Inside Out

Extending Windows 7's search capabilities

Although it's not easy to do so, you can add some internet-based locations to Windows Explorer. Search results from these locations aren't integrated into local search results. Instead, you create a search connector and save it as an OpenSearch file, with the .osdx file name extension, and double-click to add it to the Favorites list in the navigation pane. When you click the search connector, the focus moves to the search box. Windows Explorer sends the query to the provider defined by the Search Connector Description file, using the search terms you entered . The results are returned as RSS or Atom feed items and displayed in Windows Explorer in the familiar Contents view. For technical details about the OpenSearch format, see the MSDN overview at w7io.com/0904. For a friendlier description, including links to some ready-made OpenSearch files that you can download and install for searching popular websites, see "How to Install and Use Search Connectors in Windows 7," by Sarah Perez of Microsoft's Channel 10 blog at w7io.com/0905.

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To search for dates before or after a particular date, use the less-than (<) and greater-than (>) operators . For example:

modified:>11/16/09

would search for dates later than November 16, 2009. Use the same two operators to specify file sizes below and above some value.

Use two periods to search for items within a range of dates . To find all e-mail messages you received in September or October 2009, type this search term in the Start menu search box:

received:9/1/2009 .. 10/31/2009

You can also search for dates using text in long or short forms For example: received:Feb 2009

lists all e-mail messages that landed in your indexed message store (Windows Live Mail or Microsoft Office Outlook 2007) during the month of February 2009. The same technique works for days of the week

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