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Spotlight on OS 10.4.11 won't index NWE RTF files 
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Joined: 2004-12-09 10:41:48
Posts: 32
Location: Boston area
I recently upgraded to OS 10.4.11 in part to be able to use NWE 3.1, and have found Spotlight an extremely frustrating piece of software. One of the frustrations is that it doesn't seem to be able to index NWE RTF files at all. It picks up titles, but nothing inside the file. (I tested using an unusual name.) Spotlight can look inside PDF Files, so it is indexing.

I checked the earlier topic, but the problem there seemed to be RTF files renamed .doc files. These are native RTF files. They are not stored in tne Nisus Documents folder, but in a separate folder in my documents folder. None of the folders are locked, which was mentioned in the earlier file.

Any ideas what's wrong? Suggestions of things I could try?

Upgrading to 10.5 is not a near-term option because of archives that require Classic applications to access them, and have to be translated one by one.


2009-01-25 07:55:01
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Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Posts: 333
Location: Sydney, Australia
Unfortunately I no longer have 10.4.x installed, but back when I researched the Spotlight-NWX .doc file issue I'm sure Spotlight successfully indexed regular NWX .rtf files under 10.4.x, so it should work. It certainly works fine with NWP 1.2 .rtf files and OS X 10.5.6 Spotlight.

As I recall, with 10.4 there was a rtf.mdimporter file in /Library/Spotlight along with the other system supplied ones (pdf, Office, etc.). Have you checked to see if you have the rtf importer installed on your system? I just checked and this importer no longer exists in 10.5 (RTF support must be built into 10.5 Spotlight given that it does index the contents of RTF files) but I'm fairly sure there was one there in 10.4 (though my memory may be playing tricks on me, it does that sometimes).

Have you tried creating RTF files in TextEdit or another app to see if Spotlight finds them? I'd be surprised if it does, I can't see why it would only fail with NWX rtf files, it must be some problem with rtf files in general, which points to a missing rtf.mdimporter file.


2009-01-25 14:14:49
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Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Posts: 333
Location: Sydney, Australia
Ah, maybe my memory is faulty - with 10.5 the main system supplied .mdimporter files, including RichText.mdimporter, are in /System/Library/Spotlight not /Library/Spotlight (that seems to have some application-supplied importers like Pages, iWeb and Keynote, etc., but not the system ones), maybe it was the same in 10.4 too. Check /System/Library/Spotlight as well as /Library/Spotlight; sorry about that.


2009-01-25 14:24:40
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Joined: 2002-07-11 17:14:10
Posts: 4251
Location: San Diego, CA
There does appear to be a system Spotlight importer on 10.4. I can see it here:

/System/Library/Spotlight/RichText.mdimporter

Which I would assume handles RTF.

In any case, saving an RTF file from Nisus Writer on 10.4 should include that file in your Spotlight searches. I just did a quick test and it appears that the Spotlight importer does not index words in the footnotes/endnotes or comments. Other than that, it seems to be working just fine.


2009-01-26 14:59:10
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Joined: 2004-12-09 10:41:48
Posts: 32
Location: Boston area
Spotlight now appears to be indexing some Nisus Express RTF files, but can't find words in all of them. I tried an obscure species name in one document, and it found two documents in backup files on an external hard disk, but not on my internal hard disk. On the other hand, it found the file on the internal hard disk by name (and I checked the privacy setting, and although there are folders blocked on the internal hard disk, this is not one of them). So Spotlight does not appear to find everything.

Alternatively, perhaps it hasn't finished fully indexing the documents on the internal hard disk -- there are lots of them. This is the first time I've noticed Nisus documents picked up in Spotlight searches for words inside the files. However, I've been running 10.4.11 for about three full months, so I would think Spotlight would have gotten around to all the documents by now. Could the indexing be that slow?

So far I've found Spotlight to be the most overhyped and troublesome system "feature" I recall trying to use in 20+ years of using Macs. The displays aren't even stable; they change after about 10 seconds, as if Spotlight is trying to pick up new scan results although nothing has changed on the disk.


2009-02-22 10:11:41
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Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Posts: 333
Location: Sydney, Australia
It does sound like Spotlight hasn't finished indexing your internal HD. Yes, Spotlight starts returning results as soon as it finds some matches, so the list will change as it finds more. Spotlight was rather rough round the edges in 10.4, I suggest you upgrade to 10.5 where it's considerably improved (though sadly not perfect even now) .


2009-02-23 17:09:33
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Joined: 2004-12-09 10:41:48
Posts: 32
Location: Boston area
[quote="dshan"]It does sound like Spotlight hasn't finished indexing your internal HD. Yes, Spotlight starts returning results as soon as it finds some matches, so the list will change as it finds more. Spotlight was rather rough round the edges in 10.4, I suggest you upgrade to 10.5 where it's considerably improved (though sadly not perfect even now) .[/quote]

Thanks. How long should it take for Spotlight to index a hard disk? I upgraded a few months ago from 10.3.9, and it's hard to imagine that it's still churning away on the HD, although I have heard sounds that make me suspect it might be indexing

I do have a lot of small document files on the HD - I write a lot of short articles, and keep back-up such as interview notes. Say there are 20,000 word-processing documents in something like 2000-5000 folders, plus another 5000 PDFs. Could that slow down Spotlight this much?

Upgrading to 10.5 is not an option until I have time translate the older files into formats used by OS/X compatible software, and still could be problematic because of an old printer and scanner. -- Jeff Hecht


2009-03-05 15:05:05
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