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10.4: Demystify Spotlight's saved search syntax
Authored by: gaoshan on Oct 12, '05 06:22:50PM

Given what I have used Spotlight for, I find Quicksilver to be a far superior solution. It finds what I need faster than Spotlight, is more customizable and just plain does more.

A good example... I want to launch Photoshop (which, for whatever reason, is not in the dock).

Quicksilver:

  1. Hit key command to launch it
  2. Start typing "Photoshop"
  3. By the time I hit "o" Quicksilver has Photoshop selected
  4. Hit the enter key to launch
Spotlight:
  1. Hit key command to launch it
  2. Start typing "Photoshop"
  3. Spotlight jumps around the results as I type, finally offering Photoshop after I have typed the entire word
  4. Unfortunately, hitting the enter key will launch an obscure file called "photoshop9-EC-RET.csa". I must arrow down the list to get Photoshop
  5. Now I can launch it
No contest in this sort of situation.

Now, how about trying to find and launch an obscure, little used text file about nmap fingerprinting?

Quicksilver requires typing the word "nmap", hitting the right arrow key (which expands the folder presented by QS), and pressing enter to launch the file.

Spotlight requires the same steps except that I had to hit the arrow down key 8 times to get to the desired file.

Once again, not much of a contest. Spotlight really only gets accessed on my computer by accident, anymore.



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10.4: Demystify Spotlight's saved search syntax
Authored by: statefuldotnet on Oct 13, '05 09:55:01AM
You bring up a good point, but I use both Quicksilver and Spotlight as a daily part of my workflow and couldn't do without either of them.
Now, how about trying to find and launch an obscure, little used text file about nmap fingerprinting? Quicksilver requires typing the word "nmap", hitting the right arrow key (which expands the folder presented by QS), and pressing enter to launch the file.
Quicksilver would never find it though if nmap was text inside a pdf and that was really the document you had in mind -- Spotlight would. It is a critical event to consider -- Quicksilver has no concept of metadata, but it is an excellent portal for handing off content to Spotlight.service if you only one a single consistent interface. You are right in terms of the file launcher capability, but that's not a driver for Spotlight, it can do it, but that's not the purpose of it. I find the technologies complementary at best. Spotlight to index data, and Quicksilver to index applications and perform actions. Also if you hate the search as you type in Spotlight just use Quicksilver to invoke your spotlight search from text you type in after hitting the '.' key. If you restrict both technologies to not overlap each other you will find that both Spotlight and Quicksilver are MUCH faster then they are by default. Be sure and use the Privacy settings to your advantage too -- if you know you'll never search for anything in a directory that Spotlight seems to be pulling hits from, immediately block it. Also tune down the types of data you want Spotlight to return... maybe you don't care about it pulling up fonts, movies, music, system preferences, etc -- and you're really only concerned with email, pdf, presentations, etc. Tuning this also significantly speeds up Spotlight. I actually only use 5 of the 14 items, because Quicksilver handles the some of them better (like contacts and bookmarks for example).

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10.4: Demystify Spotlight's saved search syntax
Authored by: stonematt on Oct 13, '05 07:49:23PM

I use LaunchBar (http://www.obdev.at/products/launchbar/) to do basic application launching and search by filename. It actually predicts/learns shortcuts, so I can type "pho" to launch iPhoto and "ps" to launch Photoshop, etc.

WAY faster than spotlight, Spotlight isn't indexing some of my folders and I can't figure out how to tell it to, but occasionally it works for me. It's great as the search engine inside Mail. I seach mail all the time and it's very good.

-stone



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