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This is not a profound question, but I don't know the answer.

What is the name of the OS behavior that brings you to the file name in a finder window by typing the first few letters?

"Search as you type"?

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  • Besides file system search engine, I would have to agree with the previous comment: Spotlight is the term given by Apple and Find is simply a general function. Predictive search may be more specific. – Tmanok Jan 9 '18 at 4:20
  • @Tmanok so when I open a finder window, and I type a d and then an a and the file called data becomes highlighted, this behavior could be called "spotlight"? I think of spotlight as a utility or application, not a behavior. – uhoh Jan 9 '18 at 4:40
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    You get me every time uhoh. support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204014 Yes it's true that Spotlight works as it's own application and connects to the finder and is capable of bypassing finder windows and opening files and applications without opening or interfacing with a finder window. I apologize for the lack of clarity and my misreading of the question. – Tmanok Jan 9 '18 at 4:43
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    Note this behaviour predates Spotlight by many years. I can't remember when it started, I'd guess way back at System 7 or so. – Tetsujin Jan 9 '18 at 8:18
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    Keyboard navigation, but the variant where as long as you dont pause the letters you type stick to the current context – John Keates Jan 10 '18 at 0:21
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It is called as 'Code completion' feature or 'Typing intelligence'.

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  • Aha! Indeed these sounds like behaviors. – uhoh Jan 9 '18 at 4:41
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    Source for those terms? – Allan Jan 9 '18 at 12:19
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I'm not aware of a specific name for this behavior, but "type to select" seems like an reasonable, concise way of describing it.

It is not autocompletion -- that term specifically refers to behaviors which occur in a text entry context, like an input field or word processing document.

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