5 Replies Latest reply: Sep 26, 2012 9:37 AM by linda2009
David Bozek Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)

Is it possible to use the Spotlight tool to find files which contain a certain keyword, then select "Show all" in the Spotlight menu (which opens a Finder window), and then sort the contents of that window by date?


Or is there some other way to do this, maybe using the Finder's "Find.." command?


By the way, frankly, I am still not clear about the difference between using Spotlight vs. the Finder's "Find..." command. If someone wants to explain that, it would be helpful as well.



MacBook Pro 2.3 Intel Core i7 (April '11), Mac OS X (10.7.2), 8GB RAM, 500 GB SSD disk (yes, really).
  • 1. Re: Spotlight search results - View by Date?
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,295 points)

    When in the Finder search window, you can select Arrange and Sort Options. You can also set it to list view (without an Arrangement--ie Arrangement = None) and sort by clicking on the header columns. You can right-click on the headers to add other headers.


    Both methods use Spotlight. The spotlight menu displays search results based on the settings in the Spotlight System Preference and some hard-coded restrictions (like system files).


    The Finder has some of the same restrictions, but you can search into system folders by starting the search in a System folder (like your user Library folder). Additionally, you can add System Files to the criteria by selecting Other… from the criteria button in Finder.

    ScreenShot 2012-02-02 at 7.15.27 PM.png

    ScreenShot 2012-02-02 at 7.11.03 PM.png

    ScreenShot 2012-02-02 at 7.11.33 PM.png

    With the Finder, you can set much more options in what you are searching for. You can also save the search so that you can always access it quickly from the Sidebar.

    There are a few more useful search criteria in that list, like file visibility if you are searching for hidden files.

    Additionally, since you are in a Finder window, you can do things like move, delete, rename, etc.

  • 2. Re: Spotlight search results - View by Date?
    Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (23,840 points)

    Spotlight and Finder find are basically the same see this thread Is there a difference between "Spotlight" & the "Search" field?


    As for your question re: sort by date either one will accomplish the task as once you do a Show All in spotlight you can a regular finder window.


    There are a number of ways to sort a finder window by date, First thing you need to know which date, created, modified, added then either add the correct date column to the finder window or else use the finders view options window (⌘-J) to set the sort:


    Screen Shot 2012-02-02 at 20.20.11.png

    Either use the Sort By: pulldown to set the sort or add the date column to the window.



  • 3. Re: Spotlight search results - View by Date?
    linda2009 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    Hello Frank,

    While doing a search to find out how to add columns to my Search results, I came across this thread.


    How did you get your View Options for your "Searching This Mac" finder window to list Size??  Size as well as Version, Comments, and Label are greyed-out when I pull up this option box.  (I see that Version and Comments is greyed-out for you.)


    I would like to add additional columns, especially size, but can't figure out a way to do it!!


    Now that I see you have it, could you please explain how you got it to be available??


    Thank you!!

  • 4. Re: Spotlight search results - View by Date?
    Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (23,840 points)

    Good question, never noticed that before. Not sure why some are grayed out but you can always go into the Finder Search window, put it into list view and control-click in the area where the headings are to select any, even those that are grayed out in the view options window


    Screen Shot 2012-09-26 at 11.19.55 AM.png

  • 5. Re: Spotlight search results - View by Date?
    linda2009 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    I don't get anything when I control-click.  This is a Lion forum, so you most likely have Lion.  I have Snow Leopard, so that might explain why I don't get any control-click options.


    Guess I'll keep searching, or Not!


    Thanks for posting.