Ironic Software’s trio of search tools are designed to make it easier to find files on a Mac. But how do they work? Erik Eckel takes a look.
There’s more than one way to find files on your Mac. Ironic Software’s search tools—Leap, Fresh, and Yep—take a different approach versus the traditional brute-force index search. Although none of the three tools have been updated for almost a year at the time of this writing in spring 2019, the versions I tested proved an intriguing alternative to macOS’ integrated Finder.
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Take Fresh, for example—the $8.99 app automatically collects new or recently changed files within the top of two windows that appear when you open the program (Figure A). The top pane presents the fresh files (those that have changed recently), while the lower pane displays files you placed in the Cooler.
In other words, you can purposefully place files in the Cooler simply by dragging them to a cooler menu that appears from offscreen when you drag a file to the right-hand screen edge (Figure B).
The Cooler then becomes a quick-access repository for files with which you’re working. To help keep the Cooler from becoming full, as it’s not intended for long-term cross-indexing (the location of the files on your Mac don’t actually change), Fresh automatically discards those items from view that overflow the window.
You can also conduct a Spotlight search, thereby leveraging macOS’ own index search capability, from directly within the Fresh window. It’s an interesting concept that helps narrow searches quickly, and because Fresh displays a pictorial image of each file, using the app can make it easier to spot differences between similar files. Fresh can also apply tags to files.
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Leap, a $25.99 utility, works differently. The program leverages tags to enable more intuitive methods of finding documents, PDFs, images, videos, application-specific files, and other resources. For example, instead of searching for productshot.jpg, you can search a more meaningful string—such as Acme Filter 1000—that makes use of tags and more friendly language.
Leap search results also boast visual components (Figure C). The combination of a preview or thumbnail and a tag, along with a filename, helps narrow the field and ensures the search returns targeted results with which you can make more relevant decisions than if you were just presented a filename.
Yep is designed for locating common office files. The $26.99 program automatically displays PDFs, iWork and Microsoft Office files, among similar resources (Figure D). You need not worry about the directory in which you saved a document.
It’s easy to save a file within the last directory we were working, whether the document is remotely related to that topic—we’ve all done it—but Yep doesn’t care; it simply displays Pages, Numbers, Excel, Word, and similar files upon opening. When you conduct searches, Yep limits the results to similar documents and files. The program doesn’t distract you with video and image files, for example.
The bottom line
Whether these search utilities work well for you ultimately depends upon how you prefer interacting with your Mac and retrieving information. But the three tools’ approaches definitely prove intriguing, and a little different. As such, they may be worthy of your attention.