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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search Desktop
Tiger only hintThe quickest way I have found to make Command-F default to a name search is as follows...

First, create a smart search (folder), get all the settings the way you want (including the window size, the results bars collapsed or expanded, etc.), put something like Type Filename Here in the search box, and save it as Filename or something. Let it save in your default Saved Searches Folder.

Then, go to that folder, copy the file Filename to the desktop, rename it to default_smart.plist and copy that file to the Resources folder in the Finder app. To get there, navigate to /System -> Library -> Core Services, control-click on Finder, and then navigate to Contents -> Resources. Authenticate when asked, and then use the Activity Monitor or Terminal to restart the Finder. Your new defaults should now be working when you hit Command-F.

[robg adds: This worked as described, though my Finder crashed the first time I hit Command-F ... but I hadn't restarted it myself manually, either (whoops). It's been working fine since then, though.]
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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search | 10 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: mm2270 on Jul 06, '05 11:59:24AM

Excellent hint! I just did these steps as described and it works great! This is a MUCH easier way to edit the default smart search settings, rather than going in to the plist file and editing parameters there.

Also, there's no need to use Terminal or Activity Monitor to restart the Finder. I just did a Force Quit command and relaunched it from there and all is well. My new settings show up!

Thanks.

I wonder if someone will eventually wrap up this whole procedure in a GUI that can do all this in an easy few steps? Seems like a needed app. Or maybe Apple should just give us a way to control this instead as they should have to begin with.



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: Anonymous on Jul 06, '05 01:18:20PM

To find a file by something in the file name simply put the string in quotes ("string") and your search will be limited to file names only.



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: hypert on Jul 06, '05 11:06:30PM

This is not quite true. I have two word docs that contain the word "heater". Searching for "heater" (with the quotes) retains the one named "heater.doc" and the one named "foo.doc". This is the same whether searching from the Spotlight pop-down in the upper-right or by invoking Cmd-F.



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: hypert on Jul 06, '05 11:15:08PM

Thanks, deban! This is a great hint! At least now Cmd-F functions like I'm used to. And if I want "true" Spotlight searching, I can use the system-wide Spotlight pop-ups or the Finder toolbar. Very helpful!



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: chris_on_hints on Jul 09, '05 09:10:01AM

This is a neat way to generate a working default search plist file, but can be improved slightly. Here is what I did:

hit command-F to bring up the default finder search. I left the 'Kind is any' and the 'Date is any' options there, and just added a 'Filename contains' field (hit the + button). Unfortunately, to save it as a search, you need to type something into the query... either in the search bar (top right) or in the 'Filename contains' box.

The hint author suggested typing 'Type filename here' into the 'Filename contains..' box, but this means that when you use it as a default search, the window will contain the results of that (probably fruitless) search. Then you need to replace 'Type filename here' with the thing you want to search for, which needs accurate mousework.

Solution:
=========
After creating the saved search and renaming it to be a '.plist' file, open it for editing in Textedit / BBEdit / terminal etc and make the following changes:

1) remove the "type filename here" text from between the "<string>" and "</string>". this means that the resulting search will have an empty 'Filename contains...' box.

2) remove the text between the "<string>" and "</string>" which follows the "<key>RawQuery</key>" line. This means that no search will be performed when you hit command-F, presenting you with a clean window.

This allows me to type a 'normal' spotlight search in the box at top right, or do a filename search by putting text into the 'filename contains box'.

Obviously the basic search could be adjusted to have all of your favourite options visible by default, with empty boxes ready for your search query. Ahhhh. Thats better.



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: Spaztik on Dec 29, '05 01:42:32PM

If you ever wanted to search in COLUMN view. Simply use change the .plist file to <key>ViewStyle</key>
<string>clmv</string>



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: vasishth on May 29, '06 08:54:24AM

This worked very well for me. But is there any way to change the code generated by this method so as to make the Name Contains field the default field for text entry--that is to say, the field in which the cursor appears when the Find File window is opened using Command-F?

I'm happy with just this change, but it would be even better if I could just start typing after entering Command-F, without having to move to use the mouse (entering Tab only makes the cursor go away, rather than move to the next field.)



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: alanr on Sep 06, '06 11:23:40PM

Command-tab or control-tab gets you to the field...



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: pez on Jul 04, '07 03:37:03AM

I am also looking for a way to do this...any suggestions?

Is there any way to change the code generated by this method so as to make the Name Contains field the default field for text entry--that is to say, the field in which the cursor appears when the Find File window is opened using Command-F?



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10.4: Yet another way to change the Finder's default search
Authored by: geppo1982 on May 29, '06 01:07:41PM

Great hint! Thanks you.



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