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I have a great many directories where I've latex'd my notes on various topics, so many that I'm beginning to have trouble finding things. Is there a way to display thumbnails of all the pdfs (under a given parent directory) in a single window so that I can browse my notes?

Also, I've noticed that Mountain Lion is not generating thumbnail icons from my latex pdfs. Not sure why.

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It turns out Mountain Lion does generate the thumbnail icons for my pdfs. What it doesn't do is use the thumbnail for the icon of an alias to the original pdf file. – Keith Jan 15 '13 at 2:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Press ⌘F, set the search scope to the current folder, and set kind to PDF. You can then save the search and open it from the sidebar or Spotlight.

The view options are saved in the .savedSearch file, so you can set it to open in icon view and have large icons and low grid spacing.

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I finally figured out how to exclude files. The trick is to hold down the alt key while clicking on the plus button (while setting up a search in a Finder window). This provides access to a much richer set of search criteria including some boolean ops. – Keith Jan 23 '13 at 19:55
How do I go about excluding certain subdirectories? – Keith Jan 23 '13 at 19:56
@Keith You can edit the savedSearch file in a text editor. See this question. – user495470 Jan 23 '13 at 20:12

Finder's "All my files" section has pdf-documents category. Here it is

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