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Searching with Deskrule is easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Pick a folder where to search in
  2. Type what to search for, e.g. a filename
  3. Click Start button to go!

The easier way to pick a folder to search is to right click on a folder icon (e.g. in windows explorer) then use Search with Deskrule menu command. This will start Deskrule ready to search in the chosen folder.
menu

Deskrule can search everywhere you keep files: local folders, external disks and network drives, compressed (zip) archives, mobile phones and cameras, the lot! Click on [..] button to pick a starting folder or leave the box empty to search MyDocuments folder
root

Click on the little arrow next to the Help toolbar button to see a menu of onboard Demo videos you can watch to learn how to search with Deskrule. videos

There's a separate "box" for each searchable property. If you want to search for a filename, type it in Name box; to search for text inside a document use Contents box. To search simultaneously for a name and contained text, use both boxes.
boxes

Toolbar boxes (input fields) left empty won't affect the file search. If you don't use one of the default boxes at all, click on the [X] button on its right to get rid of it.
close

You can search using 300+ file properties and attributes like Tags, Rating, Author, even photo GPS location! Use [+] toolbar button to add extra box rules for any property you like to use as search parameter
add

Adding & removing box rules can mess up their location. Use the drag handle on the left edge of a box toolbar to move it with the mouse. Or right click on a toolbar and pick Auto Arrange menu command to have all boxes tidied up for you.
autoarrange

Click on Clear button to wipe out all toolbar boxes (or press <F8> key). This clears any old search parameters before starting a fresh search.
clear

Deskrule is keyboard friendly. For instance, to start a search you can press <ENTER> key instead of clicking Start search with the mouse.

Search results appear in a pane similar to windows explorer for familiar file management. You can double-click to open a file found, use mouse drag-drop, <F2> key to rename, right click for the shell context menu and so on.

Right click on a file to open its container folder (where the item is located). You can do many things inside Deskrule too: press <Ctrl+C> to copy selected files, press <Del> key to delete them, <Alt+Enter> for the property page etc.
container

The result details you see depend on what you searched for. If you searched e.g. in file Comments there will be a Comment column in the results view, helping you understand the matching files

Click on a column header to arrange results by its content; click again to reverse the order. A little arrow indicates the sort direction. sort

Right click on the results pane background (any empty space) to change view mode to thumbnails to see little pictures of files bg menu
Expand the preview pane for a larger preview of the selected item. Hover (rest) your mouse pointer over the Preview button on the right side of Deskrule window hover

The preview pane works for many file types: for MP3 files you will hear the music, see text for documents etc. Use the little pin to dock the pane, keeping it permanently visible. preview

Use Quick filter box next to the Search button to refine search results. What you type will hide files that don't contain your filter text in their name. To show all results (cancel filtering) click on X button.
filter

Click on Settings toolbar button to adjust Deskrule's behavior to your liking. E.g. if you don't like Deskrule speaking out loud its error messages, set Talk enabled property to No.
user

Most program settings are of Yes/No type. Double-click on a setting label to flip it on/off or use the drop down arrow on the far right to choose your option from the drop-down list.
talk

The 300+ searchable file properties fall in 4 broad categories:

You only need to learn these 4 basic ways of input to handle all properties.

Choose property dialog shows system file properties categorized and searchable for quick selection. Right click on a property name to get more information on it.
property

Properties marked with [I] in Choose property dialog are indexed, and will be searched faster. Other properties are a bit slower to search.
indexed

For a quick reminder how to use each search property leave your mouse pointer over the box for 3 seconds, till the balloon help appears
balloon

Once you are familiar with the basics you can turn off balloon (tooltip) explanations from program Settings. This will also hide the detailed description in each property box:
description

To search for particular types of files, type their extension (e.g. PDF) in Name box. Or use the Type box which has predefined file categories like documents or video. kind

Text fields like Name support wildcards (*.txt) and regular expressions. They are detected automatically. For instance test[1-9].txt will match files like text1.txt, text2.txt etc. Using wildcards and regexps is flexible but slows down the search.

Use a question mark ? on its own to test for the existence of a text property. If e.g. used for the Tags box it will match any file that has a tag or two. Unlike other wildcards, this is very fast to search.

Entering test in a text box will match properties that contain test but also tested (automatic stemming), but not fastest. To search for text in the middle of a word use a wildcard like *test*. To search for an exact word without stemming use a leading equals sign =test

Multiple text keywords are separated by spaces; use "quotes" to search for whole expressions. For example entering this that "whole phase" will match documents that contain all these 3 keywords or their stemmed derivatives (boolean AND operation)

Use a leading minus sign to exclude keywords, e.g. in -out will match text that contains in but not if it also contains out.

Searching for text inside documents using Contents box rule is generally slower. Deskrule queries the system search index (WDS) first; failing that it uses a backup slower search mode of its own.
grep

Deskrule uses windows index for fast search results whenever possible. To repeat the search (e.g. for special symbols) use Click for robust search button shown at the end of search results.
robust

If the robust search phase is too slow, or if you want to abort an ongoing search for whatever reason, click on Stop search button it is the same button you use to start the search!
abort

When working with numbers like Size use standard mathematic operations like <=10KB. To specify range use 2 dots: 5..10 matches numbers between 5 and 10. size

Specify date rules in any way you like. Typing 2018 will match any files modified within the year 2018; November 2018 will further constrain to the particular month. Like numeric operations you can write >=10-Jan-2018 to find files more recent than 10/Jan/18.

If you don't want to type date rules, use the calendar control or the drop-down arrow for things like last month. date

To search for folders instead of files, use the special property IsFolder along with a name or other search attributes.
folder

History toolbar button lets you repeat the last 10 searches through a menu. You can also save favorite search parameters. history

Please let your friends and buddies know about Deskrule using the Rate (share) toolbar button. Thank you!
share

Select one or more search results then press <Alt+C> keys to copy their full paths as clipboard text for use with other programs. For more useful keyboard shortcuts check the manual

Whatever you see in Deskrule can be exported as text. Press <Ctrl+A> to select everything then right click and pick Export selection from the menu; then paste in Excel or other reporting program.
export

Simple button turns on plain search mode. Instead of separate boxes for each file property you get only one! The keyword(s) you type will be matched against any text property, be it filename, file contents, comments etc
plain

For advanced boolean searches, use the rule boxes for a dummy search, then switch to Advanced panel to fine-tune the search conditions
bool

To search inside zipfolders and other compressed archives, enable Enter virtual folders option from program Settings. But be prepared to wait a while because they are slow to search :)

Deskrule has some unique search tools you won't see anyplace else. You can search for pictures GPS location using a map, so you can find, say, photos you shot in Australia!
map

Deskrule can find and preview files in external storage media that are not connected. For more information use What is this? menu command under Catalog button catalog

If you want to search just in one item of your offline catalog (e.g. a particular external hard disk) use its media ID number (as seen in Manage catalog dialog) as a "path" following the root catalog name:
medium

If you have any question or problem using Deskrule just send an email to the support team and you will get help. Use Email support menu command next to the Help toolbar button
email

Try putting the search toolbars for Name etc vertically on the left of the window, you might like it better! Use this program option:
vertical option

This is the last tip. However there's much more to do with Deskrule, please continue learning with the manual (or press <F1> key)