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smart folder limitations
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ctbritt
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May 4, 2005, 07:57 AM
 
So I'm trying to make a smart folder, which will include phrase "X Y Z" and I want it to include Word docs, emails, contacts associated with emails, etc. Is this possible? I can't seem to figure out how to do it. Or are Smart Folders only for documents, not bits of Apple's databases?

thanks,
Christopher Allbritton
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sieb
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May 4, 2005, 08:34 AM
 
Hm.. Spotlight will find my emails, but a SmartFolder won't.. odd..
Sieb
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m.brown
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May 4, 2005, 08:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by ctbritt
So I'm trying to make a smart folder, which will include phrase "X Y Z" and I want it to include Word docs, emails, contacts associated with emails, etc. Is this possible? I can't seem to figure out how to do it. Or are Smart Folders only for documents, not bits of Apple's databases?

thanks,
No, you can include many different kinds of data such as word documents, ical appointments, address book entries etc. You can refine what you are searching for in the Finder/Desktop by clicking on the + (Add Search Criteria) after you have run a search. This will add a bar to the top of the Finder window where you can add/remove various attributes to refine your search.

See page 7 of Apple's Spotlight PDF

STRANGELY, however, using Spotlight in the Finder/Desktop (for me at least) doesn't allow the addition of mail messages to the search, nor does it find mail messages. In fact when you choose Kind > Others and click on the search/drop down menu it lists many different data types/attributes, but not mail messages.
     
ctbritt  (op)
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May 4, 2005, 08:51 AM
 
Which is exactly my point. How does one include mail messages. Note, Entourage Mail Messages are included in the list of "Other..." categories you can choose, but not Apple Mail.
Christopher Allbritton
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Erik Vlietinck
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May 4, 2005, 08:55 AM
 
And if you use the method described by m.brown you will encounter strange results. Try this: search for something you know is a document (make sure the list is short or you end up with a less than practical example). Then click on the Plus sign and select Documents from the "Kind" popup. Look at the list and remember what's in there. Now select "Other" from the "Kind" popup (actually, the button next to Kind). Enter "doc". Spotlight will autocomplete to "document".

Look at the list. On my system, the list contains other documents than with the first criteria. BAD SHOW, Apple!
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m.brown
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May 4, 2005, 08:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by ctbritt
Which is exactly my point. How does one include mail messages. Note, Entourage Mail Messages are included in the list of "Other..." categories you can choose, but not Apple Mail.
It appears that you can't. You can Spotlight mail messages from the menu bar, but can't via the Finder.
     
m.brown
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May 4, 2005, 09:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Erik Vlietinck
And if you use the method described by m.brown you will encounter strange results.
I'm not sure why you would encounter strange results. The method I detailed allows you to refine a search down to a specific attribute if you desire.

I should have been clear that I wasn't posting methodology for ctbritt to follow to develop his smart folders, rather I was trying to demonstrate how you can refine your search to specific attributes *and* that when you use this method there is no "mail message" attribute listed.

Sorry for any confusion caused.

Mike
     
m.brown
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May 4, 2005, 09:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by ctbritt
So I'm trying to make a smart folder, which will include phrase "X Y Z" and I want it to include Word docs, emails, contacts associated with emails, etc. Is this possible? I can't seem to figure out how to do it. Or are Smart Folders only for documents, not bits of Apple's databases?

thanks,
One way round the problem of not being able to search for mail messages with Spotlight in the Finder would be to use Automator to build a Spotlight workflow, and then save the workflow as a finder plugin.

It's not as elegant as using the Finder SmartFolder though.
     
chris v
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May 4, 2005, 09:32 AM
 
Slightly off-topic question/comment/suggestion. It would make sense to be able to save spotlight queries made from the menubar spotlight field as smart folders. I can't find a way to do that right now. Is it possible?

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
Diggory Laycock
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May 4, 2005, 09:37 AM
 
Can anyone explain this to me:

I set-up a spotlight search with two conditions - (size < 1.1MB) and (size > 0.9MB) - to try and find files around a meg.

This failed miserably - is it because the conditions aren't AND-ed ? Is this what the Ars review was talking about?
     
sieb
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May 4, 2005, 09:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by chris v
Slightly off-topic question/comment/suggestion. It would make sense to be able to save spotlight queries made from the menubar spotlight field as smart folders. I can't find a way to do that right now. Is it possible?
I was initially thinking the same thing when I read the first post and I swear that the guy in that Tiger release video said you could.. But apparently not, you can only save searches in finder as smart folders.. Which as we have found out, is not as complete as the Spotlight search.. grr..
Sieb
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Erik Vlietinck
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May 4, 2005, 09:40 AM
 
I in turn apologize to Mike (m.brown) for making him think I was criticizing his method. I wasn't. I was just pointing out that Spotlight's refining attributes don't work as they should.

To answer the Spotlight in the menubar versus SL in folders confusion: this actually makes sense. If you're in a folder and inititiate a search, the idea behind that search will probably be that you're trying to find something stored in folders.

On the other hand, if you start a search in the menubar, it's totally unclear what you might be looking for; it could well be an email message or an address. You therefore obtain broader results from there. In that same mindset, it makes sense not to allow you to create a Smart Folder. The latter is just a saved search, but as mailboxes are not your ordinary folders from the point of view of the Mac OS (although they are from every other point of view!), it makes sense not to include them in your Smart Folder (do I still make sense?).

What I personally find far more disturbing is that Spotlight will not allow you in any way to search for invisible files. But that's off topic, and I therefore won't elaborate on that one.
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m.brown
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May 4, 2005, 09:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by chris v
Slightly off-topic question/comment/suggestion. It would make sense to be able to save spotlight queries made from the menubar spotlight field as smart folders. I can't find a way to do that right now. Is it possible?
It would make sense to me - especially since the Finder Spotlight search seems inacapable of searching for mail messages - however, having had a good look, I don't think it is possible to save searches done from the menubar (as far as I can see).
     
chris v
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May 4, 2005, 09:45 AM
 
Next off-topic rambling thought... a useful addition to Spotlight would be a "recent searches" disclosure trinagle, like you have in the google search field in Safari.

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
   
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