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Anyone actually use spotlight?
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lngtones
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Jul 16, 2005, 04:30 PM
 
I have to admit, I haven't used spotlight for anything useful ONCE since Tiger has been out. Have you?
     
Buck_W
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Jul 16, 2005, 04:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by lngtones
I have to admit, I haven't used spotlight for anything useful ONCE since Tiger has been out. Have you?
What do you use to search? I use spotlight all the time and love it Kudos Apple!
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Drakino
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Jul 16, 2005, 05:22 PM
 
Spotlight directly gets used about once or twice at work a day. I support some IT products, and downloaded a copy of our PDF based tech documents. Spotlight I find is much faster and easier to deal with compared to the website we have for searching.

Spotlight indirectly is used all the time. I got rid of all my normal mail folders on my work e-mail and am in the process of doing so at home as well, replacing them with smart folders. The advantages here come from no longer having to wonder "do I put this message in folder x or y?", now I can have messages easially appear in multiple folders, but maintain a universal read flag.

Spotlight also came in handy when I flew out for a vacation. I opened my sleeping powerbook at the chekin counter, typed in the airlines name, and had my reservation pulled up in a few moments. I couldn't remember if I had it e-mailed or had a saved file, and spotlight didn't care. Pulling up the info avoided a lot of trouble, as the person behind the counter couldn't find my reservation in their new system quickly.

OS X convinced me I needed a Mac as my main machine. Tiger now has me locked into the platform.
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mAxximo
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Jul 16, 2005, 05:36 PM
 
I don't like Spotlight at all. When it finds what I want it doesn't show the file's path like the old Find application used to do. I have a lot of documents with the same names (inevitable sometimes when creating elements to be used in After Effects projects or 3D applications, i.e. “Black Circle.ai” and the like) and the only way of knowing which one I'm looking for is by seeing its path. Not there anymore. Good job, Apple.
And the fact that it can't find stuff in external non-indexed drives or in my back-up CDs and DVDs has made me start using EasyFind. Not the greatest and fastest but at least serves its purpose.
It's clear that this nextified Apple have shifted their focus from usability a long time ago but Spotlight takes all the prizes.
     
TiggerToo
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Jul 16, 2005, 06:52 PM
 
Use spotlight all the time to get apps, docs, mail.

Best thing since sliced bread, no wait, sliced bread wasn't all that great!

When you say using it for something useful. Just what else would you use a search tool for other than to find stuff?
     
Big Mac
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Jul 16, 2005, 06:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by mAxximo
I don't like Spotlight at all. When it finds what I want it doesn't show the file's path like the old Find application used to do. I have a lot of documents with the same names (inevitable sometimes when creating elements to be used in After Effects projects or 3D applications, i.e. “Black Circle.ai” and the like) and the only way of knowing which one I'm looking for is by seeing its path.
Leave the pointer on the file for a few seconds and you'll see the path. Alternatively, open the full Spotlight view and look at the info for the file. But I know you already knew that.

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Randman
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Jul 16, 2005, 07:00 PM
 
Once you learn the kind: searches and to modify Preferences > Spotlight > Search preferences, it's a very powerful and helpful "application".

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Maflynn
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Jul 16, 2005, 08:50 PM
 
I use it but no more then the prior search engine. I just search for documents or files nothing to extravagent.

Mike
     
Geobunny
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Jul 16, 2005, 08:57 PM
 
No, I don't use it. (mildly o/t, shouldn't this be a poll?)

I rarely ever search for anything, but if I do, it would be searching for the location of a file with me already knowing its name. For that, I use "locate" on the command line. Boom, instant result. None of this waiting about for spotlight to find everything under the sun (no Apple, it most definitely is NOT instantaneous), only to have me wade through the piles of junk that Spotlight thinks I might be talking about.

The locate database has to be kept up-to-date, so I've added "/usr/libexec/locate.updatedb" to the system crontab to run at 5am every day. Keeps me happy anyway.
( Last edited by Geobunny; Jul 16, 2005 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Thought better of my offensive language!)
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msuper69
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Jul 16, 2005, 08:58 PM
 
I use it constantly.

You can see the path of the files found in a Finder search by just clicking once on the icon.
     
demograph68
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Jul 16, 2005, 09:05 PM
 
I use it all the time. It's a lot faster. I hardly need to use the dock or finder anymore.
     
Timo
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Jul 16, 2005, 09:10 PM
 
I really like it.
     
awaspaas
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Jul 16, 2005, 09:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by mAxximo
I don't like Spotlight at all. When it finds what I want it doesn't show the file's path like the old Find application used to do. I have a lot of documents with the same names (inevitable sometimes when creating elements to be used in After Effects projects or 3D applications, i.e. “Black Circle.ai” and the like) and the only way of knowing which one I'm looking for is by seeing its path. Not there anymore. Good job, Apple.
And the fact that it can't find stuff in external non-indexed drives or in my back-up CDs and DVDs has made me start using EasyFind. Not the greatest and fastest but at least serves its purpose.
It's clear that this nextified Apple have shifted their focus from usability a long time ago but Spotlight takes all the prizes.
Again, you suck at Mac.
     
Horsepoo!!!
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Jul 16, 2005, 09:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Geobunny
No, I don't use it. (mildly o/t, shouldn't this be a poll?)

I rarely ever search for anything, but if I do, it would be searching for the location of a file with me already knowing its name. For that, I use "locate" on the command line. Boom, instant result. None of this waiting about for spotlight to find everything under the sun (no Apple, it most definitely is NOT instantaneous), only to have me wade through the piles of junk that Spotlight thinks I might be talking about.
I doesn't give you a list it thinks you might be talking about...it gives you a list of files that have the keyword you typed in.

The frustration comes from people that use Spotlight to only find by file name when Spotlight's application is much more vast than that.

By all means...use 'locate' if you want your searches limited to file name. For others that need a search tool that can locate files using metadata or pin point keywords inside text files, Spotlight is an excellent tool.

What's funny though is that Spotlight still works very well for finding files by file name. People aren't happy with the results because Apple doesn't by default remove folders that would be considered useless to the average user (Library folders, System folders...) Spotlight will give precedence to a file which has a file name that matches the inputed keyword.

Playing around with the Privacy tab in the Spotlight pane and removing useless places to search and removing file types that you don't want to search (fonts, preference panes, etc.) will yield much better and faster results.

Spotlight is good at finding files by file name...I use it to find files by file name all the time.
But Spotlight really excels at finding much more than just files by name. Some people just haven't had the chance (or don't know how) to use Spotlight at its full potential.
     
themexican
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Jul 16, 2005, 10:14 PM
 
I use it all the time to search for text in docs. But I've become increasingly annoyed at the UI. Also I really miss having the option to limit a search to the current folder in finder windows. I know I can do the same thing by hitting command F and selecting current folder, but the old way was much more convenient.
     
Don Pickett
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Jul 16, 2005, 10:26 PM
 
I didn't see the big deal about Spotlight until I needed to find a PDF. I didn't know the name of the document, but I knew what it was about. Spotlight found it for me in a few seconds – now I'm sold.
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gooffer
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Jul 17, 2005, 12:41 AM
 
Yes I have to agree with one of the first posters the problem with spotlight is that it finds stuff really fast but then when you want to know where it is located you end up having to use find anyway ......

hint hint hint apple a fix is needed like right button click show location ?

Well yes that would be way too advanced well leave that one for longhorn.
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Don Pickett
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Jul 17, 2005, 02:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by gooffer
Yes I have to agree with one of the first posters the problem with spotlight is that it finds stuff really fast but then when you want to know where it is located you end up having to use find anyway ......

hint hint hint apple a fix is needed like right button click show location ?

Well yes that would be way too advanced well leave that one for longhorn.
If you however your mouse over the Spotlight menu, it will show you the path of the item under your mouse pointer. I guess it was just too complicated for you. . .
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analogika
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Jul 17, 2005, 05:18 AM
 
...or just not obvious. I didn't know that either.
     
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Jul 17, 2005, 08:29 AM
 
I had to turn it off completely because it caused severe performance problems on my machine.
     
Hi I'm Ben
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Jul 17, 2005, 09:58 AM
 
I use Spotlight one or two times a day usually to find excel documents and system preference files in a flash. So far so good!

Smart folders on the other hand..
     
mpancha
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Jul 17, 2005, 10:27 AM
 
I occasionally use spotlight, however I've found that I could have found the file I was looking for by navigating the finder just as fast if not faster than when i use spotlight.

Spotlight rarely has the file I want as the top hit. Even trying to find an application such as "iCal" puts the iCal app as the 2nd or 3rd hit. I always have to go to the spotlight results window, not the drop down below spotlight to find anything.

Spotlight is good beta software IMO, but was nowhere near ready to be dubbed a feature of 10.4
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Goldfinger
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Jul 17, 2005, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Horsepoo!!!
By all means...use 'locate' if you want your searches limited to file name. For others that need a search tool that can locate files using metadata or pin point keywords inside text files, Spotlight is an excellent tool.
You can't expect the average computer user to fire up the command line to search for something.

The quick email searching and address searching is something I use Sportlight for. But it need some better "AI". It finds too much crap that you don't really want to find.
I never use the search feature all that much anyway. I know where I store everything.

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Horsepoo!!!
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Jul 17, 2005, 12:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Goldfinger
You can't expect the average computer user to fire up the command line to search for something.
No...but the average user can certainly limit the Spotlight search and tune it to his/her needs.

I still don't see what the problem is when trying to find files by file name...it works.
     
Dale Sorel
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Jul 17, 2005, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Horsepoo!!!
I still don't see what the problem is when trying to find files by file name...it works.
As of 10.4.2
     
LeeG
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Jul 17, 2005, 02:17 PM
 
Use it all the time to search for keywords in scientific journal articles (PDF format) which I have HUNDREDS of - it's fantastic-

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Don Pickett
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Jul 17, 2005, 02:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika
...or just not obvious. I didn't know that either.
It's a standard Mac behavior. Want to know what a tool does in Illustrator? Hover the mouse and wait. Want to know what a button does in Firefox? Hover the mouse, etc.
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Old Toad
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Jul 17, 2005, 03:37 PM
 
Ben:

Have you ever used Pref Setter for dealing with preference files? It is a very powerful and easy preference file editor.
     
Krypton
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Jul 18, 2005, 06:10 AM
 
I like to use Spotlight as an app launcher, but in some cases it is just far too slow for this purpose.
     
SMacTech
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Jul 18, 2005, 06:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by mAxximo
I don't like Spotlight at all. When it finds what I want it doesn't show the file's path like the old Find application used to do. I have a lot of documents with the same names (inevitable sometimes when creating elements to be used in After Effects projects or 3D applications, i.e. “Black Circle.ai” and the like) and the only way of knowing which one I'm looking for is by seeing its path. Not there anymore. Good job, Apple.
Are you using the same OS X that I am? You are right, it doesn't show like it used to but it certainly is there and with a whole lot more info available.

Try control clicking [ right-click ] on the files found, or select and use Command I, or click the small info icon in the listing.
     
Targon
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Jul 18, 2005, 06:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by lngtones
I have to admit, I haven't used spotlight for anything useful ONCE since Tiger has been out. Have you?
Not really, Spotlight from the menu (wish i could get rid of that icon). Im still using the built in Command+F find. While i find it annoying the windows never remembers the last window position and size it also infuriates me how it NEVER seems to remember my last user set criteria. 99% of the time i want to search by name to locate a file in this manner, yet this find window ALWAYS defaults to search by Kind. It annoys me how i am forced to change this every single time.

Just like the previous POS Find in all other OSX versions, this one NEVER remember the view setting of the window. Again, i want to view my results in LIST mode.

I dont know why Apple cannot get this right.

One thing is for sure, Find is mind blowingly faster than anything Apple has ever supplied us with before. Example, in Panther if i searched for every audio file i had on my system, the Finder would return about 3 thousand files, then beachball, until it would return the total amount of files (11000) in about 30 mins total time. Now in Tiger the system returns 11000+ files in about 4 seconds. This is HUGE improvement!!!
     
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Jul 18, 2005, 07:43 AM
 
I only wish spotlighg/search in finder was usefull for anything outside the document folder, e.g. system files. Other than that I find Spotlight to be very handy for it purposes. I use Quicksilver on the side for searching and opening programs, and they fill eachother roles perfectly together.

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mAxximo
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Jul 18, 2005, 10:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by SMacTech
Try control clicking [ right-click ] on the files found, or select and use Command I, or click the small info icon in the listing.
Thanks SMacTech, I tried all those already. The Spotlight window should display the path as soon as I click on a file instead of requiring extra steps from the user. Unfortunately right-clicking doesn't show the path.
The Find window does show it like the old one used to do but then again what's the use for Spotlight if I still have to rely on the old search method less the ability to look for any files wherever I want, indexed or not? Spotlight crippled Find and now it's almost useless to me.
     
SMacTech
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Jul 18, 2005, 02:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by mAxximo
Thanks SMacTech, I tried all those already. The Spotlight window should display the path as soon as I click on a file instead of requiring extra steps from the user. Unfortunately right-clicking doesn't show the path.
That would be a welcome addition, to put it somewhere, without having to select the item to view its path. There certainly is enough room to display it on today's monitors. on the same line. And it certainly could be an easy preference to add.

Maybe in the next update.
     
michaelb
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Jul 19, 2005, 06:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by mAxximo
The Spotlight window should display the path as soon as I click on a file instead of requiring extra steps from the user. Unfortunately right-clicking doesn't show the path.
In the Spotlight window, clicking the (i) at the right side of any line immediately expands the information about it. The first line of the info is "Where" which shows the path.

In the Spotlight menu, hovering the mouse over a line reveals a tooltip showing the path.


Personally, I'm staggered at the amount of negativity in this thread. I think Spotlight is a godsend. Always room for improvement of course, but it's a great v1.0.
     
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Jul 19, 2005, 06:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas
Again, you suck at Mac.



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SMacTech
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Jul 19, 2005, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by michaelb
In the Spotlight menu, hovering the mouse over a line reveals a tooltip showing the path.
Who would have thought about trying that ? Thanks for the tip.

As a developer who uses the help tags built into OS X for my app, I never thought of trying that. I even asked a user today if they let the mouse hover over the button to find out its function in my app. Their response, wow... all that info hiding under the mouse!

Originally Posted by michaelb
Personally, I'm staggered at the amount of negativity in this thread.
BTW, I love spotlight.
     
SMacTech
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Jul 19, 2005, 08:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by mAxximo
Thanks SMacTech, I tried all those already. The Spotlight window should display the path as soon as I click on a file instead of requiring extra steps from the user. Unfortunately right-clicking doesn't show the path.
The Find window does show it like the old one used to do but then again what's the use for Spotlight if I still have to rely on the old search method less the ability to look for any files wherever I want, indexed or not? Spotlight crippled Find and now it's almost useless to me.

mAxx, you missed my third suggestion which is EXACTLY what you wanted, a single click on the ( i ) icon to display the path.
     
mAxximo
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Jul 19, 2005, 11:07 AM
 
Cool, thanks, I'll try that next time. As for hovering the mouse over the file's name in the Spotlight menu, I tried it several times before and it does nothing in my machine...no path, nothing.
     
tuqqer
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Jul 19, 2005, 11:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Don Pickett
If you however your mouse over the Spotlight menu, it will show you the path of the item under your mouse pointer. I guess it was just too complicated for you. . .
I will never understand people's desire to insult, or inability to see the damage it creates. Where do folks learn to communicate like this?


This is a great thread. Spotlight is one of those features peole love or find frustrating. As others have noted, the main feature I'd like to see added is a way to access the file's path, as in the old Find feature. Yes yes, you can hover over the file and *see* the file path, and you can Command-Click the file name to open the folder that contains the file. But when confronted with a search result that offers 40 or 50 possible finds, the hovering or opening up a lot of folders makes for a slower find.

I have a feeling that the current Spotlight is only the beginning. We will see many other improvements over the next year.
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Zadian
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Jul 19, 2005, 11:17 AM
 
[QUOTE=tuqqer As others have noted, the main feature I'd like to see added is a way to access the file's path, as in the old Find feature. [/QUOTE]

Make your search in the Finder. Clicking on a search result will reveal the path to the item on the bottom of the Finder search window - just like in Mac OS before 10.4
     
OreoCookie
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Jul 19, 2005, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by mAxximo
I don't like Spotlight at all. When it finds what I want it doesn't show the file's path like the old Find application used to do. I have a lot of documents with the same names (inevitable sometimes when creating elements to be used in After Effects projects or 3D applications, i.e. “Black Circle.ai” and the like) and the only way of knowing which one I'm looking for is by seeing its path. Not there anymore. Good job, Apple.
And the fact that it can't find stuff in external non-indexed drives or in my back-up CDs and DVDs has made me start using EasyFind. Not the greatest and fastest but at least serves its purpose.
It's clear that this nextified Apple have shifted their focus from usability a long time ago but Spotlight takes all the prizes.
If you want to catalog and categorize lots of media files, I would suggest an app like iViewMedia Pro.
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Jul 19, 2005, 12:02 PM
 
although i'm generally a fan of spotlight, i do have a gripe with the way the search criteria seem a lot more limited than previous finder search options. for exampe just a few minutes ago i needed to edit my "php.ini" file. not being able to remember where it lives i turned to spotlight - only it doesn't find it, because it doesn't search system files, won't let you add system files as a search location, or allow you to use "visibility" as a search attribute [which used to be a way to find system files previously]. so, there's no way i can find the location of that file apart from manually ploughing through all my sytem directories.
     
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Jul 19, 2005, 01:41 PM
 
How do you sort spotlight results when you search from within the finder? I like spotlight from the spotlight thing (top right corner) but find it frustrating at times when I use it from the finder. They don't appear to be the same. Am I missing something?
Yes, I know I could buy a PC, but why?
     
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Jul 19, 2005, 01:49 PM
 
The main thing I use Spotlight for is the Spotlight Menu... so I can find Apps really quick for launching (the ones I don't have in my Dock) but, that's about it.
     
Randman
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Jul 19, 2005, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Anand
How do you sort spotlight results when you search from within the finder? I like spotlight from the spotlight thing (top right corner) but find it frustrating at times when I use it from the finder. They don't appear to be the same. Am I missing something?
Preferences > Spotlight

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mitchell_pgh
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Jul 19, 2005, 02:37 PM
 
I'm down with spotlight... I just wish I could do a Apple+F+Shift to get a "search by name of file" feature.

Spotlight forces you to think about searching differently.
     
wulf
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Jul 19, 2005, 02:46 PM
 
I find Spotlight fantastically useful, particularly for searching PDFs and e-mails. Or when one has seen something written down but can't remember what kind of file it was in.

But it certainly couldn't hurt to have more extensibility and options. The CMD-F window should remember your preferences, so if people want to set it up to search by filename and show results in a list, it will do. I know that hovering over a file in the menu shows the path, but a right-click menu option to "reveal in finder" would be a god-send for me. As madra points out, one should be able to admin-enable further options like searching invisible files, searching in system folders, etc.
     
Randman
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Jul 19, 2005, 02:48 PM
 
[QUOTE=wulf a right-click menu option to "reveal in finder" would be a god-send for me.[/QUOTE]
I just sent Apple some feedback on that.

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Nai no Kami
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Buenos Aires
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Jul 19, 2005, 02:50 PM
 
I have thousands of word files of previous work with judicial precedents and arguments useful for almost any kind of work I have to face. Spotlight is incredibly useful to me. And a valuable timesaver.

Y no entienden nada... ¡y cómo se divierten!...
     
 
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