Using Hookmark With HoudahSpot

HoudahSpot is a powerful macOS app for finding files and emails. It provides a convenient and versatile user interface. Under the hood it leverages the Spotlight search index.

We recently blogged about the benefits of HoudahSpot.

Invoke Hookmark on a HoudahSpot search result

The most common way to use Hookmark and HoudahSpot together is as follows.

When you select a HoudahSpot search result, you can invoke Hookmark with the usual keyboard shortcut (⇧⌘SPACE). From there you can use any of Hookmark’s commands! It’s as if you were invoking Hookmark in the Finder (or in a file you’ve opened, for that matter).

This means you can use the following Hookmark commands on the selected search result:



  • Rename in Hookmark: ⌃⇧R


  • Advanced >
    • Add Bookmark Without Copying: ⌘D
    • Make Hookmark File (Pro only): ⇧⌘H
    • Revert Name in Hookmark
    • Share

The Hookmark window will show you all items that you previously hooked to the selection — whether you hooked the item within HoudahSpot, Finder or any other app.

Copy Link and Copy Markdown Link in HoudahSpot

Hookmark’s Copy Link and Copy Markdown Link commands in HoudahSpot return links with the hook://file/ protocol.

That is what you would expect for regular files. But HoudahSpot also can search your emails. When you select an email in HoudahSpot and invoke Hookmark’s Copy Link, Hookmark will create a link with the hook://file/ scheme. Those will work, but keep in mind they are not email links per se.

For Hookmark to copy a proper email URL (hook://email/ or message://), you will need to open the email. ⌘O in Hookmark or HoudahSpot will do that for you.

Getting a link to the entire HoudahSpot search

It can be quite useful to copy a link to an entire HoudahSpot search file. Then you can paste the link in any context in which you might want to access all the search results! For instance, if you regularly need to review a bunch of files, you can create a HoudahSpot search file that finds those files, and use Hookmark to access the search file (and hence to access the search results).

If you want to link to an entire HoudahSpot search file, you have several options, such as:

  1. De-select the search results (by clicking in empty space in the results pane) and invoke Hookmark. Make sure, however, that the search document has been saved at least once.
  2. Select the search file in the Finder.
  3. Use Hook to New > HoudahSpot (discussed next).

Hook to New > HoudahSpot

When you invoke Hookmark on a document you are writing, or any other resource for that matter, you see the items you have ‘hooked’ to it, if any. Sometimes, it’s useful to hook a search file to the document. That allows you in one move to indirectly connect a set of files that may be located in many disparate locations. It also lets you link an item to files that have not yet even been created! I.e., files created after you have hooked to the search which meet the search criteria will appear in the search results later.

We’ve described a use case for this in our recent blog post about HoudahSpot.

Adding HoudahSpot search files to Hookmark’s templates directory

Hookmark has its own templates folder. When you invoke Hook to New..., Hookmark shows you the contents of its built-in templates and your custom templates. This is described in Templates help.

You can create new HoudahSpot search files and save them in Hookmark’s custom template folders. So the next time you invoke Hook to New..., it will show you all your HoudahSpot search templates (in addition to the built-in HoudahSpot search template).

Search for HoudahSpot files in Hookmark

HoudahSpot files end with .hssearch. So, to find HoudahSpot search files that you’ve previously bookmarked with Hookmark, simply:

  1. invoke Hookmark (⇧⌘SPACE);
  2. enter search mode (with ⌘F or a click); and
  3. type: hssearch and hit the Return key.

Your HoudahSpot bookmarks will show up in the search results. (In step 3, typing hss* would get you in the ballpark too.)

Simple and advanced

While HoudahSpot is quite powerful, it’s also quite simple. You’ll quickly get the hang of using Hookmark in the context of HoudahSpot search results.

What requires a bit more conscious effort is to get into the habit of defining entire re-usable HoudahSpot search files. That’s a feature that you’ll use less often, but it’s quite handy for complex searches or searches that you will do repeatedly over a long period of time.

SetApp users

If you are using the SetApp version of HoudahSpot: FYI integration requires at least version 169 of Hookmark’s integration scripts.

Hookmark is AppleInsider's Favorite Mac app of 2022!!