If you are having a huge number of documents stored in your hard disk drive and would like to be able to search it fast for quick reference, here is a free utility that you can try. Named as DocFetcher, it is a powerful open source utility that is able to accelerate the searching capability especially on document files.

Once install and launch the utility, users will be brought to a simple GUI. For the start, you will need to index the specific folders with all the files stored into them before the quick searching function can be achieved. Right clicking in the ‘Search Scope’ pane followed by ‘Create Index’ will able to let you browse to specific folders for indexing purpose. Depending on your files and folders’ size, it may take a couple of minutes and good thing is this is only one-time-process and whenever there is any modification to the files in the folders, they will be automatically indexed via a daemon that works in background. Basically no complicated setup is required, but users have the option to choose to scan and detect specific files’ formats such as Powerpoint (.pptx), Visio (.vsd), Word (.doc), Open Office (.ods, .otg), Rich Text (.rtf), PDF (.pdf), Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg) and many more. Besides, there is a way to specify the minimum and maximum filesize (in kB) so that the search results can be narrowed down without giving you the whole list of unnecessary documents. After specifying the criteria, just key in the correct keyword and it will displayed all the documents with either of its contents or titles found to be matched. Furthermore, users will be able to highlight and preview the documents to confirm the correct one before actually opening it which is useful when you have a whole lists of matched documents.

Compatible to run in both Windows and Linux Operating Systems, this is definitely a good alternative to Google Desktop if you work a lot with collateral and only need to search in document files. The only pre-requisite is you will need a Java Run Time environment with version 1.6.0 or higher for it to work correctly. Users can get a free download for Windows at here or Linux here.