Every computer offers a way to find files. And every system offers several different ways to open them. But Spotlight, a star feature of Mac OS X (and beefed up in Leopard), combines these two functions in a way that's so fast, so efficient, so spectacular, it reduces much of what you've read in the previous chapters to irrelevance.
That may sound like breathless hype, but wait till you try it. You'll see.
See the little magnifying-glass icon in your menu bar? That's the mouse-driven way to open the Spotlight search box.
The other way is to press ⌘-Space bar. If you can memorize only one keystroke on your Mac, that's the one to learn. It works both at the desktop and in other programs.
You can designate one of your F-keys (top row of the keyboard) to open Spotlight, if you prefer. Choose → System Preferences, click Spotlight, and use the "Spotlight menu keyboard shortcut" pop-up menu.
In any case, the Spotlight text box appears just below your menu bar (Figure 3-1).
Begin typing to identify what you want to find and open. For example, if you're trying to find a file called Pokémon Fantasy League.doc, typing just pok or leag would probably suffice. (Spotlight doesn't find text in the middles of words, though; it searches from the beginnings of words.)
A menu immediately appears below the search box, listing everything Spotlight can find containing ...