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Can spotlight show where files are?

3737 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 1, 2012 5:16 PM by DelSo RSS
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1187 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 13, 2011 8:50 PM

Lost some emails during a system change-over. They don't appear in my Mail viewer but I can find some of them using Spotlight by remembering certain words and phrases. But Spotlight doesn't tell me where the files are that it's found. Presumably other files are located there as well. At least if I knew where they were I could open them with a text editor or something.

  • Joe Gramm Level 5 Level 5 (6,315 points)
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    Sep 13, 2011 9:01 PM (in response to 1187)

    Using Spotlight to search for items

     

    Presumably, if you open an item, you'll find it's location.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,685 points)
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    Sep 13, 2011 9:13 PM (in response to 1187)

    For some things the free Easyfind is better than Spotlight.

     

    If you want to use Spotlight for this I find if you get the list to display in a "show all" Spotlight window (vs. the menu), then right (control+) click on the item, there's a "reveal in Finder" option.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
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    Sep 14, 2011 12:26 AM (in response to 1187)

    I agree with the great Limnos, Easyfind...

     

    I'd get EasyFind...

     

    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/11076

     

    Or Find Any File...

     

    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/30079/find-any-file

     

    I have Spotlight completely disabled on most of my Macs, only keep it runnibg on a couple to help out here with all it's problems.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
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    Sep 14, 2011 5:59 PM (in response to 1187)

    Thanks, it's slower but can seach for text using the File Contents button.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,685 points)
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    Sep 14, 2011 6:22 PM (in response to BDAqua)

    It can search file contents but that has to be done separately from file & folder names so you have to do two searches to get all.

     

    Also Spotlight will search the tags of music files but Easyfind does not.

  • Ramón G Castañeda Level 4 Level 4 (1,445 points)
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    Sep 16, 2011 5:23 PM (in response to Limnos)

    There are many kinds of files that Apple has decreed are off-limits to the useless and intrusive Spotblight, such as program files and system files.  EasyFind finds them.

     

    There's nothing in Spotblight that makes me want to forget its intrusiveness.

     

    Spotblight, Dashboard and Time Machine are permanently disabled in my systems.

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,155 points)
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    Sep 19, 2011 11:07 AM (in response to Ramón G Castañeda)

    If you do not mind burning up your machine & harddrive, this will search for a string in every file.

     

    Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal

    sudo find  /  -type f -exec grep -il "your-word-here" {} \;

     

     

    your-word-here the exact string to match.  It's case independent, but that's all the variance allowed.

     

    Robert

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,685 points)
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    Sep 19, 2011 2:40 PM (in response to Limnos)

    I'll not disable Spotlight on my computer.  I agree, it won't find everything, but it is a lot more convenient using Spotlight for a quick search than firing up EasyFind (unless you're the kind of person to keep batches of utilities open 24/7).  I mostly use it for searching for music titles and (to be honest) text help files I have built for assisting people on Apple Discussions/Communities.  I can do a quick search with a single mouse click for something like "Spotlight" and it will show all the text files I have on various Spotlight subjects, both in the title and in the text, at the same time.

     

    I also use and value Easyfind, but Spotlight finds what I need 19 times out of 20.

  • Ramón G Castañeda Level 4 Level 4 (1,445 points)
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    Sep 20, 2011 2:41 AM (in response to Limnos)

    Limnos wrote:

     

    I'll not disable Spotlight on my computer.  I agree, it won't find everything, but it is a lot more convenient using Spotlight for a quick search than firing up EasyFind (unless you're the kind of person to keep batches of utilities open 24/7)…

     

    1.—I do not feel that questionable advantage justifies my putting up with the intrusiveness of Spotblight; and

     

    2.— Yes, EasyFind is always open on my system.  I feel I can afford that with my 16 GB of RAM. 

     

     

    2.5 GHz Power Mac (PPC) G5-Quad; 16GB RAM; mutant, flashed 550MHz nVidia GeForce 7800GTX, 1,700MHz 512MB VRAM; ATTO ExpressPCI UL5D LP SCSI card; Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11 and Leopard 10.5.8 boot drives; Spotblight, Dashboard and Time Machine permanently disabled; dual 22" CRT monitors; USB wireless 'n' available but connected to the Internet via wired Ethernet; FW flatbed scanner; 2 SCSI scanners (one tabloid-size transparency scanner and a film scanner); various internal & external HDs; FW Epson 2200 and Ethernet Samsung ML-2850ND printers; 2 X Back-UPS RS 1500 XS units.

    PowerMac, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 2.5G5Quad,16GB,7800GTX 512MB, Tiger
  • MagneH Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 25, 2011 6:18 AM (in response to 1187)

    Command-Click on the file in the Spotlight drop-down menu.

  • Applesider Girl Calculating status...
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    Jun 16, 2012 1:54 PM (in response to 1187)

    To find location of a document in Spotlight, when using Lion OS:

    Open the document you want to locate in spotlight.

    Position your cursor over the name of the document--at the top center of the page and then

    Right click (control click).

    It should open a menu that reveals the path to the document.

  • MagneH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2012 2:59 PM (in response to Applesider Girl)

    Sure, but it's quicker to just command-click on the file, if he's going to open it anyway. In particular if he's going to open it in some program other than the default for that particular file type.

    It works like a charm in Snow Leopard anyway..

     

    Best regards

  • Applesider Girl Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2012 5:52 AM (in response to MagneH)

    thanks for the additional information.

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