I have an archive of .doc/.docx files, which I'm frequently using to pull some information. I'm looking for some software that would allow me to search through the content of all these files (Mac OS X 10.7.5).

Note: I haven't tested Spotlight because I've turned it off some time ago (because of power consumption related to file indexing; I also didn't need it before).

  • 1
    Honestly, I'd probably go with Spotlight. If it's constantly indexing outside of its usual behaviour, that might be a symptom of another problem that can be fixed.
    – Dan J
    Nov 15, 2012 at 19:43
  • 1
    I agree with @DanJ: Spotlight is the first best bet. You may need to rebuild the locate database. Normally this happens once per week, but if you power down regularly there's the chance it hasn't happened in a while. See article 2948 for more about the locate database before trying anything else.
    – soxman
    Nov 15, 2012 at 20:19
  • Turn Spotlight back on, but include only the directory containing your Word files. Apr 13, 2019 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


Devonthink - any of the versions - will index the contents of the files (and many other filetypes too - providing a searchable db, including a concordance.


Really can't recommend it highly enough.


I'd suggest you look at the File Content Finder (disclaimer - I'm its developer). It's specifically designed for searching file contents without indexing. It supports all major file formats - pdf, doc(x), xls(x), pptx, rtf, and others. It can also search in scanned png and jpg documents.

Its filtering lets you optimise and refine your search by multiple criteria - file type, creation/modification dates, etc.

Cost: $9.99 USD.

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