How to Use Spotlight Search and Smart Folder for Mac

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If you are a voluminous downloader and store them in a casual way then, at some point you will not able to find a few important particulars. Such a scenario is quite irksome and, left you no other option, but to toil hard to find out that particular in your entire hard drive. Thankfully, you have a tool, that will perform the same workaround in a more efficiently and, within very less time. Spotlight search is that kind of tool. You can find Spotlight at the top right corner of the menu bar with a sign of a magnifying glass.

How to use Spotlight Search efficiently

Spotlight search performs for you, with the smartest way. In this article, I will make you meet the fact that, why I am using the word smartest. Not only, Spotlight search a particular document, file or picture, it also got some other utilities. Such as, if you key in any word, it will find the word’s dictionary meaning. If that word is contained in a document or pdf ‘s body, then the Spotlight will extract those documents and pdf files in the search results. You can also able to see the preview of a movie or hear any song. Now, I am going through one by one.

As for example,(you can see in the screenshot, for the purpose of your better understanding)if you type “iTunes” in the search box, Spotlight will show everything associated in your Mac. Such a folder, application, system preference, web search etc. It will also show you the dictionary meaning.


If you are looking for a specific movie or song, just enter the name of the movie in the search box and the concerning file will be appearing in the list. Now, here I am sharing a screenshot that is taken from my own Mac. Suppose I am looking for the movie “Valkyrie”. The movie already in my hard disk. I type just the first word “V” in the search box and all the pdf, application just appeared in the search list. The list will contain the movie for which I am looking for. You can also able to take a look. To make sure your search is successful, you can preview the movie which will be helpful for you. This help will call for if your hard disk contains multiple files of the same nomenclature.


“Spotlight” will also calculate any numeric equation input in the search box. So, you can use it as a calculator. If you don’t know the meaning of any word while you are going through an ebook, you can simply use “Spotlight” as a lexicon. So it is turning to be a useful tool for the user.

As it discussed earlier that “Spotlight” will find the particular document that you are looking for. But it will not reveal the location of the file. To find out the location of the particular simply, select the file and hold the “command” key. The location of your file will be shown in the Path Bar. The Path bar is at the bottom of the selected file.

It is a bit easy to launch an application through “Spotlight”. Just, enter the application’s name in the search box that you want to launch. You can see the application is showing in the “Spotlight” list. Just a simple click is enough to launch the application.

You can also exclude search from different source by selecting “Spotlight Preference” at the bottom of the pop-down menu. Click the “System Preference” and, a window will open like that(shown in the screenshot). By unchecking the option you can exclude the search domain.

Look how Smart Folder is an efficient searching tool

Like “Spotlight” another effective and efficient searching tool is “Smart Folder”. To create “Smart Folder”, ¬†go to the file menu in the Finder and select “New Smart Folder”. Now, type name of the file in the search box. Look at the toolbar. There is another control bar that appears at the bottom of the toolbar. By + sing, you can add your search criteria. Suppose your presentation file is saved somewhere on the hard drive. After a few days ago you modified your presentation, saved again somewhere else.


Now, you facing difficulties finding your last modified file as the copies of expanded presentation files are spread in a different folder. Just type down the presentation copies in the search box and, select the modified date and the probable domain, where it may contain. “Smart Folder” will show all the presentation copy in the hard drive. As it enables you to show all the presentation document in one window without hampering the original one, hence it turned out to be quite easy to find your last modified one.


The smartest thing about “Smart Folder” is that it will up-to-date your file or folder that you are instructed. You can save the “Smart Folder” in the sidebar and after the whole workaround, you can find your “Smart Folder” under the “Search For” heading.

Until you are not using “Spotlight” and “Smart Folder”, the mist will shroud around you. So don’t hesitate and work with these multitasking tools, the most powerful application is within your grasp.

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