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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results Desktop
I was very disappointed that I couldn't add the Size column to the list view in search results in Snow Leopard like you could do in Tiger, since Apple gave us the impression that Spotlight would include additional ways to sort results in Snow Leopard. Only Date Created and Date Modified were added as options in 10.6; the others are grayed out.

Fortunately, I found a way to force the Size column to appear, as well as Comments, Version and Label columns. You'll have to edit the com.apple.finder.plist file found in ~/Library/Preferences, using the Property List Editor app (included with Xcode) or PlistEdit Pro.

Open the Root node, then navigate down into SearchViewSettings » ListViewSettings » columns. Then choose the column you want to activate in the column list (ie. Size), and set the visible key to yes. Save the .plist and relaunch the Finder (Option-Control-click on the Finder icon in the Dock).

Note: you must have done at least one search, and selected one of the additional columns in the View Options panel for the search results (Date Created, for example), or else your .plist file may not contain the SearchViewSettings node.

Warning: Apple probably disabled these columns for a good reason, as there may be some bugs that could cause problems on your system. I didn't have any problems with the size column, but be warned.

[robg adds: I have no idea why it's taken over three years (and counting) to fix something that worked in 10.4. Until Apple gets it fixed, though, this seems to do the trick. I tested it on my MacBook Pro, and haven't had any problems as of yet. Note that you won't be able to actively enable/disable the columns in the View Options dialog, but all the columns you set to yes will show in your search results -- and once they're showing, you can sort as expected by simply clicking a column heading.]
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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results | 29 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: asmeurer on Sep 08, '09 08:03:58AM

defaults write command anyone?



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: vl_tone on Sep 08, '09 07:26:26PM

Unfortunately the "defaults write" command cannot modify nested .plist items like those found in this hint.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: V.K. on Sep 08, '09 08:09:23AM

Great hint!!! The omission of the size column in finder search results in Snow leopard is mysterious and seems to be a bug, actually. it was advertised as possible just before SL launch and this column does show up in "show view options" for search results but is grayed out for some reason.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: garcher on Sep 10, '09 08:27:58AM

I love it -- I found it also works for SMART folders (which are really just saved finder queries anyway).

I'd opened this as a bug back when 10.5 came out and it was eventually closed with the 'will be fixed in a future release'. Imagine my disappointment when it still did not work in SL. So far, size has been the one that I use -- a good way to get the size of various files (dmg, pdfs, presentations).

---
Gary



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: rjbailey on Sep 08, '09 09:06:07AM

Cool hint! On point I noticed: I didn't have the option to enable column views within the plist file until I changed some view settings first from the Finder. (Perform any search, hit CMD-J to change options, reopen plist file.)



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: jctull on Sep 08, '09 09:16:29AM

Great find! "Size" and "Date Last Modified", rather than the fairly pointless, to me anyway, "Date Last Opened".



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: BradMacPro on Sep 08, '09 12:12:55PM

Can this be added in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard?



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: vl_tone on Sep 08, '09 09:58:22PM

As far as I know you can't add it in 10.5. I tried to find how and failed.

Leopard uses a different system to display search results and the SearchViewSettings item doesn't exist in the Finder plist.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: bigkm on Sep 09, '09 04:16:44AM

You could change it with converting to xml then changing the value with some xml tool or text tool

plutil -convert xml1 ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: vl_tone on Sep 16, '09 09:05:11PM

Be careful with that.

Maybe it works with plutil, but when I tried converting the Finder binary plist to text using Property List Editor, I wound up with a crashing Finder that I could only get back by deleting the plist via the terminal. It seems that some items in the plist (containing hex data) are not converted properly to text.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: slswift on Sep 10, '09 08:53:52AM

Why is this listed under "Desktop Macs" instead of under "Mac OS X (10.6)"?



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: robg on Sep 11, '09 08:50:29AM

It was actually supposed to be under Desktop (i.e. Finder), but I mis-selected. Fixed now.

-rob.



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Serendipitous discovery
Authored by: gabester on Sep 24, '09 10:25:36AM

After I installed 10.6 on a test system I was quite disappointed to discover the ability to add standard view columns to search results was hype, seemingly limited to just Date Created and Modified (which was still a far cry better than just Kind and Date Last Opened in Leopard.)

On my primary system, however, I just upgraded from Leopard. After performing a few searches, I finally went into view options to add Date Modified. After checking the checkbox, I noticed that Label had somehow also become checked.

Then I googled and found this hint. I'm speculating that I had customized my Find results in 10.4 and am using a copy of the same user profile that had been upgraded first to Leopard then to Snow Leopard.

I suspect Apple's got these columns disabled at present because they can't get results to automagically appear in the desired sort order if you have something other than name or date selected. Do a search, sort by size, then change the search parameters - the results are regenerated and not sorted despite the size column being highlighted.

Thank goodness someone figured this out. I was seriously considering NOT upgrading to Snow Leopard... now all I'm missing is the tabs on top feature of the Safari 4 Beta which no longer works in SL.
g=



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: nilo on Oct 29, '09 03:30:27AM

As I'm not that savvy, I need simplified explanation:

How do I open root node? I downloaded a trial of PlistEdit Pro. What do I do now?

I need the size option.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: jj2man on Jan 16, '10 12:36:35PM

I have 10.6.2 and I couldn't find the file you mentioned. Anyone know how I can get the "size" column to be un-greyed?



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script to add size column
Authored by: tedw on Jan 17, '10 12:25:44AM
Just to help people out, here's a script that adds the size column to Finder searches.
tell application "Finder" to quit
tell application "System Events"
	set theFinderPrefsFile to POSIX path of (file "com.apple.finder.plist" of preferences folder of user domain)
	set theFinderPlist to property list file theFinderPrefsFile
	tell theFinderPlist
		tell property list item "SearchViewSettings"
			tell property list item "ListViewSettings"
				tell property list item "columns"
					tell property list item "size"
						set value of property list item "visible" to true
					end tell
				end tell
			end tell
		end tell
	end tell
end tell
delay 3 -- just to make sure the plist file is written to disk
tell application "Finder" to launch
To remove the size search, set visible to false instead of true in the above. My concern with this is that it would force the system to calculate file sizes at search time, which might slow down searches some and increase processor activity. Has anyone noticed that kind of effect? P.s - to use this, open the Applescript Editor in the Utilities folder, copy this script into it, and click Run.
Edited on Jan 17, '10 12:26:57AM by tedw


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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: Mike Sikurlaub on Jan 17, '10 05:07:35PM

Cool hint indeed!
Must look really cool!
I have a question though - May I do it on any Mac OS platform or only on 10.6?I'm just too lazy to install that version just to make it...

---
My Web site



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: machint on Feb 08, '10 09:59:48AM

Great hint! Any way to show the path as well? Thanks.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: Sz.Zsolt on Feb 24, '10 11:46:51AM

I just edited the file com.apple.finder.plist with TextWrangler (which is free), so you don't need PlistEdit Pro.

Go to: SearchViewSettings ListViewSettings columns

Change the <false/> to <true/> under visible.

<key>size</key>
<dict>
<key>ascending</key>
<false/>
<key>index</key>
<integer>3</integer>
<key>visible</key>
<false/>
<key>width</key>
<integer>97</integer>
</dict>



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: sbr287 on Sep 25, '10 09:30:30AM

I tried this suggestion without success. Although I saved the amended file from Textwrangler, and received no error message, on opening the file a minute later, the date/time stamp had been modified but the file had reverted back to the previous value - i.e. it was showing false instead of true at the requisite part of the file.

<key>size</key>
<dict>
<key>ascending</key>
<false/>
<key>index</key>
<integer>3</integer>
<key>visible</key>
<false/>
<key>width</key>
<integer>97</integer>
</dict>



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: bckelly on Mar 22, '10 04:06:27PM

Thank You

Thank You

Thank You

For about 2 years (longer?) I've been cussing at 10.5 and 10.6 for R E M O V I N G the option to see File Size in a Finder Search since about OS 8 or 7

What in the World was Apple thinking ? ... Damn, that's the Windoze way of doing things

Can only imagine there's some "new wierdness" going on "under the hood" with The Finder/Spotlight/et al ... and that is reason Size was removed (?) until the "New and Improved Finder" is ready for primetime (my guess is some kind of super duper relational database stuff, and is tough to implement easily, especially with Cover Flow and all the other newer "bells and whistles")

Anyway - Thanks Again for this "hint"

Now - if we can have a way to "easily" search a unique combination of particular drives, and ONLY that combination, easliy ... dig ? (like in 10.4 - pick the drives to search - 1, 2, etc, or all)

BC Kelly



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: pyromjm on May 13, '10 07:44:39PM

OMG! I registered JUST for this comment. I have been pissed at apple for years about this. When snow leopard was about to come out i saw this advertised too and was SO EXCITED. Bought snow leopard, installed, did a search ... and cried.

Thank you for this tip!



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: Rexxyboy on Jul 14, '10 04:44:03AM

Such a great tip.. HUGE THANKS!!!!

Rexx..



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: baltner on Jul 30, '10 06:57:17AM

Great hint except that I don't have com.apple.finder.plist anywhere on my system. I even looked with the "show hidden files" option turned on. I never removed this file, that's for sure. I guess I'll try just adding one and see what happens...



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: zo219 on Sep 25, '10 08:00:29PM

Yes you do. You really do. Look in your User Library folder, in the Preferences folder. View the contents alphabetically. There it will be.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: weatherproof on Aug 03, '10 04:00:41PM

As of (at least) 10.6.4 you can simply right click (control+click) in the Finder's search results and select "Show View Options" and select the columns you want to appear in the search results. No plist editing necessary.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: fud on Aug 05, '10 10:30:45AM

NOT on my 10.6.4 system, Size among other options is grayed out.



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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: jeph on Nov 22, '10 10:54:31PM
This tip does in fact work under 10.6.5 but you'll only see the Size column in your search results if you kill the Finder (or restart) first. If you just fire up Terminal after doing what the tip prescribes, then enter:
killall -KILL Finder
...that should fix the problem. It did for me, anyway.

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10.6: Add Size and other columns to search results
Authored by: soderberg on Nov 28, '10 07:18:28PM

Thanks so much for this hint, it's fantastic to be able to see sizes of files again in search results!

However, there are some files out of order in the size column, which I noticed first after I set "visible" to yes (plus relaunched the finder), and which was still the case when I also added "ascending".

It's a major improvement already but if the accuracy could be improved I'd be thrilled ... any tips?



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