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For some reason when I activate spotlight search and type in "Excel" or "Word" the actual applications are never displayed in the search results. My Outlook search also isn't returning the results it should. I've read this is linked to spotlight's indexing as well.

I've googled this issue and seen several websites recommending adding the Office folder to the privacy section of Spotlight's settings and then removing it.

I also tried reindexing my entire hard drive using sudo mdutil -E /

I am running OSX 10.8.2

Spotlight still will not work. Any suggestions?

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It would likely take many, many hours for Spotlight to completely reindex your drive. After deleting the existing Spotlight index how long did you wait before doing the search again? – HairOfTheDog Feb 14 '13 at 22:47
does it find .doc files (or the other file extensions that are created by the MS apps? – Nevin Williams Apr 17 '13 at 18:12

You probably need to re-index your hard drive... To do that you can follow the instructions given on apple support site

Re-index hard drive

Alternatively you can use terminal to force re-indexing. Below are two commands that you would need to use.

1 : sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/

Where Macintosh needs to replaced by your hard drives name

2 : sudo mdutil -i on /

It should ask you for password, once you enter the password spotlight will start re-indexing and hopefully office would be spotlight searchable after that.

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