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Digging deeper with Finder searches

From: Mac OS X 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 are going to look at now. To invoke that you can go to the File menu within the Finder and choose Find or you can type Command+F. This works pretty much the way you'd use Spotlight. Go under Search term, and you see this entry in the menu that appears below.

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 are going to look at now. To invoke that you can go to the File menu within the Finder and choose Find or you can type Command+F. This works pretty much the way you'd use Spotlight. Go under Search term, and you see this entry in the menu that appears below.

It says Filename Contains. This is important. If you're looking for a file that contains the search term, select this option. If you don't, and as you can see, in the window, you get not only files that contain the name, but also files that have that term within them somewhere. So we'll select Filename Contains. You can also choose where you are going to search. By default, you will search your entire Mac, but you also search the environment you're searching from. So in this case it would be Desktop or you can choose Shared.

We will go back to the entire Mac. I will go up to Name and we are going choose Everything, so we can see all the files that contain my name. Now you see these pop-up menus below. This allows you to narrow your search. So Kind in this case is we are going to look for Images. It turns up then just pictures that contain my name. You can also save your searches. So to do that click Save and name your search. It will go on the Save Searches folder, but you can also add it to the sidebar.

Add it over here, and whatever I'm looking for me on this computer, by name, I can click that and pull up that list of files. Back to Find window. Using the Search window, you can also build searches. So let's say I will enter iPad. That will be for everything. So Kind is Any. Click the plus button. We'll say that the name contains template, and that pulls up that one file.

So this is another way of narrowing my search. Now there are other things you can search for using these pop-up menus and I find this really helpful in this one case. So I'll go to the first pop-up menu. I choose Other and down comes a sheet of all the things that I can search for. And you can see it's a very, long list. Well, there is one thing that I always want to search for, and I want to search within my Library folder and within my System folder, but by default the Mac won't do that. So all I have to do is type in system. When I do that, I see that I can search for system files, and again, it will look in the System folder.

It will also look in Library folders. I then enable the In menu and click OK. So by default, it will say system files are not included, but I can also add are included, and you see when I do that, a whole bunch of files appear that weren't there before and that's because they were contained in a Library folder or in the System folder. So if you're doing a very deep search, this is worth adding. You could also look for things by size.

So I go to Other, type in size, File Size. I am going to add that and click OK. So let's say I'm looking for really big files that are on my Mac. Okay, I want them to be greater than let's say 300 megabytes. This shows me where I've got big files, and this is worthwhile, because let's suppose your hard drive has become crammed full of stuff and it's getting really, really full.

This is a quick way to find out what's taking up a lot of space on your hard drive. You may go through these things and find well, I don't really need that file after all, so this is one way that you can get rid of them. Again you can save this. We'll call it Big Files, put it in Saved Searches, plus add it to the sidebar, and now once again we've got another search. So when were looking for big files, we can use that. Before we finish up, I will close that. And a couple of tips. To search specifically by filename, hold down Control+Command+F. And when you do that you are going to search by file name, and you can tell that will work, because if you hold down the Control key, you will see that the Find command changes to Find by Name.

So in this case all search results return only those files that include the search term in their name. Now I mentioned saving searches. Another way to do that is build one of these searches through a Smart Search, and it looks like this. New Smart Folder and then you define what you're looking for. So the same idea, you can gang together searches and then you can save them, and it's added as a Smart Search.

Apple's search and Spotlight technologies are found all over Mac OS and in Apple's applications. Not only can you find used for it in the Finder, but you'll find it in Address Book, Mail, iCal, and some of the iLife applications. Third-party applications can use it as well. Wherever you find a search field on your Mac, there is a very good chance that Spotlight is behind it. Give it a go and I think you'll find it helpful.

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This video is part of

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

72 video lessons · 31029 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
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  1. 1m 26s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 4m 42s
    1. Installing Lion
      4m 42s
  3. 44m 44s
    1. Touring the Finder
      10m 19s
    2. Launching and working with apps
      4m 22s
    3. Sorting and starting apps with Launchpad
      3m 13s
    4. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      4m 35s
    5. Using trackpad gestures
      8m 22s
    6. Using mouse gestures
      2m 22s
    7. Understanding file saving in Lion
      4m 35s
    8. Using Text to Speech
      3m 9s
    9. Installing software
      3m 47s
  4. 26m 51s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      7m 31s
    2. Staying current with Software Update
      4m 13s
    3. Configuring Mail, Address Book, and iCal
      5m 2s
    4. Setting up printers
      3m 39s
    5. Backing up with Time Machine
      6m 26s
  5. 10m 49s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      5m 16s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 33s
  6. 39m 6s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 14s
    2. Optimizing Mission Control preferences
      3m 42s
    3. Configuring basic Audio and Video preferences
      4m 34s
    4. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      7m 45s
    5. Configuring Bluetooth input devices
      2m 36s
    6. Modifying Date & Time Preferences
      2m 38s
    7. Getting on the internet
      3m 56s
    8. Using an alternate startup disk
      2m 41s
  7. 3m 22s
    1. Understanding Dashboard widgets
      3m 22s
  8. 23m 20s
    1. Navigating the interface
      6m 30s
    2. Filtering junk mail and sorting messages with rules
      4m 22s
    3. Scheduling appointments with iCal
      6m 38s
    4. Organizing contacts with Address Book
      5m 50s
  9. 37m 5s
    1. Basic word processing in TextEdit
      7m 56s
    2. Using Dictionary
      2m 51s
    3. Preview: Working with images
      6m 20s
    4. Preview: Working with PDFs
      6m 13s
    5. Installing and managing fonts
      5m 37s
    6. Creating quick notes using Stickies
      3m 24s
    7. Using Calculator
      4m 44s
  10. 34m 27s
    1. Navigating the web
      4m 49s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      7m 15s
    3. Adding and reading RSS feeds
      2m 38s
    4. Using Reading List
      3m 7s
    5. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 15s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      3m 13s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      2m 33s
    8. Working with Safari's preferences
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring privacy settings
      5m 4s
  11. 13m 45s
    1. Playing media
      9m 3s
    2. Recording
      4m 42s
  12. 18m 26s
    1. Video chatting in FaceTime
      5m 26s
    2. Text and video messaging in iChat
      9m 6s
    3. Shooting videos and pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 54s
  13. 12m 46s
    1. Automating complex tasks
      12m 46s
  14. 13m 55s
    1. Monitoring system performance
      3m 20s
    2. Setting up a Windows installation in Boot Camp
      3m 49s
    3. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      6m 46s
  15. 15m 55s
    1. Understanding sharing
      4m 59s
    2. Sharing files on a network
      3m 23s
    3. Screen sharing with a remote computer
      4m 7s
    4. Sending files with AirDrop
      3m 26s
  16. 38m 47s
    1. Modifying Language & Text settings
      6m 38s
    2. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 24s
    3. Configuring access for for the disabled
      7m 23s
    4. Using Energy Saver
      4m 42s
    5. Adding and changing users
      6m 19s
    6. Configuring Parental Controls
      7m 21s
  17. 18m 33s
    1. Preventive measures: Creating a Lion boot drive
      7m 40s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      3m 6s
    3. Troubleshooting techniques
      7m 47s
  18. 6m 11s
    1. Techniques for using the Mac efficiently
      5m 22s
    2. Next steps
      49s

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