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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities System 10.4
Tiger only hintWhen I first got Tiger, I thought that Spotlight could replace Quicksilver, which I couldn't live without, but I realised that I couldn't. Spotlight was simply too slow in the face of Quicksilver.

But then I realised that both applications had advantages of their own. Quicksilver's interface was perfect for launching apps and Spotlight was perfect for finding documents and information. So what I did was configure Quicksilver to only search for applications, and told Spotlight to search only for documents, email, etc, but not applications. Spotlight is configured through the Search Results tab of the Spotlight System Preferences panel; just uncheck Applications in the list.

This gave both applications a dramatic boost in performance, but it was especially notable in Spotlight.

[robg adds: This is good advice, regardless of which launcher you may use -- Butler (my launcher of choice) and LaunchBar would probably benefit from similar chagnes. I tested it with Butler (just disabling Spotlight's application searching), and Spotlight did indeed seem a touch quicker.]
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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities | 8 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities
Authored by: sig eigei on Jul 26, '05 02:07:59PM

I echo this advice. I have actually been working this way since starting with 10.4. I us Launchbar and while I didn't disable anything in LB I did disable apps in Spotlight. My methodology is basically to use LB when I know where something is (documents, it's great for cutting and pasting contact info, etc - also because you can make custom shortcuts) and I use Spotlight when I have to find somthing that I don't know where to look, i.e. mainly content searches.



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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities
Authored by: renderhead on Jul 26, '05 02:21:52PM

I've done something similar, although instead of removing applications searches from Spotlight entirely, I moved it to the bottom of the list for returned results (done by dragging the item in Spotlight preferences). That way, I can still use it to launch Quicksilver when I've had to quit the app for some reason.



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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities
Authored by: mchadwick on Jul 26, '05 04:22:04PM

I went in the opposite direction and insisted upon using spotlight as a launcher. To do this, I went into my spotlight preferences and:

- Under the Search Results tab, I unchecked everything except Applications, System Preferences, and Contacts
- Under the Privacy tab, I clicked the plus (+) and proceeded to add Library, User Guids And Information, and Users.

This dramatically increased the speed at which spotlight could be used as a launcher for me. It flies now.



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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities
Authored by: osxpounder on Jul 26, '05 07:31:46PM

mchadwick: after you've applied your tip, can you still search for documents? I got the impression that Spotlight was the only file searching method that comes with Tiger, so I'm wondering: if you tell it to only look at applications, for example, would you remove the ability to do a Finder search for a document?

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osxpounder



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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities
Authored by: mchadwick on Jul 27, '05 09:09:45AM

osxpounder:

The short answer is no, you would not be able to search for anything but applications and then only those applications in standard locations.

I believe you are correct that the intended purpose of spotlight is for file searching and not to be a launcher. However, I am relatively content using Finder if I'm ever missing a document, and otherwise using mail.app's built-in search capabilities. I have no need to have searching at my fingertips. However, since my primary computer is a 12" PowerBook, screen real estate is crucial to me and I need to keep my dock size down to a minimum. Having a launcher like QuickSilver does that for me.

Since Spotlight is now built-in to OS X and the only functionality I need it for is launching applications, it seemed prudent to prune the files it could / would access accordingly to speed it up. The suggestion may not fit most people, I just figured that if we were talking about restricting the files Spotlight looks at to speed it up in one way we might as well at least mention other ways to improve performance - even if it's unorthodox. After all, what else is macosxhints.com if not a place to provide potentially unorthodox solutions to common issues? :-)



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Wow did I misread
Authored by: mchadwick on Jul 27, '05 11:18:30AM

Note to self: no more comments before coffee.

I thought you were asking me if you could continue to search for documents with Spotlight after applying my tip. The answer to that would be no, you cannot.

However, what I now see that you asked me was if you could do a normal Find through Finder (File -> Find). The answer to that is absolutely, yes. In fact, just to be sure, I just now tested it. I was able to find documents in my home directory with a Finder Find, however the same search in Spotlight turned up nothing. (Read: working as I'd hoped)

Sorry for the mis-reading. I've learned my coffee lesson. ;-) Hope this better answers your question!



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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities
Authored by: friedguy on Jul 26, '05 06:24:10PM

I am having trouble setting Quicksilver to only search for Applications. Any insight?



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10.4: Set up Spotlight to work with launcher utilities
Authored by: restiffbard on Jul 26, '05 07:57:45PM

open Quicksilver preferences, then navigate to the catalog item. You can check/uncheck items there.



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