smart folders - can i do this?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by abc123, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. abc123 macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2004
    i am studying four subjects at the moment and each has its own folder on my computer and sub folders for notes, lecture slides, active assignments, readings, etc.

    now here is my problem...

    i want to have a projects folder in my finder side bar with only my active assignments in it, for easy access. is it possible with smart folders to gather the files from all four active assignment folders and place them in the one smart folder in my side bar?

    i hope that made sense and thanks in advance to anyone who can offer me advice!
  2. drumpat01 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2004
    Denton, TX
    yes i believe what you want is possible. what you need to do is give each document "spotlight comments." You do this by right clicking on which ever document you want and in the big white box type a keyword. For example if it was for a history class, give it keywords like "history, active" and for algerbra type in "algerbra, active." then when you go to make your smart folder, change it the first pull down to Kind: Documents and the one below it, choose "other" then scroll down to Spotlight Comments and click OK. Now, type in whatever you want that particular folder to be. For example, if you wanted it to be your active History notes, you would type in "History, active". When you press Save in the upper right hand corner, it will ask you where you want to save your folder and there will be a check box for adding it into the side bar, make sure that is checked. When that particular file is done, take off the keywords. When you make a new file, make sure you add them. This is the only thing I can think of. It may sound like a lot when its typed out, but its really not.

    I hope I explained this well enough. good luck.
  3. abc123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2004
    thanks drumpat01. that tip will come in handy, i hope to start using smart folders a lot more.

    i actually worked out another way to do it (it only took half an hour of beating my head in) which means just saving the document into the active assignments folder will make it show up, it took a while to work out though, your tips will be useful in the future though. all these features like smart folders and automator look so promising but i always have so much trouble working out how to do anything with them.

    for anyone who might be interested, here is what i did.

    1. file -> new smart folder
    2. along the top there are options to choose the places the folder will search, pick others and then set them to be the folders where your documents can be found
    3. now this is the tricky part. since i want it to show up all the documents that are in these folders i assumed that setting last modified to anytime would do the trick, but no, it has to be difficult and not show up anything. setting last modified to within the past year worked fine for me since my semesters are less than 6 months anyway.

    that seems pretty simple now i've written it out but working out what to do was near impossible.
  4. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    This is something that is definitely a limitation of the Spotlight interface.

    Which is a shame because under the hood, the technology is more than there to do some VERY nice stuff with it. For instance, "Project" is a metadata attribute that Spotlight understands. So you should be able to assign a file with a project tag, then your smart folder would simply be Project = XXX.

    I hope Leopard exposes some more of the Spotlight functionality in the GUI....
  5. abc123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2004
    the thing is that i really didn't want to have to add any tags to my all my files. i know it is only something really tiny but i do n'tsee why i should have to tag my files when that only makes everything more complicated and means one more thing that i have to remember to do.

    if the condition i want for a smart folder is that the files were saved into x, y or z folder then i should be able to do that easily without tagging anything.

    when i was trying to work it out i was astounded at all the things that i could do (e.g. find all things in my delicious library that i paid over a certain price for) but i can't easily do something so simple and straight forward. even the solution that i have come up with isn't perfect.
  6. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    I dont know Whats complicated about assigning a file or folder dedicated to a certain Project as "Project xxx". In fact, i'd say its the easiest way of trying to do what you want to do.

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