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How to Search by Content in EasyFind

May 16, 2023 — Jim Neumann
Screenshot showing the settings drawer in EasyFind.

Finding files in the Finder can be done via Apple’s Spotlight. But sometimes you need something more specialized to fine-tune your search, like our freeware application EasyFind. However, some people are confused when they don’t get the results they’re expecting. File types are the typical culprit.

EasyFind has several options for locating files. You can search by filename, Finder tags, or Finder comments. You can even enable more than one option to fine-tune your searches. These attributes are efficiently searchable from the metadata available in the Finder.

But when using the Contents option, people often don’t get the results they’re expecting. The reason is EasyFind can only search the contents of text-based files. A PDF, for example, is not a text-based file. A Markdown file, however, is. So are rich text files, as well as emails, and a variety of other formats. But most office formats, e.g., .docx, .pages, .pptx, etc. are not text-based and can’t be located by their contents. If you need to find these types of files, Spotlight would be the better option.

On a side note, for people searching for less common text-based formats, click the Settings button in the top toolbar to open the settings drawer. Add your own plain text extensions, remove unwanted formats, or just limit the formats you want to search. Or go ahead and enable Scan all files to search them all.