Why won't spotlight index nisus?

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dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by dshan » 2006-06-17 16:26:40

Dan, I said I wasn't sure if it was the HFS file-type or the file extension that determines which .mdimporter gets invoked. Your results seem to indicate that it's the file extension that's the key. When it's .doc it doesn't get indexed by Spotlight (because internally it's actually an rtf file), when it's rtf it does; irrespective of the HFS file-type. That's very unfortunate as it probably makes fixing this incompatibility more difficult.

This doesn't alter the fact that the underlying problem is that Nisus is disguising it's Word files by putting a .doc extension on what is actually an rtf file, and the MS Spotlight plug-in apparently can't handle this.

Just to verify we are on the same page - do you have a file called "Microsoft Office.mdimporter" in your /Library/Spotlight folder? Do you have MS Office (or Pages) installed on your system? Is this a PPC Mac or Intel? What version of OS X?

P.S. Of course your results also give you the workaround for your problem: change the extension to .rtf for all your NWX created Word files. Even better, don't create them as Word files in the first place - just save them as regular NWX .rtf files and the problem goes away. You can quite happily send .rtf files to Word users, it has no problem handling them (rtf is a MS file format originally); in fact that's what you are really doing when you create a Word file with NWX!

soulbarn
Posts: 25
Joined: 2006-05-15 11:04:37

Post by soulbarn » 2006-06-19 12:24:06

True enough, using RTF is a workaround - but only a partial one, because in my work, I don't just need to index files that I've created, but ones others send to me - sometimes in great quantities - to edit. And changing them to RTF, while possible, seems like a true kludge.

Can anyone from Nisus respond to this? Is adding Spotlight support possible? If TextEdit and Pages can do it, Nisus certainly can...please let us know.

Thanks,

Dan

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by dshan » 2006-06-19 15:36:14

soulbarn wrote:True enough, using RTF is a workaround - but only a partial one, because in my work, I don't just need to index files that I've created, but ones others send to me - sometimes in great quantities - to edit. And changing them to RTF, while possible, seems like a true kludge.

Can anyone from Nisus respond to this? Is adding Spotlight support possible? If TextEdit and Pages can do it, Nisus certainly can...please let us know.

Thanks,

Dan
Dan, it's only NWX created Word files that have this problem! Word binary files you receive from others will be indexed by Spotlight just fine.

Nisus reads Word binary files, but it doesn't write them. Instead it writes a regular rtf file and puts a .doc extension on it (which Word is quite happy to accept and considers a valid "Word" format). This simplifies things considerably and avoids most of the hassles MS cause when they change their Word binary file format (which they do with most new versions of Word). Alas it's now causing problems with Spotlight and OS X 10.4, because MS apparently haven't written their mdimporter plug-in to handle this type of .doc file.

However, this needn't cause you any problems. If someone sends you a genuine binary Word file it will get indexed by Spotlight no problems.

For example: You get a .doc file from a colleague (he's probably a MS Word user so it's a binary Word format .doc file), it gets indexed by Spotlight on your Mac. You open it in NWX and make changes, you save it as a normal Nisus document (.rtf) instead of .doc and your modified document will then get Spotlight indexed too. Now you send the .rtf file back to your colleague for further work. His MS Word is quite happy with .rtf files, it knows how to process them. You can either keep the original .doc file he sent you or delete it as you wish. Everything on your Mac is Spotlight indexed and searchable as needed.

Nisus's use of RTF is not a "kludge", it's the key to what makes NWX so flexible, powerful and easy to work with. Every wordprocessor on earth can understand RTF, keeping up with all the other proprietary file formats out there - Word's is different from AppleWorks, which is different from Pages, which is different from AbiWord's, which is different from WordPerfect's, etc. - is a huge problem that, so far, only RTF is widely accepted, and stable, enough to help with.

soulbarn
Posts: 25
Joined: 2006-05-15 11:04:37

Duh!

Post by soulbarn » 2006-06-19 15:54:18

Of course, you're right! Even my original post noted that Word files created in Word but edited in Nisus get indexed.

That's what I get for trying to make any public statements on a Monday morning.

The only hassle - and a minor one - is that I'll be renaming my attachments with the "DOC" extension as I send them out to clients...some of them are pretty unsophisticated and I don't think the (correct) "RTF is universal" explanation will fly too much. But that's not a big deal.

So, if this is resolved - though I'd still like to see Nisus index (and create, I guess) native Word files - here's the next question: isn't MS moving to a new standard, beyond DOC, in the upcoming release of Word? While I'm sure it will be RTF compatible, will this create even more translation headaches?

Anyway, this was a fun exchange. I learned something.

Thanks,

Dan

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