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Spotlight’s search keywords are localized System
Today I needed to filter search results using Spotlight and remembered that you can use keywords to narrow down the search. In my particular case I wanted to find all emails I had received from a specific contact that I had in my Time Machine backup going back over years.

I had a frustrating time with reindexing and whatnot, because the keywords that were mentioned everywhere on the net didn't work for me and always yielded absolutely zero results. After spending way too much time I thought I'd share my discovery here, because I only found this out by accident.

It turns out that Spotlight's search keywords are localized! So in my case (German) I can't use keywords like:

kind:mail from:johndoe

But using the German words everything works as it should. In our example this means:

art:mail von:johndoe

This goes for all the keywords as it seems. I hadn't thought of that at first, because I'm used to doing other Spotlight searches (i.e. in applications) alternatively in English or German. For example I can search for 'keychain' or 'schlüsselbund' and both will get me Keychain

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. You can go into System Preferences » Language & Text » Language and then change the order for your preferred language. It makes sense to me that Spotlight would respect this, and use the appropriate dictionary.]
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Spotlight’s search keywords are localized
Authored by: alastor933 on Feb 08, '11 06:33:13AM

You can find all localised keywords, with their English equivalent, in MDPredicateKeywords.plist in the lproj folder for your language in Metadata.framework, part of CoreServices.framework.

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