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  • Text search and retrieval

    There have been other threads on this topic, but I think it's worth starting a new one to get up-to-date feedback from those who might have experience in this area.

    Lately there have been some good articles on text retrieval software such as X1, Ask Sam, etc. LookOut seems to have a following here and has allowed many of us to retrieve archived email information in a new and convenient way.

    Here's my need: I write a lot of proposals to do work for organizations. (IT and GIS consulting). A lot of these proposals have a lot in common, but each needs to be focused on the new potential client's needs. We do a lot of cutting and pasting and re-wording from other proposals.

    I recently heard of an attorney who commissioned and is now selling a system that allows him to both retrieve and tag for retrieval (ie. by keyword or date or client) 'snippets' of information. It is the combination of fast retrieval and the ability to grab a chunk of text and 'post' it into a trusted system that interests me.

    I have used software such as OnFolio (its ease-of-use for Web research and offline reading is very impressive), OneNote (I liked it but fell off the wagon) and Scopeware, which was overly taxing to my system. These are just example of tools that helped in the proposal research, writing and retrieval process.

    Does anyone have some ideas for finding good flexible document indexing and free text search system?

    Thanks,

    Zootski

  • #2
    x1 or FILEHand might be the right solution

    Zootski:

    It sounds like the attorney's solution is a database app of some sort (maybe an Access or FileMaker Pro runtime). Based on my hands-on experience, x1 and FILEHand Search are two tools I recommend you look at. Both are available on a trial basis.

    x1's great strengths are its filter-as-you-type feedback and the ability to see the content of e-mail attachments.

    FILEHand allows you to expand and contract text extracts of your files and displays a relevance ranking to your search term(s). It also supports full Boolean searching which x1 currently does not (but is promising in the next release).

    Finally, FILEHand is less than half the cost of x1 if that's an issue ($40 vs. $100).

    Hope that helps,
    Marc

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: x1 or FILEHand might be the right solution

      Thanks, Marc - I will check out FileHand - had not heard of it. I read enough about X1 to give me some concern about software stability and price/performance.

      Once the price gets over about $50, it had better be really really good! Unless of course the company has a monopoly on, say, operating systems

      Zootski

      Originally posted by mochant
      Zootski:

      It sounds like the attorney's solution is a database app of some sort (maybe an Access or FileMaker Pro runtime). Based on my hands-on experience, x1 and FILEHand Search are two tools I recommend you look at. Both are available on a trial basis.

      x1's great strengths are its filter-as-you-type feedback and the ability to see the content of e-mail attachments.

      FILEHand allows you to expand and contract text extracts of your files and displays a relevance ranking to your search term(s). It also supports full Boolean searching which x1 currently does not (but is promising in the next release).

      Finally, FILEHand is less than half the cost of x1 if that's an issue ($40 vs. $100).

      Hope that helps,
      Marc

      Comment


      • #4
        Activeword

        I think this may be the software you are looking for - this info from David Allen's perspectives:

        "Here's a cool tool for the PC that I I've now tested long enough to say it's definitely worth trying out. It's basically a simple macro writer for Windows, across all apps. Type in your own key letters and it takes you to documents, Web sites, etc. It even provides a date-stamp in any app (a biggee for me - can't believe Microsoft never provided one!) There's a lot more power to the tool than I have needed to take the time to explore, but even those simple little things are worth spending the time to get and install and play with the program. Key person there - Buzz Bruggerman, has been kind enough to keep me in the loop all the while they've been developing it. Check them out at <http://www.activewords.com/> "

        Comment


        • #5
          Contextual searches

          The application I currently use is called Scopeware Vision. Don't bother searching for the company. They inexplicably disappeared sometime last May 2004. However, there are reviews (here and here) still available on the product. What I like about it is that the user-interface provides a timeline-based method of presenting all the documents, and includes a preview of each whenever possible.

          -Rod

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