Spotlight is a good way to find files on your Mac, but searches often return more of what you don’t want to find than what you want to find. AskPoirot is a simple Mac utility that does some of what Spotlight does– search for text in files– but has a few handy options in the results that make it worthy of the nominal price tag.
Using AskPoirot is a bit of an unusual exercise. Enter a few keywords, phrases, or a sentence or two into the Find field. Then drag and drop files or folders where the files might be found, and AskPoirot displays an unusual list of results.
Searches are fast because AskPoirot does not need to scan the Mac’s entire disk drive, and it won’t display a huge list, Spotlight style, of files that don’t matter. That makes the search utility very good for finding text phrases or programming code from within a file.
From the list of files in the search results you can simply double-click to view the file and make edits as needed. AskPoirot is also good at finding the number of times a phrase or word is found in a document. That makes it especially good at finding misspellings or entire phrases which need to be edited.
Settings also filter the files searched. In the Preferences, simply select which files and folders you want to search, including file type. There’s a built in Bookmarks Menu which you can use to select specific folders to search.
It’s Apple’s desire to have Spotlight become the de facto search tool on a Mac which has made it less usable. It’s like Google. Even though you’ve searched, you still have to dig deeper to get what you’re looking for. AskPoirot just makes the search a bit less complicated.