DK Finder: superfast desktop file search


DK Finder is a desktop search program that employs a sophisticated indexing algorithm to deliver lightning fast search results. It is primarily designed to find files on your system but can also search for keywords contained within files.

The program can also perform a number of excellent file-related operations on search results that go beyond moving and copying to include group-operations, advanced filtering, and exporting results as a collection of shortcuts.

Searching for files on a computer is something that everyone needs (or needed at some point or another). Most people have used the search that comes with Windows which, unfortunately, is sub-par to say the least in terms of performance.

Then there are programs such as Google Desktop and Windows Desktop Search which, in my experience are resource hungry widget-engines in disguise that have the ulterior agenda of “integrating” your desktop with the internet – which might sound ok, until you find that the desktop search program has taken over your system. (Needless to say Google Desktop did not linger for a long time on my computer before I uninstalled it).

Alternately, I would venture to guess that 99% of most people’s desktop search needs revolve around finding files on a computer and filtering results quickly. If this is what you are after I present you with DK Finder, a small, lightning-fast, and powerful desktop search program with some nice features. Here are more notes on this program.

  • The technology: DK Finder is an “indexing” search program that scans your hard drive(s), ’learns’ what’s there and stores it in an index. This means that you will need to perform periodical partial “smart reindexing” at times to keep it up to date.
  • DKFinder filteringFiltering: is one of the strongest aspects of this program. A name filtering box allows you to specify multiple criteria simultaneously, including (/) and (-) for “or” and exclusion, respectively (see image to the right). You can also filter by size and date and/or by keywords inside the files themselves, and finally you can click the column headers to sort your results. Rather powerful and very cool.
  • Performance: search results are almost instantaneous, however, the initial indexing when you first install the program will typically take a few minutes; subsequent reindexing, however (i.e updating the index) will typically take a few seconds (an average of approx 5 seconds on my machine, but this will vary). You can also run a full low-level indexing/re-indexing in the background.
  • File operations: this is one of the most interesting aspects of this program. Aside from the usual copying/moving operations, DK Finder has the ability to create and save shortcut collections for marked files that can be saved into a folder.
  • Where to search: because performing a search provides (almost) instantaneous results, narrowing in on a location for your search scope is done through the filtering function (see above). However, you can specify the folder locations on your hard drives which you might want excluded from the indexing process.
  • Defining filetypes: DK Finder allows you to specify presets that bring a number of extensions together. For example “video files” is by default associated with avi, mpg, mpeg, divx, dvx and mov extensions, and used in a search will pull results for those filetypes. You can define your own presets and/or edit existing ones. You can also define the application used to view, execute, or edit each group of filetypes, such that it can be invoked from the search results within DK Finder.
  • Help: the help file is short and sweet, but what is even nicer is that you can either hover over an element to either get an explanatory tooltip or, if a question mark appears instead, you can click that to get a popup window with information.

Wish list:

  • Shell integration in the right-click context menu: I still find myself wanting to right click a folder to search it recursively.
  • A portable version would be cool (if you need a portable indexing desktop search try “Index Your Files“.

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict:

when it comes to good freeware desktop search options we are spoilt for choice. Some of my favorites are Locate32, Index Your Files, and Agent Ransack (the first two are indexing search apps similar in their approach to DK Finder). Locate32 in particular is a great program, but after using both I prefer this one for two reasons (1) its has a nice user interface and filter box, and (2) if offers a great collection of post-search file operations in the context menu. DK Finder is a very useful and efficient program that delivers an excellent user experience. Highly recommended.

Version Tested:

Compatibility: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista.

Go to the DK Finder page to download the latest version (approx 963K).