When searching for specific words inside documents, upon getting the results, is there a way to then preview in the document where that word occurs without having to first open the document and perform the search again within the application?

Ideally, I'd like to hit spacebar and have the preview jump to that section of the document of the first occurrence of the word.

Would also consider 3rd party search tools if that provided the functionality.

1 Answer 1


I develop a file search tool that is based upon Spotlight: HoudahSpot.

In addition to the Quick Look preview, HoudahSpot provides a text preview. This shows a plain text version of the selected search result. If you found the file by searching for text content, text preview will automatically highlight the words you searched for and scroll to the first occurrence. You can also search within text preview.

If you searched by text content, HoudahSpot will also pass the text you searched for down to the application used for opening the file. In many applications you can then press command-G (find next) to highlight the first occurence of that text.

  • Thanks Pierre. Your HoudahSpot does exactly what I need.
    – bmxburner
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 13:55

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