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

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6
votes
1answer
93 views

Indexing words separated by underscores

When searching using Spotlight for, say, the word "Exotic", it fails to report the file Important_Exotic_Class.h, containing a C++ class by that name. Can you think of a method to make Spotlight ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How to create a spotlight search for all files inside a folder?

In Lion, you have All My Files to search everything in your home folder. However, when you activate finder's spotlight, via command + F you can start searching only by first typing something. How can ...
1
vote
1answer
290 views

Tips for using spotlight with webpages served via https

I've started using spotlight with webpages today. It will actually index the content of web pages in your history and bookmarks. It's great. But I can't find any documentation on how to use it. ...
5
votes
1answer
270 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Spotlight pop-up effects

I saw someone with a Macbook Pro using the Spotlight feature several times, and every time the Spotlight opened, it used a certain effect that's not like what I see in other Macs (I use Leopard). ...
9
votes
6answers
11k views

Spotlight reports “Indexing and searching disabled” in Lion

Lion keeps "losing track" of Spotlight information. Directories and Applications disappear, full text searches stop working, etc. I seem to need to re-index it once a week or so. However, now it ...
3
votes
1answer
406 views

Limit Spotlight to mail

The thing is I hate Spotlight like every software burning my cpu for no reason when I am working and I could put my cpu to better use BUT it is required to search in mail bodies with Mail so I still ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I make a symlink (to a .app folder) in Applications directory show up in spotlight?

I used brew to install MacVim and it put it in /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/7.3-61/MacVim.app I would like to be able to go to spotlight and type MacVim to launch the app. I tried creating a symlink in ...
4
votes
1answer
353 views

Delaying spotlight indexing to avoid the fan noise

I am attending a meeting in a quiet room where everyone has a soft voice, and my mac decides to index for spotlight (the job is 'mds'), bringing the fan to 6200rpm. It's not too bad, just a bit ...
4
votes
2answers
263 views

Is there a way to provide a sort order to an mdfind query?

In trying to get a list of all music files from a particular album using mdfind I see that the files aren't necessarily returned in any order. I'd prefer album/track order if possible, but can't find ...
32
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
7answers
13k views

Why does Spotlight keep reindexing my system after updating to Lion?

Since I installed Lion, the Spotlight database keeps reindexing (which is taking several hours). It does this at least every second day. Are any other users experiencing this problem with Lion (i.e. ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Can you get SL “Today” folder behavior in Lion?

Snow Leopard had a default smart folder called "Today". This folder was awesome! All "Open" dialog boxes could easily display all of the files you've worked on "Today" (which are probably the ones you ...
4
votes
5answers
7k views

Lion not searching SMB volume

I just upgraded to Lion on my work computer and it seems like Spotlight doesn't index SMB volumes. This used to work for me perfectly under Snow Leopard. I've talked with Apple and they said it was ...
0
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
609 views

Login hangs on spotlight and no network is available

After upgrading to Lion, I boot up and most of my icons don't appear on the right side of the top menu bar and when I hover over spotlight, I get the spinning pinwheel and there's no network access. ...
9
votes
5answers
11k views

Searching by file name (as opposed to name and contents) in Lion

In earlier versions of OSX, when you search in a Finder window, it gave you the choice of searching by contents or file name. In Lion this choice seems to have disappeared, I can only search by ...
0
votes
3answers
664 views

Keyboard shortcut for Spotlight doesn't work in full screen Google Chrome on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion)

I've noticed that the Spotlight Search keyboard shortcut (cmd space) doesn't work if I'm running Google Chrome (12.0.742.122) as full screen application in Lion. Is this a Chrome-related bug or is ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to disable Developer and Web Searches in Spotlight?

Yesterday I upgraded to Lion and it seems it got some additions on Spotlight - the Developer and Web Searches groups. Sadly I couldn't find a way to disable them. There isn't an option in the ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

how to stop spotlight indexing an attached camera

When I attach my video camera (for the purpose of importing some clips into FCP-X) I noticed that spotlight is indexing the camera (which does show up as an external disk when I connect it, via the ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

How to add Spotlight comments to the bundled OS X apps?

I'd like to add a Spotlight comment to TextEdit.app. Is that possible? What I've done: Open Finder Browse to /Applications/ Select TextEdit Press ⌘ + I (Get Info) Click the lock icon to unlock the ...
0
votes
1answer
542 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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Make Spotlight show files on unmounted volumes

Is there a way to make Spotlight show files that reside in different unmounted Volumes? I think there is no official way of doing this, and that Apple does not provide a plugin API that allows this ...
3
votes
2answers
183 views

Removed Spotlight, now there's a gap I can't get rid of

I disabled and removed spotlight from my menubar to save performance and space. Now except for saving some space, I have a gap in my menu-bar I'd like to get rid of: Anyone an idea how to get it ...
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it possible to run commands from spotlight?

I run commands in terminal a lot and i'm wondering if it is possible to run the commands from spotlight. For example in spotlight would like to run the command(because i have a lot of network ...
3
votes
2answers
356 views

Can I use Spotlight to search for files by name?

My most common search pattern is to search for files based on their name. When I try this in Spotlight (cmd-space) it rarely works. Is there a way to make Spotlight search for file names, and to place ...
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, ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I make spotlight ignore certain file types and directories?

Since spotlight continuously updates the index, sometime the file precedence gets changed around and I might type in "saf" and press return expecting to get Safari, but instead spotlight attempts to ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

Base computation via Spotlight?

Is there a combination of math functions I could use in spotlight to accomplish change of base ? I know I can do it on a case by case basis with normal algebra.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Change Spotlight's Top Hit?

Say I have two apps that match a search in spotlight (e.g. utility), it seems that Spotlight chooses the first application (sorted alphabetically) as the Top Hit. Is there any way to change this so ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
581 views

Launch default browser spotlight shortcut?

I often switch my default browser between Safari and Chrome. I would like to create a shortcut that will launch the default browser, whatever that may be. This way I don't have to remember what my ...
3
votes
5answers
469 views

How to increase size of the Spotlight search results window?

Is it possible to increase window width of the Spotlight search results under Mac OS X 10.6.6? I mean the semi-transparent "instant search result" window appearing at the top right corner under ...
0
votes
1answer
253 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 ...
41
votes
12answers
33k views

How to stop OS X from writing Spotlight and Trash files to memory cards and USB sticks?

When plugging a USB stick into a Mac, OS X creates a number of hidden files on the stick, including a Spotlight index and Trash folder. Example from the terminal for a USB stick "Untitled": $ ls -a ...
2
votes
3answers
476 views

Editing iPhoto-specific metadata

Perpetua:2011-01-16 ashley$ mdls IMAG0107.jpg ... kMDItemComment = "Cat with is tongue out." So, here's my question. xattr can be used to modify some ...
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 ...
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.
2
votes
2answers
239 views

How can I get Time Machine to ignore the data created by Spotlight?

I would like Time Machine to ignore the indexes and other metadata created by Spotlight, where are those kept on 10.6?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to ensure that spotlight indexes my entire drive?

Spotlight, is a fantastic tool. Took some years, but now I use the command line tools and it's awesome. However today, I found that spotlight does not index /System (!) I'd like spotlight to index ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Why is Spotlight listing some people from address book twice?

When searching Spotlight, certain Address Book contacts are listed twice. I have confirmed that I do not have two entries in Address Book for those individuals. The problem is that one of the ...
2
votes
3answers
534 views

Spotlight: Don't Index a Volume

Is it possible to ask Spotlight to not index a volume ?
3
votes
3answers
339 views

Spotlight loses index of Applications

When I get warnings that my HD is nearly full (Macbook Air, 64GB SSD), spotlight always loses its index of applications. That means that I can't launch Safari or Mail or other apps, which is the only ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How to use Regex with spotlight [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How Can I Search A Specific Type of File in Mac? How could I use spotlight to search for example for files that end with jar or files that end with doc and at the same ...