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10.5: A tip on location-based Smart Folders in 10.5 System 10.5
After installing Leopard, I noticed a missing feature with Smart Folders: I didn't see any GUI-based method for changing the location (path) for the Smart Folder function. In Tiger, there's an "Other" button in the toolbar which allowed for the specification of a path -- but that was removed in Leopard.

After some digging, though, I realized the problem: I was using the File » New Smart Folder menu item to build my searches. Using the menu item, the only options for search location are the computer, the user's home folder, and the Shared folder. However, if I use File » Find (Command-F) instead, then the Smart Search comes up with default search locations of the computer, the currently-selected Finder folder, and the Shared folder.

So in order to search a specified location in Leopard with Smart Folders, you must use Command-F to start the search; the menu item is basically useless. Just make sure you're in the folder you want to search before you press Command-F.

[robg adds: I've never actually used the New Smart Folder menu item in 10.5. I checked, though, and the author's right, which makes me wonder when the menu item would ever be useful. Also, the disappearance of the Others button means you can't make a Smart Search that searches more than one folder at a time. (In 10.4, you could use the Others button to include multiple folders in one search.) If you can think of any way to replicate this behavior in 10.5, please post in the comments.]
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10.5: A tip on location-based Smart Folders in 10.5
Authored by: clindahl on Feb 08, '08 11:09:24AM
For an interesting Finder replacement, check out Pathfinder . It is $34 for the full version (has a demo version to try), and appears to be quite powerful. This product may have a multi-folder smart feature...

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10.5: A tip on location-based Smart Folders in 10.5
Authored by: Dibbler on Feb 08, '08 03:10:59PM

Yes, Path Finder can search multiple folders. Unfortunately it can't create or edit smart folders.



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10.5: A tip on location-based Smart Folders in 10.5
Authored by: asmeurer on Feb 08, '08 08:33:00PM

Command-F only provided an option for the hard drive for me. To search in one folder, I have to type in the search bar for that folder.

I noticed that open dialogs let you save searches too. That might be a way to do it. Or AppleScript anyone…



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10.5: A tip on location-based Smart Folders in 10.5
Authored by: maXam_Studio on Apr 14, '08 05:54:04AM

I have the same problem as Asmeurer,
Command + F only provides my search location to be "My Hard Drive",
No matter what folder I am in and Cmnd+F in.

Funny enough on two other machines I own it functions as expected/as should only on my iMac 24" can I only search the hard drive as an option..

If anybody can please help ma get my find/spotlight GUI to function as it should..



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10.5: A tip on location-based Smart Folders in 10.5
Authored by: cibi3d on Feb 18, '08 07:55:54AM

I haven't tested it in a 10.5.1 or earlier, but on 10.5.2 it doesn't seem to work. Both New Smart Folder and Find... commands show me the same options... Maybe I'm a bit blind but I can't locate the default locations nor other option to change the search directory...

BTW, I've always found a bit annoying that the default search path is "This mac" when the search is performed through the spotlight field, it is more likely that one wishes to look for an item in the current folder rather the whole machine.



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10.5: A tip on location-based Smart Folders in 10.5
Authored by: morespace54 on Apr 08, '08 12:55:13PM

FYI, I think I did pretty much successfully replicate the OP hint but with a slight difference (or maybe I didn't understand correctly the original hint ;)).

Instead of typing CMD+F to start up a search in a specific folder, one should open that folder in the Finder (as mentioned in the original hint) but use the search field (top right corner of the Finder window) instead of CMD+F. This way, you get the selected folder as a place to search (alongside the usual default folders).



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Hack to search multiple folders
Authored by: Aikinai on Apr 08, '08 06:22:53AM

I figured out a hack to solve this problem and I just submitted a hint but I imagine it will be awhile before it shows up, so here's a copy for anyone who needs a solution soon:

In 10.5 Leopard, there is no way to do a smart search on multiple locations (and even searching one specific location is a pain). I've search everywhere and found no real solutions, but I've discovered it does work if you manually edit a previous saved search in a text editor. This is obviously no good for quick searches, but if you want to use a saved search as a smart folder, this method will work.

First make a search with the other criteria you want (date, filetype, etc), but any location and save it. Then go to /Users/Username/Library/Saved Searches/ and you will see the search you just made. I'm not sure what other text editors you can use, but I used Smultron and it worked great. I dragged the search to Smultron on the dock and it opened it as a text file. There are many keys where it lists the location of the search so I did a find and replace to change them all.

For example you might find:


		<array>
			<string>/Users/Username/Documents</string>
		</array>

and replace with:


		<array>
			<string>/Users/Username/Documents</string>
			<string>/Users/Username/Pictures</string>
			<string>/Users/Username/Music</string>
		</array>

Now, just save the file and when you click on the saved search, it will search all the locations.

This is obviously not the best way to do this, but it will work until Apple realizes we might still want to search based on folders.



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Re: Hack to search multiple folders
Authored by: ammacdon on Oct 30, '08 12:50:01PM

thanks Aikinai! that worked perfectly. i used it to search two specific folders on an external drive, so i set the CurrentFolderPath array to just the enclosing folder, and set SearchScopes and FXScopeArrayOfPaths arrays to the folders inside.



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Re: Hack to search multiple folders
Authored by: ammacdon on Dec 12, '08 01:01:09PM
also, i forgot to note that the smart folder text file doesn't like escaped paths, e.g.: the kind you get when you drag a file in the terminal:

Bad:

		<key>SearchScopes</key>
		<array>
			<string>/Volumes/external\ hard\ drive/myfolder</string>
		</array>


Good:

		<key>SearchScopes</key>
		<array>
			<string>/Volumes/external hard drive/myfolder</string>
		</array>


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Hack to search multiple folders
Authored by: CharlesB52 on Sep 22, '11 02:33:31AM
Great tip, it still works in Lion. Key name to edit is now

		<key>FXScopeArrayOfPaths</key>
		<array>
			<string>/Volumes/DD/Documents</string>
			<string>/Users/charles2/Documents</string>
		</array>


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