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Locate Via Spotlight in Mac OS X Lion

Locate Via Spotlight in Mac OS X Lion

If you are trying to find a specific content within your operating system or in your network and have no idea as to where to find it, the Spotlight feature of the Mac OS X Lion comes to the rescue. The application has the ability to search a file, folder or application by it name but, by its contents also. In addition to this, the program reads other information that is saved in those files which is known as metadata which displays the information as to how, when and by whom a certain set of data has been created and the way through which the entire data has been formatted. Defining a metadata, it can be said that it contains the name of the author, the date at which a particular file was created and consequently modified, the size of the page, dimensions of PDF files and graphical images, if any, time a lens of the camera is exposed to the photographs plus the tags of layers present in the layer shop.

The application of Spotlight can be traced on the right hand side of the menu bar on the Mac screen.  The icon of the feature is blue in color with a magnifying glass on it. The application undertakes a live search within the Home folder stored on the system making use of the information provided by the user.  All you have to do is to simply type in your search and the program will search it for you. The search will range from the files, folders, programs, Microsoft documents, web files, PDF files, and e-mails, address books, appointments in calendar, music and movie files plus the system Preferences panel.  As soon as the search is typed in, a list of 20 matching results is displayed which the user can customize according to his/her requirements.

The time, at which the Mac OS X is operated for the first time, the Spotlight application automatically collects the information regarding the home folder which is known as indexing.  Initially, the indexing procedure takes about 20 – 30 minutes to operate the functions after which updating of the process takes place as required. Through this process of indexing, the time taken by the system to perform a search is reduced to minimum.

Process of Finding Information through Spotlight

  • Click the icon of the application having an image of a magnifying glass located on the right side of the menu bar.
  • A field button will appear. Type in your search. In order to make a search of a specific phrase, type some quotes around it. As you continue typing, a list is displayed which keeps on changing as the typing is continued.
  • In order to preview an item present in the list (New!), point the cursor over it.
  • For the purpose of copying an item (New!), drag it out the item list.
  • For opening an item, click on the items icon or scroll down the list using the arrow keys after which the Return option should be used.
  • To stop a search within the application, click the close (x) button located at the top of the browser.

Process of Finding Information via Metadata through Spotlight

  • Click the icon of the application having an image of a magnifying glass located on the right side of the menu bar.
  • In the search field of the application type in code: keyword. Use quotation marks on both ends of the search word in order to make an exact phrase search. (The ‘Code’ in this search means the name of the author, the type and size of the file plus the date and time at which the file was created and modified. The ‘Keyword’ means the certain category which is being searched.)

Sorting Results of Spotlight

In case the list derived by the application is too long for your search, it is advised that the search text must be revised in the Search Field. The user can also use the Search bar to sort out or narrow down the results. The advantage of using a Search bar is that it helps to filter the results in terms of the type and location. Buttons located on the left side of the Search bar allows the user to filter out the results as to where the information is saved.  The results can be filtered on the basis of the search included in either the contents of the file or is the name of the file. In order to further reduce the result rate, other search criteria can be used using attributes of files.


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