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Digging deeper with Finder searches

From: Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

Video: Digging deeper with Finder searches

Spotlight is one way to find items on your Mac. It's fast and it's convenient. But there are times when you need to perform more complete searches and save those searches for a rainy day. That's when you turn to the Finder search feature, which we'll look at now. You can do this by going to the File menu and then choosing Find, or press Command+F, and there's your Searching "This Mac" window. At this point, it's very much like Spotlight. So I'll enter a search term. Let's say, my name, breen, and here are my results.

Digging deeper with Finder searches

Spotlight is one way to find items on your Mac. It's fast and it's convenient. But there are times when you need to perform more complete searches and save those searches for a rainy day. That's when you turn to the Finder search feature, which we'll look at now. You can do this by going to the File menu and then choosing Find, or press Command+F, and there's your Searching "This Mac" window. At this point, it's very much like Spotlight. So I'll enter a search term. Let's say, my name, breen, and here are my results.

You notice below there's a file names entry. So if I want to see just those files that include Breen in the title, I choose Name matches:breen and you see we've lost a result because it doesn't include the word Breen. If I want to go back to searching everything, I click on Name and choose Everything, and there's that result. You can then add another search term. So we have Filename and I'll add Chris, name matches: Chris, and you see just the file that has both Chris and Breen in its title.

You can also search by location. Now, in this case, we're searching the entire Mac, but I could also search the Desktop. Well, there's nothing on the Desktop, so clearly, there's nothing to show. But if there were a file on the Desktop that included Chris and Breen, that would appear in this list. Note that if you've made a sharing connection to another Mac, you'll have a third entry here, so you'll have this Mac, whatever it is that you're working with at the moment, and then there'll also be a shared item. Now suppose I want to save this search looking for, well, files about my hair. All I have to do at that point is click on Save.

I'll title my search. I'll leave the option to add this to the sidebar, and I'm going to leave this location as Saved Searches. I then click on Save. Look what happens. I've just created something called a Smart Search. So whenever I select this, I will see any results that match my search. Now let's go back to a regular search window. You can build searches using a series of conditions. So under Kind, I'm going to choose Name, matches, Breen.

I'll also use Contains. That broadens the search a little bit. Add another condition, and Kind is Image. This will turn up any image file that contains the word Breen, and here it is. Now, if these pop-up menus don't include all the options you want, choose Other. This sheet appears and it includes scads of conditions.

They go and on and on. So for example, if you're looking for music with a certain rating, you can search by rating. If you do this routinely, select the box that appears under In Menu. Click on OK. It will appear as a search condition, but it will always appear as a search condition because you enabled that in Menu option. We're going to close this. There's another way to assemble the Smart Search. Go the File menu and choose New Smart Folder.

Let's create one that's worthwhile. I'll click on +. Let me go to Other. I'll type in Size, File Size, and I'll add that to my menu, click on OK. So File Size, let's say is greater than 300 Megabytes. So, what does this tell us? Well, suppose that your Mac's hard drive is getting really full, you've got a bunch of files on there and you're not sure which ones are taking up the most space.

If you configure a search like this, it will be easy to tell which files are large. At that point, you could choose to archive these files to another drive or if you don't need them, simply throw them away. I'll click on Save. I'll call it Big Files. I'll leave it in the sidebar. Now, when I want to search for my Big Files, I click on it and it will be updated. And that's the important thing about Smart Folders. They're automatically updated. So as I add more files that meet these conditions, those files will appear in my list of results.

Now, before we finish, here are a couple of quick tips. To search specifically by file name, hold down Ctrl+Command+F, or you can hold down the Control key, go the File menu, and choose Find by Name. So this will search specifically for file names. That means you don't have to use the File name menu that appears in your search field. Apple's Search and Spotlight technologies are found all over the Mac OS and in Apple's applications. Not only can you use it in the Finder, but you'll find it in Contacts, Mail, Calendar, and some of the iLife applications.

Third-party applications can use it as well. Wherever you find a search field on your Mac, there's a good chance that Spotlight is behind it. Give it a go. You'll find it helpful.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

76 video lessons · 21010 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
  2. 6m 56s
    1. Installing Mountain Lion
      6m 56s
  3. 47m 16s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      4m 11s
    2. Touring the Finder
      3m 29s
    3. Staying current with Software Update
      2m 52s
    4. Configuring Gatekeeper settings
      3m 17s
    5. Getting on the Internet
      5m 36s
    6. Setting up iCloud
      4m 55s
    7. Understanding AutoSave and documents in the cloud
      4m 42s
    8. Configuring Mail, Contacts, and Calendar
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring your printer
      3m 39s
    10. Protecting your data with Time Machine
      4m 28s
    11. Learn your way around the Mac App Store
      5m 34s
  4. 11m 17s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      6m 6s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 11s
  5. 23m 35s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 15s
    2. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      9m 38s
    3. Examining the basic system preferences
      2m 42s
  6. 1h 13m
    1. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      5m 49s
    2. Modifying Language & Text settings
      4m 5s
    3. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 18s
    4. Getting notifications
      4m 38s
    5. Configuring displays and AirPlay
      2m 20s
    6. Using Energy Saver
      6m 1s
    7. Setting up Bluetooth wireless devices
      3m 39s
    8. Sharing files on a network
      6m 1s
    9. Configuring sharing
      6m 28s
    10. Editing your users and groups
      6m 48s
    11. Setting rules with Parental Controls
      7m 4s
    12. Taking notes with Dictation & Speech
      6m 0s
    13. Exploring the Accessibility settings
      5m 54s
    14. Listening with Sound
      2m 53s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Organizing your business with Mail
      12m 42s
    2. Scheduling time with Calendar
      8m 32s
    3. Keeping tabs with Contacts
      5m 30s
    4. Tracking your tasks with Reminders
      3m 39s
    5. Staying in touch using Messages
      5m 39s
  8. 37m 18s
    1. Tracking your documents in TextEdit
      7m 3s
    2. Looking up words in Dictionary
      1m 56s
    3. Keeping notes with Notes
      3m 48s
    4. Working with images in Preview
      6m 14s
    5. Working with PDFs in Preview
      4m 27s
    6. Installing fonts with Font Book
      4m 42s
    7. Posting a note in Stickies
      1m 55s
    8. Adding things up with Calculator
      4m 46s
    9. Organizing apps with Launchpad
      2m 27s
  9. 34m 5s
    1. Navigating the web
      3m 38s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      4m 49s
    3. Using Reading List
      2m 4s
    4. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 44s
    5. Viewing and saving PDFs
      3m 24s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      2m 20s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      1m 59s
    8. Working with preferences in Safari
      11m 1s
    9. Managing your Internet footprint
      3m 6s
  10. 8m 48s
    1. Playing media in QuickTime
      4m 15s
    2. Recording videos with QuickTime
      4m 33s
  11. 10m 13s
    1. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      3m 38s
    2. Taking pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 47s
    3. The great utility of Image Capture
      2m 48s
  12. 12m 40s
    1. Writing a simple Automator workflow
      4m 15s
    2. Creating an Automator application
      2m 20s
    3. Setting up an Automator calendar workflow
      2m 31s
    4. Creating an Automator service
      3m 34s
  13. 22m 1s
    1. Managing processes in Activity Monitor
      5m 13s
    2. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      8m 58s
    3. Taking care of your passwords
      4m 1s
    4. Setting up a Windows install with Boot Camp
      3m 49s
  14. 14m 57s
    1. Creating a boot drive
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      7m 33s
  15. 19m 35s
    1. Getting your game on
      4m 1s
    2. Integrating with Facebook and Twitter
      2m 38s
    3. Advanced tips and tricks
      9m 35s
    4. Sharing files with AirDrop
      3m 21s
  16. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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