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Force Spotlight to Ignore Folders & Files with a Naming Extension in OS X

May 28, 2013 - Leave a Comment
Force Spotlight to ignore files and directories with a name change

Spotlight is the core of Mac OS X’s Search functionality, and if you want Spotlight to ignore a file, folder, or drive, the traditionally recommended advice is to drag the items to exclude from indexation into the Spotlight system preference panel exclusion list. That’s the recommended approach because it’s simple to use and easy to … Read More

Change Finder Search to Look In Current Folder Rather Than Everywhere in Mac OS X

Mar 12, 2013 - 12 Comments
Searching in the current folder set to default

Using the search box that sits in the top right corner of a Finder window defaults to searching everything on a Mac. Sure, you can click the center Search option after the fact to narrow it down to the current folder, but often times you’re using that search feature thinking it will look in the … Read More

Find Specific System Preference Panels & Options in OS X Quickly with Search

Nov 28, 2012 - Leave a Comment
Search System Preferences in Mac OS X

Whether you’re new to the Mac or just can’t figure out where a specific preference option is buried, you’ll love the convenience of the built-in search function in OS X System Preferences. This is an often overlooked feature that can prevent a lot of frustration when looking for some less-than-obvious settings panels, and it’s very … Read More

Change Spotlight Search Priority in iOS

Nov 20, 2012 - 4 Comments
Change Spotlight search priority in iOS

The iOS Spotlight Search feature defaults to showing Contacts from a devices address book as the top search results, which may be helpful, but that same feature already exists when searching through Contacts anyway. What if you want to show matching apps first instead? Or maybe you want to list emails or messages as the … Read More

Finding Files from the Command Line

Oct 29, 2012 - 3 Comments
Search for files from the command line

Searching the file system for a specific document or file is easy and very fast. Though most users are best served using Spotlight from the menubar, there are times when either Spotlight isn’t working, you need more paramaters, you’re working in the Terminal, operating with a remote machine, or perhaps just would like to use … Read More

Quickly Find What Folder Holds an App in iOS

Oct 25, 2012 - 1 Comment
Find apps and what folders they're in quickly with Spotlight for iOS

For those of us who have a bunch of apps contained within iOS folders, it’s fairly easy to misplace apps that aren’t used often. To quickly find out what folder contains an app, just swipe to the right of the iOS home screen to bring up Spotlight search, then type the name of the app … Read More

Hide Anything from Spotlight in Mac OS X with the Library Folder

Jul 21, 2012 - 7 Comments
Hide anything from Spotlight with the Library Folder

Though you can add anything to Spotlights Privacy list to prevent indexing of that folder or file, the obvious problem with that approach is the file or folder is shown within the Spotlight control panel in Mac OS X, making it easy for someone else to find the excluded items. Another way to hide a … Read More

Get Dictionary Definitions From Anywhere in Mac OS X with Spotlight

May 14, 2012 - 5 Comments
Instant dictionary from Spotlight in Mac OS X

While you can immediately access a dictionary definition by three-finger tapping on a single word in Mac OS X or double-tapping in iOS, the Mac also provides another instant dictionary option: Spotlight.

Preview & Watch Videos Directly in Spotlight for Mac

Apr 13, 2012 - Leave a Comment
Watch or Preview Video and Movies in Spotlight

Modern versions of Mac OS X allow videos and movie files to be previewed and played directly in the Spotlight search results menu. This works with any supported movie or video file type that can be played in QuickTime. To try this out for yourself:

Drag & Drop from Spotlight in Mac OS X

Apr 6, 2012 - 6 Comments
Drag and drop from Spotlight

You can drag and drop files directly from Spotlight to elsewhere in the OS X Finder. This allows Spotlight search to function as a sort of basic file manager, not quite like the Finder, but at least for quickly locating and moving a document of any type on the Mac.

11 Must-Know Spotlight Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac

Mar 9, 2012 - 18 Comments
Spotlight icon

Spotlight is Mac OS X’s powerful built-in search engine. Not only will it find just about any file or folder buried on your file system or attached drives, but it also doubles as a fantastically quick application launcher, dictionary lookup tool, and so much more. If you aren’t using Spotlight on a regular basis yet … Read More

Reindex Spotlight from the Command Line in Mac OS X

Feb 2, 2012 - 8 Comments

Spotlight is generally very good at keeping a valid index of a drives contents up to date, but if you’ve recently restored a drive or had to delete the Spotlight index for one reason or another, you may need to reindex the drive manually. This is easy from the Spotlight control panel, and can also … Read More

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