop up" mode, but came up so fast it must have already been running. When I checked my preferences I found it was set to not show up. I'm pretty sure I never changed this, so I'm not sure what happened. Maybe some automatic update turned this off?


Anonymous said...

Ummm, spotlight opens up a broswer window if you click on the top thing which is a list of the top results, but if you press down and enter to the top result it loads the proper application. Just used this to launch my VM and such

andrewchoi said...

mmm wow, i was trying to figure out how to use google desktop instead of launchy and this helped lol, i agree vista's desktop search is really nice, helps me find config stuff easiser

Stegg said...

The new version of OS X, Leopard, adds the same functionality to spotlight that's in Vista's search, so that the first result is automatically selected. Just thought I'd let you know.