Questions about Spotlight, a system-wide desktop search feature of Apple's Mac OS X operating system.

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2
votes
1answer
1k views

Spotlight sometimes can't find a file. (that actually exists)

I don't really understand how Spotlight works, I sometimes search for a file that I know it exists, and Spotlight doesn't find it. Then I browse to it and it's there. The volume or folders where it is ...
2
votes
3answers
455 views

Mac Dictionary improvements

I tend to use the dictionary a lot on the mac. Its annoying to launch the app everytime i need to lookup a word. Are there any other apps/hacks to avoid this annoyance? Spotlight lookup is awesome, ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Spotlight Re-Indexing at Startup

I have a 15" Macbook Pro Early 2011 and OS X 10.9.2. Spotlight is starting to re-index process when I logged in. I want to know: is this a normal behaviour?
2
votes
2answers
31 views

How to add app inside application bundle (CrashPlan menu bar.app) to Spotlight index?

The CrashPlan Menu Bar item app, is located as a sub item within the package of the main CrashPlan app: /Applications/CrashPlan.app/Contents/Resources/CrashPlan menu bar.app Applications are indexed ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

How do I make applications open on the primary display and not the active display?

I love the improvements that Apple made to multiple displays in Mavericks, but there is one thing that really gets on my nerves. If I'm using an application on my secondary display, and I use ...
2
votes
1answer
724 views

How can I fix the Spotlight index for an encfs-mounted directory?

Until recently, on OS X 10.8, I was using Alfred (which in turn uses Spotlight) to search files and directories on an encfs-mounted partition (which is mounted off a folder in my Dropbox directory). ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Spotlight does not find file

I have the file Rprofile.site in /Macintosh HD/Library/Frameworks/R.framework/ Searching 'Rprofile.site' in Spotlight does not find the file, and I have to manually go to the folder containing the ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Spotlight for currency conversion

I know that Calculator app has ability to convert currencies but is it possible to get this shortcut in Spotlight like that: currency 100 USD to GBP
2
votes
1answer
399 views

Rules for Spotlight search (on osx 10.8)

I absolutely do not understand the rules that Spotlight (osx 10.8) uses to search my files. If I enter the query sbml and select filename from the dropdown menu, these are the results that come up: ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I have Spotlight Comments actually get indexed by Spotlight?

I'm running the latest OS X (10.8.1). Yesterday I discovered the Spotlight Comments feature, so I went through many of my Applications and put useful comments in that field. For example, on Music ...
2
votes
1answer
427 views

Prevent automatic removal of the Spotlight index due to low disk space

I am guessing that when disk space runs low, it automatically deletes the Spotlight index to make room for virtual memory. Then when space becomes available it reindexes. But I'm not sure about that. ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Any side-effects when sharing a Time Machine backup disk between Lion and Snow Leopard?

Is there anything to consider if I want to share a Time Machine backup drive between a Lion machine and a Snow Leopard machine (a USB drive that I would be rotating between the two computers)? ...
2
votes
2answers
740 views

LaunchBar/Quicksilver as a replacement of Spotlight?

I asked about the usefulness of spotlight here, as I don't like the drag that spotlight causes all the time. What I found useful in Spotlight is those two. word lookup : spotlight opens ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

How to force Spotlight to index content inside a package?

I wish to use Spotlight to search inside my Papers 3 library package (i.e., a 'bundle') as the search functionality within the application is broken and/or hamstrung. Is there any way I can force ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Spotlight in Mavericks does not search Tags - how to enable?

I have defined a couple of tags in Mavericks. If I search inside Finder, tags work as expected: It recognizes that "Firma" is a tag. If I select it and press enter, it turns into "Tag:Firma". ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Why is Spotlight trying to index my iPod?

Since I upgraded to Mavericks, whenever I plug in my iPod, Spotlight tries to index my iPod. I don't want this to happen, since it puts a lot of stress on the iPod's drive (iPod 4th Generation, 40GB), ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Why doesn't OS X Spotlight search inside .json files?

I am trying to search a folder for an ID number. The folder contains various different file types. The ID can be found in several .json files, but non of them show up. If I rename the .json file to ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Exclude all .git or .svn folders from Spotlight index

I would like to exclude all the .git and .svn folders on my hardrive from the Spotlight index. I know I can manually add them through the GUI but since they are many of them, and often new ones, it ...
2
votes
0answers
125 views

Find symbolic links (’s names) with Spotlight (Finder)

underwhelmed by the fact that OS X’s Aliases got really big with Mountain Lion (Lion?) I basically switched to using symbolic links instead. Now I’m just learning the hard way that Spotlight (or, ...
2
votes
0answers
660 views

Spotlight does not index folders or subfolders

After upgrading to OS X 10.9, spotlight only show result for files but not folders. I have checked the preferences and also reindex the parenting folder by adding and removing it to the privacy tab. ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Prevent partitions from Spotlight indexing each other

I have a single MacBook Pro partitioned into two drives, each running a copy of Mountain Lion. In Partition X, I would like to disable Spotlight from indexing Partition Y. In Partition Y, I want to ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Spotlight Doesn't Properly Show Preference Panes

I'm having an issue where Spotlight isn't properly showing results for System Preference panels. When I search for a preference panel by name (e.g. Sharing or Network), I don't get any System ...
2
votes
0answers
1k views

Why can't I search files and folders on my external NTFS drive on Mountain Lion?

I have tried to re-index my external drive by removing it from Spotlight's privacy settings and putting it back there. I tried with mdutil in the terminal and I've got the following log: bb:~ bb$ ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Spotlight: Unable to index network SMB share

I'm trying to turn on spotlight for my NAS drive. I have it mounted in OSX 10.8.2 as the following: /Volumes/Trogdor (smbfs, nodev, nosuid, mounted by soltrain) mdutil returns the following: ...
2
votes
0answers
293 views

Spotlight Woes! Can't search, can't reindex, can't find [closed]

Help! Spotlight stopped working ... if I go to spotlight search (top right), it just hangs. Same with Apple-F in Finder ... it causes Finder to hang for a minute or so. Cannot search. I went to ...
2
votes
0answers
297 views

How can I integrate custom search app's results to my iPhone's spotlight search? [closed]

Is it possible to extend iOS spotlight's search results to include data from my application? My iOS app has a separate search interface but it would be great if there was a way to provide the results ...
2
votes
2answers
445 views

Help: spotlight can't see Firefox in Applications folder?

(FYI, I'm using Snow Leopard.) I used to launch Firefox using spotlight by just typing "Firefox" to locate it. Since I didn't launch Firefox often, I didn't want it in my dock, so I just got in that ...
2
votes
1answer
520 views

How do I temporarily exclude a folder from a search?

I often use spotlight to locate documents quickly. The one annoying thing is that I often email documents to share them and spotlight will find the version of the document indexed in my mailbox ...
1
vote
6answers
312 views

Is there a way for Spotlight or Launchbar or Quicksilver or similar to just return matching folders not files?

I frequently need to just get a finder window up that's a ton of folders deep. There's only so many favorites you can put in the finder sidebar. I'd happily configure a dedicated launcher to just ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Keyboard Shortcuts For Navigating Spotlight?

I find keyboard shortcuts very useful, and whilst I know quite a few of the "general ones", I don't know any concerning using Spotlight with the exception of Command-SpaceBar to launch it. What ...
1
vote
2answers
312 views

Preventing Spotlight from Indexing Files & Folders?

Spotlight is a very ingenious "tool" of OS X, attributable in no large part to its indexing feature. Hiding various files & folders is challenging even when using various encryption applications. ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Spotlight menu item on OS X 10.9 sometimes does not function (beeps instead)

I'm running into a situation now and then when the Spotlight menu on OS X 10.9 can't be activated. When I click on its magnifying glass icon I receive only an error indication (beep tone) but get no ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

If swipe down on iOS7 gives Notification Centre, where's Spotlight?

I just upgraded to iOS 7 on an iPhone 4S. When I swipe down on any screen, I get Notification Center, not Spotlight. Anyone know which setting is wrong? My Google search results are riddled with ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

How to Enable Spotlight Search Files And Directories

Is it possible to let Spotlight find files and directories from all over?
1
vote
3answers
274 views

Alternative to Quicksilver Triggers

Well after using QS for quite some time, it no longer works...Even when loading it on a clean SL build with latest Apple updates. When I set up a trigger they will only work until I reboot. At that ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Applications/Xcode vs Developer/Applications/Xcode

I have OSX 10.8 with Xcode 4.6.3 installed (it shows under App Store). When I Spotlight-search "xcode" I see two results: Xcode – Mac & Xcode – Developer. The first launches as expected, but with ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Can Spotlight show results for disconnected drives?

I have several external hard drives which I would like to search for files with Spotlight. They cannot be all connected at the same time. How can I get Spotlight results for offline external hard ...
1
vote
1answer
524 views

Needs Office for Mac 2011 Outlook Spotlight?

I have deactivated Spotlight, because the mdb process used a lot of memory and I use Spotlight not really often :-) Today I searched some emails in Outlook (Office for Mac 2011) and the mails could ...
1
vote
1answer
596 views

How can I enable search by filename in finder on Lion

Before switching to Lion (on Snow leopard) I used to open a directory (like my Downloads) and start searching using the search box at the top right of the finder window for a file and there was an ...
1
vote
2answers
309 views

Mac not searching my files

Today I started my Mac (iMac) and when I tried to search in finder or spotlight it produce no results. I think its related to the search cache. I guess it gets corrupted. If this is the case How can I ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How to find a telephone number strored in contacts by searching for a substring on iPhone

I'd like to search my iPhone contacts using a part of a telephone number as a key (search by substring). The integrated spotlight search, however, doesn't return any entries when searching for a full ...
1
vote
3answers
429 views

Using Spotlight to play iTunes songs causes another song to play after resuming from pause

Spotlight allows you to play songs from iTunes. Unfortunately, when I pause the song and resume, iTunes goes back to playing what it was playing before I used Spotlight. Is there any way to fix this ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

How to have spotlight index .tex files?

I want spotlight to index my .tex files and show them as possible results when I search. I imagine the solution would work for any extension, but right now I only care about .tex
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Why does spotlight search system files?

Most of my spotlight search results are files in ~/Library (application data) and /usr/include (header files) I already tried to rebuild the index. Any thoughts?
1
vote
3answers
289 views

Why does Spotlight in Mavericks not show the location of search results?

With Mountain Lion, the following was working: Search for a file type and name, e.g. to find all Excel sheets named Foo: kind:excel foo This would show all Excel sheets where the name includes Foo ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Locating an app by its bundle identifier from the command line

I am looking for a way to find an app's location on the system from the command line using its bundle identifier. I can open it like this: open -b 'com.zerotier.ZeroTierOne' ... where ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

mdworker process always at 100%, even when not indexing

I'm trying to understand why mdworker is always at 100% even when (apparently) not indexing. If I open Spotlight, there's no message telling me that a drive is being indexed. If I run fs_usage -w -f ...
1
vote
2answers
162 views

How does Spotlight determine which category a file belongs to?

In Spotlight you can enable and disable file categories that will appear in search results. How does Spotlight determine that a certain file belongs to a certain category? The following specific ...
1
vote
2answers
328 views

Using mdfind to evaluate the text content of a specified file?

I would like write an applescript to evaluate whether a particular file contains a specified string (perhaps as part of an if... then statement). I want to invoke a shell command using mdfind to do ...
1
vote
1answer
611 views

How can I make Spotlight index source code in Mountain Lion?

Under Lion I had Spotlight set up to index .as (ActionScript) files using the general instructions here: http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=2005052015041510 but installing Mountain Lion seems ...