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Google Desktop (Beta) Comes to Mac

Google brought its Google Desktop to the Mac Wednesday, marking the first time the application has been available on that platform. The new release is still in beta form, though it is fully functional.

Google Desktop for Mac is a search tool used for locating files on a local drive. It's designed to augment, not replace, search capabilities built into Mac OS X, such as Spotlight and Find File. It indexes the complete contents of files on local drives, including text, PDF, HTML, mail messages (Apple Mail, Gmail, and Microsoft Entourage), iChat transcripts, Address Book contacts, preferences, and more.

On the Mac, Google Desktop is invoked by hitting the Command key twice in succession, though the keyboard shortcut can be customized. This calls up an interface similar to Spotlight that lets users type in search terms. Partial results are displayed on the fly; additional results are displayed through the default Web browser and are categorized by document type (Web history and media files, for example). Results can be sorted by date and relevance, and other results criteria can be customized as well.

Google Desktop for Mac also includes a System Preferences pane that allows users to set indexing and search results preferences.

The software is available now for Mac OS X 10.4 or later. Google Desktop for Mac is free.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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