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Find things faster with these Spotlight search tips for Mac

  Spotlight Search Mac

When you need to find something on your Mac, you have the convenient Spotlight search feature built-in. This handy tool helps you find documents, apps, and files too that give you suggestions if you want.

Although Spotlight is super easy to use, you can do a lot more with it than you probably realize. You can limit results faster, get local information without much effort, and even do calculations.

To get the most out of this cool tool, here are some Spotlight search tips for Mac.

Accessing Spotlight

You have two very fast ways to access the Spotlight search on your Mac. The first and most obvious is the Spotlight search button in the menu bar. Click on it, type and search.

Alternatively, you can hold your fingers on the keyboard and access it with the shortcut Command + Bar [Space9459]]

Customizing Spotlight [19659007] You don't have to have searchlight on every one circuit on your Mac when using it. You can decide what and where to search and enable or disable search suggestions.

Open System Selection with the Dock button or click Apple icon > System Selection from the menu bar.

Select Spotlight . In the popup window, make sure that the Search Results tab is selected. You can then select or deselect any item in the list from applications to email and system selection messages. This is also good to keep in mind if you can't find what you're looking for with Spotlight.

 Spotlight in System Preferences Mac

At the bottom of the window you can check the box for Allow spotlight suggestions in Look up for more help in the searches your.

Using Spotlight

As mentioned, you can get local information, add words to limit results, make conversions and more. Here are the Spotlight search tips you should keep in mind the next time you use it.

 Spotlight Showtimes Mac

Try some of these searches:

Weather : Enter "weather" and without clicking, you get local conditions and forecasts.

Restaurants : Enter "pizza", "burgers", "tacos", or any other food you are in the mood to eat and see local eateries.

Showtimes : Enter the name of the movie followed by "showtimes" and you will see times for that movie at your local theater.

Calculations : Enter the calculation and immediately see the result such as "3560 * 450" or "3560-450".

Conversions : Type what you want to convert as "3 cups to tablespoons" or "450 feet to inches".

Definitions : Type any word and then the definition or click Definition on the left.

File type and metadata : Type "type:" before the type of file you are searching for as "type: video" or "kind: pdf". And you can include metadata to limit the results. some examples.

  • type: images created: 1/1/19 – for images created on this data
  • resume type: document – for documents with the word "resume" [19659029] type : music by: "madonna" – for music by Madonna.
  • modified: <= 1/1/19 – for items modified on or before a specific date.

  Spotlight Modified Date Mac [19659031] Spotlight Modified Date Mac

Boolean operators : Use operators like "AND," "OR," "NOT," and a minus sign for "AND NOT", to narrow the search results, here are some examples. [19659027] idb AND feedback – would search for items that contain both words.

  • author: sandy OR author: sandi – would search for items that contain both words.
  • kind: message date: 1/1/19-2/1/19 NOT 2/14/19 – would search for messages between specific dates but eliminate them on a specific date.
  • vacation chicago – would search for items with the word "vacation" but not "Chicago."
  •   Spotlight Boolean Operator Mac

    Whatever you search, you will see a list of apps, documents, and more on the left when applicable. So you can search for "email from Sebastien last year" and see results in the Mail app on the left that you can choose from.

    And to see all the results for your Finder search, double click on View All in the Finder link in the bottom left corner. Your Finder window opens with your results.

     Spotlight Show all in Finder Mac

    Wrapping it

    Using Spotlight to find things on your Mac or the Internet is simply convenient. And with some tricks like these, you can make your search more accurate.

    Do you have any Spotlight search tips you want to add? If so, please comment below!

    And if you're having trouble finding what you're looking for, here's how to restore the Spotlight index on your Mac.

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