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What makes X1 an amazing desktop search tool

X1 is an entrant in the The Software Hall Of Fame picked by the TechWeb Pipeline Editors. The other software entries are Macromedia Dreamweaver, GMail, Eudora and FeedDemon. A little surprising that Mozilla Firefox is missing though PCWorld called it the Product of the Year.

Did X1 steal anything to become the top tool. Mike Elgan evaluates why you should get in the habit of using X1 which supports 370 file formats, as well as Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Mozilla, Thunderbird, Netscape Mail, and Lotus Notes. You can even search attachments - while they're still attached.

Microsoft bundles a pathetic search utility with Windows XP. However, the Department of Justice didn't consider this "bundling" anti-competitive: It's so bad it actually helps the competition. There are also a lot of shareware, freeware, or pay-way-more-than-it's-worth-ware out there to help you find files.

The problem with most search utilities, however, is that they don't use the basic formula perfected by an ancient DOS program called Magellan. That's why X1 is so great. It stole the Magellan formula. The secret Magellan sauce is to find files as you type and show the results in a right-hand pane in real time with search words highlighted. This is how X1 works.

Let's say you're at work and you need to find that picture of Angelina Jolie you stashed away. Bring up X1 and choose Email, Files, Attachments, or Contacts. (Contacts? Yeah, you wish...) Click into the Search field and start typing. As soon as your index finger strikes the "A" key, every file on your system with an "A" in it appears in your search list. Press the "N" key, and every file with "AN" together appears. The list will keep narrowing down until you stop typing.

Each hit on the list appears in a left-hand window pane with the selected words highlighted. Click on the file name, and the contents pop into the right-hand pane, with each search phrase hit in a different color. Bang on the down-arrow key and you'll rip through the hits.

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