Windows 7: Explorer Search overview

So far, in our Windows 7 Overview series, we have published the following:

Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more focus items on Windows 7 including Touch, Windows 7 networking and media enhancements. Stay tuned for the ultimate Windows 7 focus from Neowin.net. Here is an overview of the explorer search features.

Microsoft has introduced search filters into Explorer making it easier to find what you want. Sort between file type, size, name, and many more with customized filters depending on what file you are located in.

Filters:
The introduction of filter searches can eliminate time browsing hundreds of matches, if you know any bits of information about the file. Each folder has a customized set list of filters automatically assigned to help return better results in your searches, depending on the contents inside of the folder.

Search Locations:
To help reduce the number of results found using the search, selected folders can be used to return greatest results in locations they selected. Also, network searching can be used when browsing for files in a HomeGroup network.

Save Search:
A quick feature to save your previous search results and return to them later. Save customized filters and locations within the save search file, being able to bring them back at a later date.

Preview Pane:
When browsing search results, take a quick preview of the selected documents in the preview pane on the right to help eliminate time opening and reading documents. The preview pane makes finding phrases or words in a document easy too.

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21 Comments

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Search function sucks big time. I type in a word in the search box, any word and I get an x where the magnifying glass search button used to be, effectively disabling the search box. Oh, I get options to enter more filters but the mag glass button never returns. I'm sure it is something simple but the overview is not forthcoming on this issue. I don't want to enter any more filters. I am willing to browse all results when I type in a word but NOOOO. In typical Microsoft fashion they took something simple and made it more complex and didn't explain it. It worked great before, let's fix it! That's why people get a Mac, Microsoft.

Anyone got in-file search to work properly with PDF-files on x64?
I've tried both the IFilter from Adobe(some old version iirc) and from Foxit but it only seems to index the content of some pdf-files. I think it has to do with the version of the pdf-file.
This really should come preinstalled, pdfs are too common these days.

the thing is, I don't need search for my computer. I need it for my domain or workgroup, to search on shared folders. I know where my stuff is on my pc.

HalcyonX12 said,
I guess Windows 7 won't include WinFS?

WinFS has been dead for like 4 years and its tech ideas what put to use in other products, windows search however retains all the functionality it wanted to have aka instant search, filters, tags, network searching. etc. without the need for WinFS

On August 29, 2005,[11] Microsoft quietly made Beta 1 of WinFS available to MSDN subscribers. It worked on Windows XP, and required the .NET Framework to run. The WinFS API was included in the System.Storage namespace.[14] The beta was refreshed on December 1, 2005 to be compatible with version 2.0 of the .NET Framework.[15] WinFS Beta 2 was planned for some time later in 2006,[16] and was supposed to include integration with Windows Desktop Search, so that search results include results from both regular files and WinFS stores, as well as allow access of WinFS data using ADO.NET.[17]

However, on June 23, 2006, the WinFS team at Microsoft announced that WinFS would no longer be delivered as a separate product,[3] and some components would be brought under the umbrella of other technologies - like the object-relational mapping components into ADO.NET Entity Framework; support for unstructured data, adminless mode of operation, support for file system objects via the FILESTREAM data type, and hierarchical data[18] in SQL Server 2008, then codenamed Katmai,[19] as well as integration with Win32 APIs and Windows Shell and support for traversal of hierarchies by traversing relationships into later releases of Microsoft SQL Server;[18] and the synchronization components into Microsoft Sync Framework.[18] However, having a shared-schema storage system built into a future iteration of Microsoft Windows has not yet been ruled out.[18]

With that announcement, most analysts assumed that the WinFS project was being killed off. But in November 2006, Steve Ballmer said in an interview that WinFS is being actively developed but integration into the Windows codebase will come only after the technology has fully incubated. It was subsequently confirmed in an interview with Bill Gates and that Microsoft plans to migrate applications like Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Gallery, Microsoft Office Outlook etc to use WinFS as the data storage back-end.[20]

geoken said,
Is there a button/menu to initiate the filters or is it only available by typing them in?


This overview is a bit less clear than the rest

In win7 can I right-click a folder and select "search"? In vista this was one of my biggest gripes. I had to do a full desktop search before I could get to the "advanced search" menu. If I want to search a folder of source code for some variable name, I don't want desktop search to return a million unrelated matches from other source code folders... I JUST want to search in the target folder.

I believe when you open the folder in Explorer and search using the box in the top-right, it only searches that folder.

However, I did try searching for a variable name in my code (just like you suggested) but I only got the actual file and it seemed like search didn't return any results of files whose content matched my search. Plus I didn't see any way to show the advanced search pane that Vista has.

When you open a folder in Vista have you tried hitting the F3 key. I think that should open up the search function and it should be set on the current folder you had open. I could be wrong but I thought that's how it worked.

Hmm, are these done in cooperation or with encouragement from Microsoft? Just wondering...

Personally I like pictures and overviews. I'm simple minded like that.