Normally, Mac users face a problem related to using Spotlight to search for document files after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.10 – Yosemite. Look at our tip with Spotlight to search for word files such as file.docx and file.doc in Mac OS X.

The reason makes it is impossible to find word file in OS X is that Documents category is not selected under Spotlight search results.

Access Spotlight by going System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results > Make sure that Documents option is checked.

Select Documents in spotlight

You are now able to find any word office files in OS X very quickly.

However, It seems through Spotlight, you can search for Word file only when you provide the exact file name. How to search for word file by using a suggested text content keyword in Mac OS X? it is absolutely doable by using an external application named houdahspot. Read more…

  • Steve D.

    That does not solve the problem. Spotlight is still unable to index the contents of many docx files.

    • In some cases, The content of file is not indexed by Spotlight due to file permission (File » Get Info and check Apply to enclosing items to change the permissions). However, there a a very simple way to search for a word file (doc and docx) with a given content through search function in Finder window. Look at the attached image:

      • Steve D.

        I agree with you that permissions issues are likely part of the problem I have been experiencing. I upgraded to Yosemite recently and I think it messed up my file permissions. I am the only admin on the machine but repairing permissions with Disk Utility did not solve the problem.
        This morning I booted into Recovery Mode and repaired permissions and ACLs. I think it looks like this may have solved it. I'm going to trash the Spotlight index and see how well it works once it's rebuilt. Thanks.

        • @Steve D.

          I have just updated a solution for your case. We are able to search a word file (.Doc or Docx) via suggested keyword such a text content in Mac OS X by using other Apps such as houdahspot. You can download the full version here: http://kecodoc.com/how-to-search-a-word-file-doc-and-docx-by-a-text-content-in-os-x/

          • Steve D.

            Kecodoc,
            Thanks for the suggestion. I tried Recovery Mode and repair permissions. It increased the number of Word documents that Spotlight could find but it helped me to uncover another aspect of this issue.
            I don't know how many people have this problem or how widespread it is on my Mac but it appears that many of the ".DOCX" Word files that are unseen by Spotlight can suddenly become visible to Spotlight if the file extension is changed to ".DOC".

            I have no idea why this may be, or even how this came about. Just passing it along.
            Thanks again. I'll take a look at HoudahSpot. In the meantime I have been using EasyFind.