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Yahoo Desktop Search Leaves Beta

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Yahoo has added the contextual Live Words web search feature to “automagically” find relevant results.

Yahoo Desktop Search Leaves Beta
Yahoo Desktop Search Leaves Beta

The portal company announced via its search blog that Yahoo Desktop Search has emerged from beta. Among the updates included are a battery saver and improvements to document and email search.

Yahoo has placed its Live Words product within Desktop Search, as senior product manager Albert Lee posted:

The idea of “searching without leaving the page you’re on” got us thinking; why not offer a simple and convenient way to search on the Web for more information about any topic, word or phrase in your desktop files and documents? As a result, we decided to make contextual web search part of Yahoo! Desktop Search.


The desktop search product runs on Windows XP or 2000 SP 3+. An optional free expansion pack expands the file types to over 300 that the product can index.

Yahoo Desktop Search works by indexing supported file types. Once indexed, the product can quickly search through them to find results based on a user query. The company has included various privacy conscious options, as noted in the FAQ:

Yahoo! Desktop Search:

•  only indexes content that the operating system says you have access to.
•  lets you control indexing of your Internet Explorer Web browsing history and cache, so no one can see what you’ve surfed on the Web.
•  has smart defaults about what to index and what not to index without you having to tell it.
•  lets you control and change indexing settings including:
     •  only index files that are explicitly marked for indexing,
     •  only index specific file types and not index others,
     •  only index files under a specific file size.


A default install of Desktop Search supports Outlook, Outlook Express, and Thunderbird emails. Microsoft Office file formats, PDF documents, and a variety of text formats can be full-text indexed, as can Yahoo Messenger IMs and HTML files. Media files and several archive types would be indexed by attributes only; they are not indexed by content.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Yahoo Desktop Search Leaves Beta
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