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I am trying to make some Smart Folders to compensate for the woefully useless Recents folder but I am having some problems trying to filter out things I don't want to appear.

One of them is excluding anything that is anywhere within the $HOME/Library directory or some approximation of that. I looked into the additional file attributes that are usable as search criteria that can be used in making a Smart Folder (in other words, the list that comes up when you click "other" in the search criteria menu) for things like "path", "has parent directory", or anything similar which would indicate the file/folder is buried in $HOME/Library somewhere. "Name" only pertains to actual file name and "Document Container" only pertains to the immediate parent directory. I cannot find any attribute whatsoever which might have the full path shown.

Is there a work-around for this, or perhaps, is there a file attribute that has this info that I am simply not seeing that is available?

Anyone know iff

  • Can you use this answer to exclude a folder from Spotlight? – fsb May 17 at 20:54
  • Ah, I hadn't thought of actually excluding $HOME/Library from the Spotlight index altogether. That would certainly do the job but that does come at the cost of never being able to use Finder search within $HOME/Library for any reason. I suppose I could locate for such things on the CLI. Hmm... Anyway, thanks for that suggestion- worth considering. – Darf Nader May 17 at 21:07
  • Why do you find recents folder so useless? – jmh May 18 at 0:24
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    For me, neither Spotlight nor Smart Folders show results of files in the user Library. I don't have anything configured to be excluded. – benwiggy May 30 at 16:57
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Spotlight does not know / care about file paths. You can't ask it to find or exclude files by their parent folder.

You can get the results you want using the HoudahSpot application. This has the option to specify more than one search locations and to exclude locations. HoudahSpot also has an option to filter search results by path. Here you can apply regular expressions.

HoudahSpot can save searches as Finder "Smart Folders". Since the feature you are after is not supported by Finder, the restriction on locations and filters will however be lost in the process.

HoudahSpot has a concept of "Templates" that you can use to much of the same effect as "Smart Folders".

Full disclosure: HoudahSpot is a commercial product of which I am the developer.

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