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Is there a difference between "Spotlight" & the "Search" field?

1281 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2012 9:06 PM by Larry Cohen1 RSS
Larry Cohen1 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 15, 2012 8:27 PM



In Lion, is there a difference between searching for a file using SPOTLIGHT . . . or the SEARCH field in the upper left of a folder (if you click your Hard drive.)?


For example, I have a MacBook Pro with a 2nd hard drive inside.  If I don't "Spotlight" the 2nd hard drive - will the SEARCH field then still work?  Or if I DO SPOTLIGHT it - is it using the same search mechanism using "Find" and "Spotlight"?


I'm curious how this works?  Thanks very much,



Macbook Pro 17, Mac OS X (10.7.2), iPad, Mac Pro, iPhone & Newton!
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,190 points)

    No, just different ways of instituting searches. Finder searches provide an easy way of defining additional search criteria.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,190 points)

    No. The drive must be indexed in order for Spotlight to find anything. A Finder search uses Spotlight. As i said previously there is no difference except how you institute the search. You can search using the Spotlight icon in the menubar, by pressing COMMAND-F in the Finder, or by entering a search term in the Finder's search field. All three use Spotlight.


    If you wish to search for something without indexing the drive then use EasyFind 4.8.1 or iFileX.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,190 points)

    Using COMMAND-F or Finder's search field provides a window like this:


    Screen Shot 2012-01-15 at 11.47.35 PM.png


    If you click on the Kind dropdown menu you will see:


    Screen Shot 2012-01-15 at 11.47.54 PM.png


    You can select different search criteria for locating files. If you then select Other you will see:


    Screen Shot 2012-01-15 at 11.50.02 PM.png


    You can then check the different search attributes you wish to add to the previously shown dropdown menu thus providing many different search criteria.


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