Working with Smart Folders in the Finder

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Jezza, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Jezza macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    #1
    I've made a few Smart Folders and I'd like to hear from other Mac users about how they are utilising this exciting feature.

    Also, other than typing Spotlight comments in the Get Info window, I'd like to be able to edit the other texts in the Get Info window. Alas, the texts cannot be selected, nor edited; does anyone have any idea how I can access these texts?

    For example, I have tagged several of my files with "color, great GUI, modular, Apple" in the Spotlight comment field in the Get Info window. However, the word "colorsynch" also appears somewhere else in the Get Info window (in a non-editable area), so when I open my Smart Folder called "Color", I see a whole bunch of files that I didn't tag, but because they contain the word "colorsynch" they get picked up by the Smart Folder.

    I know I could choose to use a different tag other than "color" but I'd prefer not to.

    Any ideas, anyone?

    Any of you using Smart Folders?

    Am I going about the whole concept the wrong way?

    Jezza
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    Simple fix for this: Limit the criteria to text in the Spotlight comments. That should exclude the other stuff in the Get Info window.

    I haven't really needed to use Smart Folders, and I have my stuff so well organized that I don't use Spotlight very often, either :p
     
  3. Jezza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    #3
    Thanks for the fix, really appreciate this as it was driving me nuts.

    BTW, I see you use a 17-inch MacBook Pro. Are you happy with it? matte or glossy screen, which did you choose and are you happy with that choice? I only ask because my boss has asked me for a wish list and I opted for the 17-inch MBP and I'm still dilly-dallying regarding the screen.

    Again, thanks for the fix.

    :)

    Jezza
     
  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #4
    I picked a glossy screen, and I'm very happy with it. The backlighting is a little strange, but that's something I can live with. I haven't taken it out for a road trip yet, but one thing I dislike about the glossy screen is the tendency for fingerprints and other detritus to accumulate and be quite visible (until I clean it, of course).
     
  5. Jezza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    #5
    Thanks to wrldwzrd89's post, I've expanded a little further regarding working with Smart Folders.

    There's an option in the Smart Folder dropdown to search via "Keywords". You can't enter keywords in the Get Info window (only Spotlight comments), but I've discovered you can type keywords via Preview's Get Info dialog. Simply open a file in Preview, hit Command-I, and enter as many keywords as you like for the current file.

    It works. It is beautifully simple.

    However, it is a totally inefficient method where tagging batch files is concerned, and there's no Automator script to speed things up when tagging multiple files. Still, this tagging via Preview methodology is revolutionizing the mess of folders and files on my disks.

    All of a sudden looking at the thousands of loose files and folders I've accumulated over the years has become a meaningful and refreshing excersize; I now open a so-called useless, forgotten or old file and ask myself "why is this file interesting? what elements attract/attracted me to this file?" and tag accordingly. If no tags come to mind I trash the file.

    I love the way Smart Folders immediately pick up newly tagged files. Heck, anything that automates and speeds up my work is a blast.

    I'm keen to hear from other Smart Folder users out there. Come on, share your wisdom and experiences with the rest of us,

    :)

    Jezza
     
  6. Jezza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    #6
    By sheer good fortune, by researching the app Quicksilver I stumbled upon a tutorial that shows how to use Quicksilver to batch tag a series of files with Spotlight Comments.

    Here's the tutorial

    Anyone out there know how to batch tag a series of files with Preview's keywords?

    Anyone?

    Jezza
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    I don't off-hand know how to tag files, but I'll look into it.

    I do use Smart Folders reasonably often, and enjoy that I can, for example, drag them onto any decent editor (including TextEdit) and alter some of the search criteria (for example, to allow the folders to include emails) since the Smart Folders are really just XML-formatted text files containing search criteria.
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    One solution:

    Open Automator (by golly, it does have a use!).

    Click Spotlight (left column), then drag the "Add Spotlight Comments to Finder Items" item to the right side.

    Here, you can add to the comments field (is this sufficient? I don't know). You probably want to check the "append" checkbox because I think not to do so might erase other comments. Either drag files onto the workflow, or save it as an app with the comments you want and drag files onto that.

    Works well, if not intuitively, and I'm sure someone who has used Automator for more than the 5 minutes I have can tell you a better way. :)
     

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