Cover image for Take Control of Spotlight for Finding Anything on Your Mac

Book description

Join Sharon Zardetto as she explores the hidden depths of Spotlight searching, one of Mac OS X's most powerful yet least explained features. No matter how carefully you organize files and folders on your Mac, it's easy to lose important items. With Sharon's help, you can aim Apple's Spotlight quickly and precisely, and stop rummaging around in the darkness of your hard disk.

After Sharon explains how Spotlight indexes your data and the "grammar" behind Spotlight searches, you'll discover the many ways you can start Spotlight searches: the magnifying glass in the menu bar, the search field in Finder windows or the Open and Save dialogs, a keyboard shortcut, a contextual menu, or the customized and saved searches you've made for yourself.

Then it's on to learning how to find exactly what you're looking for using keyword searches, multiple-criteria searches, Boolean searches, and more. And here's where you'll learn the most valuable lesson about Spotlight, which Apple has never shared, which is how to search directly using Spotlight's internal search language, making even complex searches quick and easy.

Table of Contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates and More
    2. Basics
  2. Introduction
  3. Spotlight Quick Start
  4. What’s New in Lion Spotlight and Searching
  5. Understand and Access Spotlight
    1. What Is Spotlight?
    2. Spotlight Access Options
  6. Learn about Spotlight Indexing
    1. Understand Initial Indexing
    2. Updates and Reindexing
    3. Force an Index or Reindex
  7. Configure Spotlight Options
    1. Set the Keyboard Shortcuts
    2. Organize the Menu Results
    3. Customize the Privacy List
  8. Learn Search Basics
    1. Learn the Lingo
    2. Master Text Entry in the Search Field
  9. Search from the Spotlight Menu
    1. Basic Spotlight Menu Searches
    2. Anatomy of the Spotlight Menu
    3. Work with the Results List
    4. Open a Preference Pane
  10. Use Special Spotlight Menu Capabilities
    1. Launch Applications
    2. Look Up Contact Information
    3. Access Definitions and Synonyms
    4. Do the Math
  11. Search from Finder Windows
    1. Anatomy of a Search Window
    2. Set the Default Search Scope
    3. Open a Search Window
    4. Use the Search Field
    5. Customize the Search Window
    6. Work with Search Results
  12. Define Searches with Criteria Bars
    1. Add or Delete a Criteria Bar
    2. Learn about Attributes, Operators, and Descriptors
    3. Explore the Name Operators
    4. Search Field/Criteria Bar Interactions
    5. Work with the Kind Descriptors
    6. Explore the “Other” Attributes
    7. Customize the Attribute Menu
    8. Refine Searches with Multiple Criteria Bars
    9. Include System Files in Searches
  13. Type Attribute Keywords in Search Fields
    1. Use Keywords with Attributes
    2. Keywords in the Spotlight Menu
    3. Keywords in Search Windows
  14. Wield the Power of Boolean Searches
    1. Boolean Basics
    2. Use Multiple Logical Operators
    3. Mix Multiple Operators
    4. Boolean Criteria Bars
    5. Mix Standard and Boolean Criteria Bars
    6. Set Up Multiple Boolean Criteria Bars
  15. Save Searches with Smart Folders
    1. Create a Smart Folder
    2. Manipulate Smart Folders
    3. Edit a Smart Folder Definition
  16. Use Spotlight in Open and Save Dialogs
    1. Search in an Open or Save Dialog
    2. Make an Application-Specific Smart Folder
  17. Plan Ahead for Spotlight Searches
    1. Set Spotlight Comments in the Finder
    2. Create Metadata for Documents within Applications
    3. Tag Documents with the Languishing OpenMeta Technology and a Tag Utility
  18. Appendix A: Spotlight Keyboard Shortcuts
  19. Appendix B: Third-Party Search Utilities
    1. EasyFind
    2. Tembo and Houdahspot
    3. FoxTrot
  20. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About the Author
    3. About the Publisher
  21. Copyright and Fine Print
  22. Featured Titles