Do you hate the search “feature” they put in Windows 7/8? I think it’s terrible and slow. Since Google Desktop was discontinued–hold on, let me take a moment to grieve–it’s been a sad, slow, opaque world for me. While Outlook search has improved greatly, I think because they integrated LookOut, searching through Windows Explorer is painful. It takes too long, returns too many false positives and has a pointlessly complicated syntax for refined search.
I’ve looked around for a good free alternative, and I’ve come to rely on Agent Ransack. It’s zippy, bare bones ugly the way I like it, and has a great name to boot. Once installed, you can access it through the right-click menu.
Try it, I think you’ll like it.
Pro-tip: the hotkey is the letter “a” so you can right-click on a folder and type “a” to get to the search box fast. Or, if you’re in no-mouse/keyboard-only mode, hit the menu key to the left of the spacebar and tap “a.”
Here are some search alternatives, but I haven’t tried them myself.
And here’s the crazy syntax for making Windows search behave.
For Windows users who have had the good fortune to work on Macs:
Ever wish you could drag a file onto an application to open it in said application? Or just wanted to move a file to a new folder that’s hidden under other folders? Frustrated that Windows thinks you’re trying to add a shortcut to the taskbar instead? Do this:
Drag the file to the taskbar (to the folder or application tab in the taskbar, specifically) and wait a second with the mouse button still down. The folder or app will come into focus, and you can drag the file there.
Folder Menu 3 (Windows)
This is a huge timesaver. Free download lets you create a custom menu of folder and file locations, accessibly with a click of the middle mouse button. Works in explorer, of course, but also dialog boxes. Go get it.
Do you work in an office that uses Windows? Often find yourself emailing people locations of files on a server? Try this shortcut:
- Open the folder that has the file you want.
- Start a new email.
- Use the right mouse button (not the usual left button) to drag the file to the email window.
- When you release the button you’ll see a contextual menu–choose “Create Hyperlink Here.”
The file path will paste into the email, and the recipient can click to open the file directly.