I use Mail, but it has a terrible search function. What I’d love is a program that lets me add layers to a search so I can search for messages from a particular sender as well as for something specific in the message body. Any suggestions?
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Mail has the capability to perform deeper searches, similar to those you can carry out with Spotlight. But you have to know the correct terms to enter in Mail’s search field and the right way to format them.
For example, if you wanted to find a message from John Doe to Mary Smith that contained the word poodle, you’d enter the following in the search field: poodle from: doe to: smith (assuming that both John and Mary’s last names are part of their email addresses). If you planned to conduct this kind of search routinely, you could then click on the Save button below the search field. This would create a smart mailbox where any messages matching these search terms would appear.
Alternatively, you can perform this kind of search from the Spotlight field in the Finder. Or press Command-F while in the Finder and, in the Searching window that appears, enter the search terms in the Spotlight field and then click on Save to save that search as a smart folder.
If all this sounds like a lot to remember, you might take a look at Houdah Software’s $30 (£19.45) HoudahSpot (www.houdah.com). HoudahSpot uses the data collected by Spotlight and allows you to create complex searches of that data with an easy-to-use interface – no need to memorise search terms or the proper formats for creating them.
With HoudahSpot, you can choose where on your Mac you want to search (your Documents folder, for example), and you can limit the number of results you see. You can also save your searches as templates.