Performing File and Content Searches

In addition to organizing your files, the Finder enables you to find applications by file name , and documents by filename or by content. But the best part is that the search results are interactive. You can launch located programs and applications by double-clicking their icons in the results window. Also, dragging a file or folder to the desktop or a Finder window moves that object to a new location. This is a quick way to clean up when you accidentally save a file to the wrong folder.


People who've been using Macs for a while may be surprised that the Finder performs the function of finding files, rather than an application called Sherlock. Sherlock is still a part of the Mac software package, but rather than performing local file searches, it now searches only Internet content. In case you're wondering, we'll take a look at Sherlock in Chapter 5, "Using Other Basic Applications."

An easy way to search for a file by name only is through the Finder window. To do this, open a Finder window by double-clicking the folder or drive containing the file you want to find. Then type your search term in the Search box in the toolbar. Remember, if the toolbar isn't visible, you can show it by clicking the oblong button at the upper right of the window's title bar. If the search box isn't visible, you might have to enlarge your window by dragging from the diagonal lines in the bottom-right corner.

If you'd like to do a search of file contents or search more than a defined folder, choose Find (Command-F) from the File menu. The File dialog box is shown in Figure 2.16.

Figure 2.16. Use the File dialog box to locate files by name or content.


When the screen in Figure 2.16 appears, follow these steps:

  1. Choose what to search. Your options are

    • Everywhere Examines all drives and user accounts.

    • Local Disks Examines only the current drive, but all user accounts.

    • Home Examines only the home directory of the person currently logged in.

    • Specific Places Displays a list of available drives for you to choose from. You can also click the Add/Remove button to insert or remove specific folders.

  2. Pick whether to search for filenames, contents, or both. Enter your search text into the appropriate field(s). If you want to add additional search terms in these categories, click the + button for each option.

  3. If you want to refine your search further, click the Add Criteria pop-up menu for setting options, including Date Modified, Date Created, Kind, and Extension. The additional search parameters appear below the filename and content search boxes followed by - and + buttons to remove them or add additional variations.

  4. Click the Search button to start the search.

In a few moments, the search results are displayed. For each result, Find lists the file name, the date it was modified, its size, and the kind of file it is. After an item is highlighted, its path is shown in the details pane at the bottom of the window. Double-clicking the path opens the file, folder, or application.


Searching for file contents requires that the directory containing the file be indexed or cataloged. You can index a folder, or check for the last date of last indexing, using the Get Info command, which is discussed shortly.

Sams Teach Yourself Mac OS X Digital Media. All In One
Sams Teach Yourself Mac OS X Digital Media All In One
ISBN: 0672325322
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 349 © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: