Frequently Asked Questions

Searching for Prism files using Microsoft Search

FAQ# 1183    Last Modified 1-January-2009

Note: This page is for Windows users only. Mac users should read about searching for Prism files using Spotlight.

Microsoft Indexer. Prism Windows (version 5 and 6)

The Prism 5 and 6 installer automatically installs an add-in that automatically indexes all text in all Prism files (PZF, PZT and PZFX)  including row and column titles, info constants and notes, graph and axis titles, floating notes, legends, and more. When you search for files with Windows, it will automatically find Prism files that contain the text you searched for. The indexer is installed with the full versions of Prism, but not with the free demo.

Details (depending on Windows version)

  • 32 bit versions of Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Everything just works, with one glitch. When you search for files by date, it only pays attention to the creation date of the file, not the date it was last edited. When you use Prism's Save command, Prism  updates the date of last edit but not (of course) the creation date. If you want to update the creation date, so you can later search for files by date, use Prism's File..Save As command, rather than Save. When you save a file using Save As, Prism updates the creation date. 
  • 64 bit versions of Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.  The indexer will not work with Prism files with 64 bit Windows. 
  • Windowx XP. Read how to use the indexer. The indexer will only work for PZFX files, not for PZF or PZT files.  If you do a search that finds pzf files, you'll see the message "windows explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close", followed by a message that says the problem is in prismsearchplugin.dll. So either turn off the indexer or convert all files to pzfx format and only save new files in .that format ( a choice in the Prism preferences dialog).

How to instal the indexer manually

If you want to put the indexer add-on onto a different computer than you installed Prism onto, you can do that. The needed file is called PrismSearchPlugin.dll, and it is installed into the same folder as Prism.exe. To register that plugin so it is recognized by the Microsoft indexing service, make sure you are logged in with admin rights, and then use the following command line to run the regsvr 32 program to register the dll

    regsvr32 [path]\PrismSearchPlugin.dll

Replace "[path]" with the path to that file. Omit the brackets. Surround with quotation marks if the path includes any spaces. 

How to stop or uninstall the indexer

To stop indexing Prism files, use this command line:

       regsvr32 -u [path]\PrismSearchPlugin.dll

Replace "[path]" with the path to that file. Omit the brackets. Surround with quotation marks if the path includes any spaces. 

After stopping the indexer, you'll need to either log out then back in to Windows, or reboot your computer.

To remove the indexing add-in from your computer:

  1. Go to Control Panel -> Indexing Options
  2. Click the Advanced button
  3. Open the File Types tab
  4. Uncheck the boxes for pzf, pzfx, pzm and pzt extensions

Alternatively, you can rename PrismSearchPlugin.dll in the Prism install folder, and later delete it.

How to install Prism 6 without the indexer

Use this command line:

   InstallPrism6.exe /V INSTALLSEARCHPLUGIN 0

Prism 5 Windows: Google Desktop Search

The indexing add-on works with both the Microsoft Desktop Services indexer (above) and also works with Google Desktop Search (GDS), a utility that lets Google find files on your hard drive as quickly as it finds pages on the web. However, Google stopped support of GDS as of Sept 2011. 

Keywords: google, search, desktop, google desktop, searching, finding


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