FoxTrot Search FAQ

Everything you always wanted to know about FoxTrot but were afraid to ask


Why is it slow to index?

Please read our dedicated indexing large amounts of data help section.


Why can't I find some PDF documents?

Please read our dedicated PDF Importer Problems help section.


Why can't FoxTrot highlight certain occurrences in some found documents?

First, the occurrences may be found in the metadata (filename, parent folder name, author…), while the preview only highlight occurrences found in the content.

Then, FoxTrot uses a different engine to display the preview, than the one used to extract indexable text from files. For some files, these two engines may not return exactly the same text.

In any case, you can option-click the found file in the search results list. This will show the plain text that has been indexed, as well as some metadata (except the filename and the parent folder name).


What is the temporary index size?

Your index needs to be compacted from time to time. This is done automatically in the background, and temporary disk space is used for this. However, this is paused when other applications have some CPU intensive activities, as well as when your disk space is getting low.

Make sure you have at least 1 GB free on disk, in addition to the size of the index itself. Also, note that compacting large index files ( > 4 GB) is considerably slower on a hard disk (it could take hours or even days for a 10 GB index) than on an SSD.


Why are documents displayed in plain text?

No Quick Look plugin

FoxTrot relies on two different components to index and display documents created by third party applications: a Spotlight metadata importer to get the document's content as indexable text, and a Quick Look plugin to display the formatted document. In case a third party application only provides the former, then FoxTrot can only display a plain text version of the document.

Unaccessible files

If the found files can no longer be accessed, FoxTrot will display their plain text version stored in the index.

This can occur if the file has been deleted, renamed or moved to a different location, or if one of its parent folders has been renamed or moved, or if the file is stored on an external or network drive that is not currently connected, or if access permissions have been changed for the file itself, or for one of its parent folders.

Incorrect File Sharing integration

When searching a remote index (shared by another FoxTrot Pro with a multiuser license, or by FoxTrot Server), sharing must be correctly configured so that the client machine will be able to locate the found files. On the server (or on the machine sharing the index), make sure that File Sharing integration is checked in the sharing pane of the index, then make sure that the three following items are correctly configured: Shared folder, volume name and auto-mount URL. They may have been set to default values that may be inadequate. After modifying these parameters, it might be necessary to quit and relaunch FoxTrot on the client machine.