Chapter 6: Mastering Windows Explorer and Searching Your Computer
3. In the Indexing Options dialog box, click Modify.
4. In the Indexed Locations dialog box, click Show All Locations (it’s at the bot-
tom of the dialog box).
5. In the Indexed Locations dialog box, shown in Figure 6-28, select locations to
index, or clear checkboxes for locations you no longer want to index. The loca-
tions you can index include offline file folders, Microsoft Office Outlook, hard
disk drives, and devices with removable storage. If a node can be expanded,
you’ll see an open triangle to the left of the location name. Click this to expand
the location. For example, you could expand Local Disk (C:) to select a folder on
the C: drive.
System folders are excluded from indexing and are displayed dimmed
to prevent them from being selected. If you enable indexing of the
entire system drive, the following system folders are excluded auto-
matically: Windows, ProgramData, and Program Files.
6. When you click OK to save your changes, the Windows Search service index
adds locations and removes indexes for removed locations.
Specifying Files Types to Include or Exclude
From previous discussions, you know that the Windows Search service is designed to
• Filenames and folder names
• File and folder properties
• File and folder contents
What you don’t know is how the Windows Search service determines which types of
files and folders to index. It does so according to the file extension.
File extensions and file types go hand in hand. File type associations determine what
type of data is stored in a file and how the file should be handled when opened.
When you open most types of files, a helper application handles the display of the
file. For example, when you open a document file with the .doc extension, Microsoft
Office Word is used to display the document.
The Windows Search service uses the information that it knows about file types and
file extensions to help it index files more efficiently. More specifically, Windows
Vista assigns a file filter to each file extension, and this filter determines exactly how
files with a particular extension are indexed.
Table 6-1 provides an overview of the standard file filters. As you install additional
applications on your computer, additional file filters may be installed as well to
improve indexing of related application files.
Indexing Your Computer for Faster Searches
Figure 6-28. Modifying the search locations
Table 6-1. File filters used by the Windows Search service
Filter name Filter description
HTML filter This filter is designed to work with files formatted using Hypertext Markup Language
(HTML). Since this filter recognizes HTML markup tags, you can use itto extract filenames,
file properties, and file contents. Because this filter also understands
<META> tags, you
can also use it to extract meta tag properties within the
<HEAD> </HEAD> tags of an
Microsoft Office Document filter This filter is designed to work with documents in Microsoft Office, including the docu-
ments for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Since this filter recognizes Office document for-
mats, you can use it to extract text contents and properties unique to Office.
MIME filter This filter is designed to work with email attachments formatted using the Multipurpose
Internet Mail Extension (MIME) file format. For messages containing attachments, this fil-
ter helps the Windows Search service identify the associated file type so that the attach-
ment’s contents can be indexed appropriately.