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

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2
votes
2answers
789 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Spotlight and Alfred can't find alias to Emacs.app

I installed Emacs.app with Homebrew, and used brew linkapps to create an alias in my /Applications directory. Since I updated to OS X Mavericks yesterday, Spotlight and Alfred can no longer see this ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

How to use spotlight for system commands such as shutdown? [duplicate]

I want to type in Spotlight commands such as shutdown, reboot, suspend or lock and make it execute it, just like Alfred does. How to make this possible with Spotlight?
0
votes
1answer
294 views
34
votes
3answers
8k views

How to place Dictionary definitions higher up in spotlight results

I used to use spotlight fairly frequently to quickly look up words in a dictionary. With Lion, I've noticed that my dictionary results have dropped down much lower in the list of results: I'd like ...
4
votes
4answers
873 views

Spotlight, please don't show mail, but still let me search in Mail app

When I search for stuff, even constraining with name:whatIwant, the majority of results are old e-mail messages and Safari history items. How can I get rid of these results, but still search my email ...
4
votes
3answers
434 views

Non-recursive spotlight search?

When using the Spotlight search at the top right of a finder window, I often want the search to be non-recursive, i.e. only look at files in that specific directory, not any directories within it. Is ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Spotlight hangs on ical item

My iMac (early 2009) is super slow and spotlight and timemachine doesnt work at all. I am suspecting the the spotlight index (which never seem to finish) is behind some of the performance issues. I ...
1
vote
2answers
267 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
127 views

iOS7, ability to search web via Spotlight search

Prior to iOS7, if someone wanted to search the web, generally the easiest way to do so was by entering your query into the spotlight, and then just clicking 'Search Safari/Wikipedia'. After upgrading ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How long should Lion take to set up Spotlight?

I updated my Mac from Snow Leopard 10.6.8 to Lion. Everything went well. The computer restarted when the OS setup finished. Now, Spotlight setup has been running for more than two hours. Is something ...
0
votes
2answers
267 views

Is there a way Spotlight indexes my Skim bookmarks/notes ?

I find Skim is a great pdf file reader and want to spend a great deal of time adding notes and bookmarks to some of the pdf files I have. I know Spotlight indexes pdf files but it doesn't seem to ...
0
votes
0answers
555 views

How can I restore Spotlight to menu bar?

I removed the Spotlight icon from the menu bar. I would like to restore it. I tried the recommended method: sudo mdutil -a -i on sudo chmod 755 ...
1
vote
1answer
6k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
741 views

Why do some app spotlight results show the “.app” extension, but not all?

Even though I've explicitly set the Finder preference to display all file extensions, I'm still finding that some apps do not show the file name extension in their Spotlight result. Here are some ...
1
vote
0answers
224 views

Force Spotlight Comments to be written to .DS_Store

I've come to understand that in order for Spotlight comments to be viewable in the Finder, the extended attributes have to be written to the appropriate .DS_Store file. The problem is, every time I ...
1
vote
1answer
518 views

What does the undocumented switch, -t, do for the mdutil utility?

In the process of troubleshooting why my Time Machine was not completing and hadn't finished backing up since 4PM today - It's now 11:49PM -, I saw two console suspicious log entries as follows (btw: ...
5
votes
1answer
327 views

Why is mdfind only returning my most recently accessed files?

I've imported most of a javascript code base via mdimport (using the packaged SourceCode.mdimporter provided by Xcode) and it succeeds. However, mdfind only ever returns to me at most two results, ...
2
votes
1answer
438 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

How do I stop OS X from treating an SuperDuper image on an external drive as part of my current installation?

Every night, I have SuperDuper! create an image of my hard drive to an external drive. This works great, and has saved me from system failures a number of times. However, OS X is constantly treating ...
0
votes
1answer
359 views

Why is Automator not working with Spotlight Search?

I'm running an Automator Workflow that searches a provided directory, and then does a standard Filter Finder Items in order to make sure it's only going to be working with aliases. Spotlight failed ...
1
vote
1answer
318 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
0answers
197 views

Draft emails on Spotlight Search

When I access my Drafts Gmail folder on my iPhone 4S, there are no saved mails in the draft. However, when I search under Spotlight Search, I get a bunch of emails I started writing once but never ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Find a specific file with automator

The basic question is: How can I pass a filename to the Spotlight search module in Automator? The essential problem: I have hundreds of broken aliases scattered throughout a particular ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I set Spotlight metadata to files?

I am looking for a command line utility (I need to use it in a script) that can set Spotlight metadata to files.
1
vote
2answers
111 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
168 views

Why does Finder search not find my .c files?

My goal is, that the finder search finds .c files that have the search keywords in it. It seems to work for others but not for me: but searching for main doesn't yield any results: What do I ...
6
votes
3answers
999 views

Exclude sub-folders from Finder search

How can I force Finder to only search the current folder, ignoring the contents of all the sub-folders? I don't want to exclude the sub-folders permanently from Spotlight, just for a certain search. ...
2
votes
1answer
383 views

Why doesn't Spotlight show invisible files that I know exist?

I am running Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and had to edit an invisible file as part of an Android project. While I eventually found it, Spotlight was of no help, since it could not find an invisible ...
2
votes
1answer
388 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Does Spotlight normally index links in ~/Applications?

I have installed MacVim through homebrew, and this resulted in an alias in ~/Applications that points to /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/7.3-66/MacVim.app. Unfortunately MacVim does not show up in Spotlight ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Why did some applications have to rebuild their database after a Time Machine rollback?

Recently my system (10.8) got totally borked, so I booted into recovery mode and rewrote the entire disk from a two day old Time Machine backup. When I started back up, I found that: Spotlight ...
0
votes
1answer
321 views

How can I view the items in the Spotlight cache?

I'd like to view the data spotlight has imported. Is this possible? EDIT: For example I can do this: mdutil -svvv /Volumes/h8rdrive and find out this volume was indexed. I'd kind of like to ...
0
votes
1answer
640 views

Spotlight menu shows results, but Finder window doesn't

When I type anything into the Spotlight menu in the top right corner, I get the normal list of top results. But if I then click "Show All", or if I just go to the Finder and initiate a search there, ...
3
votes
2answers
384 views

Spotlight search iTunes Match

Back before I used iTunes Match, I enjoyed being able to search my library via spotlight. Now it seems that this doesn't work anymore. I guess this is because the music is not stored locally, but ...
0
votes
0answers
274 views

Spotlight's cache is huge; can I make it smaller?

I forced a Spotlight delete and reindex in Terminal with the command: sudo mdutil -E / Now Spotlight seems to not only constantly index, but also create huge (10+GB) cache files over the course of ...
2
votes
2answers
734 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
11k views

How to delete email messages from Spotlight search on iPhone?

I have a iPhone 4S running iOS 6. Spotlight seems to find deleted e-mails on iPhone, how can I delete e-mails permanently from Spotlight results? Could this potentially be a bug in iOS 6? I am ...
0
votes
1answer
806 views

Why doesn't iPhoto show up in Spotlight search results?

Recently I noticed that if I do a Spotlight search (using the Spotlight menu on the menu bar), the iPhoto application is not included in the results. If I open a Finder window to the Applications ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How to add folder to Spotlight “do not index”?

Is there any way to programmatically add a folder to Spotlight's "Privacy" tab? Either through Terminal or Applescript? Often I want to click on an item in Spotlight results in Finder, and have that ...
2
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

How to find files not containing comment x?

I try to find all "*.xyz" files in folder x which does not have comment "abc". This code does the opposite. I would prefer to use Spotlight if possible. How i can do this? Thanks do shell script ...
1
vote
1answer
215 views

Auto switch input source to English when entering Spotlight, typing URL in Safari, etc

I don't have files with non-english names, and don't type non-latin URL's, so question is how to auto switch system input source in these occasions.
1
vote
1answer
506 views

What's wrong with my Outlook search?

Ever since doing OS X 10.8 updates, a pair of machines with Outlook refuse to look back further than 2 weeks during e-mail searches. Spotlight settings all look OK. I even forced an index ...
2
votes
2answers
702 views

How do I use Spotlight to find all MP3 that are encoded at 320 kbps?

In order to save more space on my music collection, I want to use XLD to convert all my CBR (constant bit rate) 320 kbps MP3 to VBR (variable bit rate). How do I use Spotlight to find all 320 kbps ...
1
vote
1answer
376 views

Spotlight not indexing attachments of exchange Mail

I recently got a MBP and really love how quick spotlight is. I'm reading my exchange email via the Apple Mail app. The messages are indexed by spotlight but the contents of the attachments are not. ...
2
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
579 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
147 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

Finder spotlight tool not “grepping” through all file types?

We've got this development stack that's mostly javascript, and if I'm looking for a variable definition or something I can use Finder's spotlight tool to easily find the file that contains the ...