Searching File Contents

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There currently (fall 2005) is no way to search multiple NeoOffice files by content from within NeoOffice (or itself—i.e., to search a folder full of files to see which ones mention Timbuktu.

Because Apple's "find by content" (Mac OS X 10.2 & 10.3) does not search (or index) inside of compressed files (all NeoOffice documents are a series of XML files compressed using the cross-platform ZIP standard), the Finder's "Find" window will not work, either, and another method needs to be devised.


Some helpful people at Apple Discussions came up with some shell scripts and then an AppleScript that will search contents of files. There are some limitations to this script, namely that it will choke on punctuation in the search string and also searches the entire contents of the file, not just the document text.

Shortly afterwards, a full-fledged application to search NeoOffice (and OpenDocument) files appeared. OOSearch is a Cocoa application which "opens all files in a specified directory or volume and searches for a given keyword." There are still a few limitations to this application, but it seems to work well.

Finally, Ed Peterlin, one of the primary developers of, NeoOffice/C and NeoOffice, has released the first development version of NeoLight, a filter for Spotlight, the new search technology in Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger". For those running Mac OS X 10.4, NeoLight is included with NeoOffice/J 1.1 and newer, including NeoOffice 1.2.

More Information

More information, as well as other potential solutions, is available in these threads at trinity: and

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