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10.4: Spotlight's missing help now available Apps
Tiger only hintThough I've been quite impressed with the power of Spotlight (and similarly frustrated at times by some apparently basic missing features), I've felt that there must be more than what I was seeing. I'd read the Help files, browsed the web, but hadn't found a lot of useful information.

And now, thanks to Kirk McElhearn, I know more -- he pointed out that Apple posted a new Spotlight Tips page yesterday. This page (which will also go into the Links section here shortly) contains the kind of information I'd been looking for on Spotlight -- specifically the information on keyword and date searching.

Though there are still areas that need improvement (large indexes are still quite slow to be searched, for instance), knowing some of these advanced Spotlight methods helps quite a bit...
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10.4: Spotlight's missing help now available | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Spotlight's missing help now available
Authored by: allanmarcus on May 03, '05 02:32:52PM

Great link! Very useful. I REALLY wish Apple would post printer friendly version of these articles, though.

Looks like Apple is starting their own Tip of the week section. good.


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Spotlight "kind" Keywords
Authored by: belette on May 03, '05 03:18:24PM

About the Spotlight "kind" Keywords:
The word "kind" is localized. For example, if you want to do a spoptlight query in pdf files on a french tiger, you'd have to specify "<mots recherchés> type:PDF" instead of "<search string> kind:PDF". Don't know about the word "kind" in other languages, but i assume this would apply as well...

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Copying files from iPod using spotlight
Authored by: mebigrock on May 03, '05 03:31:48PM

Two minutes playing around with the "kind:music" keyword and I noticed that the music on my iPod was showing up too...

So to copy music from an iPod to your hard disk all you need to do is open a new spotlight window, type "kind:music" and the name of the song/album/band you want and select you iPod in the "Where" option on the right. The songs appear and you can select the ones you want and copy them anywhere. Magic.

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10.4: Spotlight's missing help now available
Authored by: inik on May 03, '05 03:49:55PM
While Apple's help page has some nice tips for generating more accurate Spotlight searches, this developer page on Spotlight syntax has details regarding setting up complex queries using Spotlight's internal syntax. This allows for much more complex searching using regular expressions and conditionals.

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What does apple have against marmalade?
Authored by: geohar on May 03, '05 03:59:34PM

Interesting experiments with Spotlight:

It works for command-line generated files (eg via vi too, provided you use a .txt extension). For some reason unknown to me, there are certain words which Spotlight will not index!!

By way of experimentation, I tried typing / cut and pasted in a recipie. Don't ask why, but if I add the word marmalade into the document and search for it, I get no hits. Marmite and esperanto, goulash all are ok. Random junkwords also seem fine.

This makes me wonder if the index internally lists word-numbers from some dynamic dictionary and for some reason marmalade has fallen through the cracks. Of course iMarmalade ;), marm, marma, marmal, marmala and marmalad are all fine (as in you can search for that word if only that prefix is in the document, not the full word).

BTW. This occurs whether you use vi, bbedit or textedit, regardless of what you use to open or save the document.

iTunes songs with marmalade in them are fine (can be the comment, doesn't have to be the track name).

Anyone got more words for the list?

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What does apple have against marmalade?
Authored by: gschueler on May 03, '05 04:24:41PM

searching for 'marmalade' after putting that into a text file works for me...

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What does apple have against marmalade?
Authored by: geohar on May 03, '05 04:40:09PM

What did you call the file? I named it something unrelated, and can see it using other search terms, but not marmalade. Totally repeatable with new files.

Very odd. BTW. I'm in a UK locale, rather than US - don't know if that matters.

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What does apple have against marmalade?
Authored by: andreas999 on May 04, '05 02:28:55AM

With a Swedish locale, no problem with either finding marmalade in old documents (pre-Tiger) or in new (post-Tiger).

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What does apple have against marmalade?
Authored by: geohar on May 04, '05 03:12:02AM

Ah. This morning it started working!

It turns out that spotlight looks at the update rate for a file and doesn't keep indexing it if it keeps being written too lots of times. Not sure how many or how frequently it takes before spotlight backs off.

Very interesting. Probably a good optimization from apple.

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More Stupid Spotlight Tricks
Authored by: batguano on May 03, '05 06:43:16PM

If you don't want to go through all of the syntax on Apple's Dev page... just try some simple searches based on common file attributes listed in the 'More Info' pane of Finder or just about any App.

here are a couple of examples I found...

'kind:image gray'
(returned a bunch of black and white photo's I had scanned (the colour space was listed as 'Gray')

'kind:image rgb'
(returned my colour pictures)

'kind:music 192'
(returned any mp3's I had encoded at 192 bit rate)

'kind:image 180'
(returned any image that was 180 pixels in width or height OR was 180 DPI)

'kind:music 2004'
(returned any music file that had the year of release listed as 2004)

'kind:music classical'
(returned any music listed as classical in the ID3 tag)

A nice easy way to get your files organised.

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More Stupid Spotlight Tricks but conditions ?
Authored by: supermoquette on May 04, '05 03:49:32AM

Hum I'm tired but I'm still search conditionnal search in spotlight for example searching all my illustrator AND esp files modified last week ? only possible through Automator ?

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10.4: Spotlight's missing help now available
Authored by: jweber on May 04, '05 08:10:12AM
Here's something cool that I just noticed: Safari and Tiger store a file's URL when you download it. It stores the URLs for the file itself and for the page that linked to it. You can search this by doing a Find, choosing Other, and selecting "Where From." Or from the command line:
mdfind "kMDItemWhereFroms = '**'cd"

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