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How can I configure Lion to search for files in the Contents of an .app?

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3 Answers

I wouldn't think so, but I'll be happy to hear otherwise. It's quite easy from the command line, though:

find /Applications/<YOUR APP>.app -type f | xargs strings | grep <YOUR SEARCH TERM>

You can also search through the whole Applications folder with

find /Applications -type f | xargs strings | grep <YOUR SEARCH TERM>

This will take quite a while, as it actually searches through the files instead of using a cached index, like Spotlight does.

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Easy Solution
For a free GUI solution, you could use EasyFind. To search inside applications, you just need to check "Package Contents" in the sidebar.

For a quicker search, you can limit the search to just the Applications folder by using the menu under the search field (on the far right).

Command Line - Find
In Terminal, you can use the find command:

find /Applications/foo.app -type f -name "bar"

Replace foo.app with the name of your app, and replace "bar" with the name of the file you want to search for.

If you want to search all apps in /Applications, leave out the /foo.app part of the command.

If you want to include folders, remove -type f, if you want to search only for folders, change -type f to -type d. You can also use the * wildcard in your filename to get partially matching results.

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Find Any File

is a third-party utility that can do this. It costs US $4.00 and can be downloaded from the developer or purchased in the Mac App Store. It is a good alternative to using the command-line tools that come with Lion. It can also be run as "root" to access even more files than what Mac OS X usually lets the user see.

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