Leopard Spotlight ignores filenames!?!?!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by benpatient, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    So I finally bit the bullet and reinstalled Leopard...I'm liking 10.5.2 much better now that I can have my list view back in dock folders...

    but I've discovered a very, very stupid "enhancement" to Spotlight that makes it completely useless for the thing I most frequently Spotlight—file names.

    Yes, I am serious. Leopard ignores file names if it doesn't think they are important to the search criteria.

    A good example? I have a folder with all of my company's product shots in it, listed by "UPC number.jpg" so basically, things look like 135246528543.jpg or something similar. We're talking 10,000 UPC-labeled product images.

    I build worksheets and catalogs and things like that using these files all day long, and the best way I've found to get the product I want is to create a new box in InDesign or Quark or whatever app I'm using, and then use the menu command to get an image. I have the UPC images folder in my finder tray, so i click on that to center my focus on that one folder, and then I would use the little Spotlight search field to search for the last 4-5 digits of the product's UPC that I need to place. I typically do a couple dozen of these at a time, but I've got a spreadsheet and it only takes a couple of minutes to get all of the images loaded into a layout.

    now that's what I would do in 10.4.

    When I try to do this in 10.5, I find that unless I type in the ENTIRE UPC code, starting with the very first number and all the way to the last of the 12 digits, I get 0 results for the same search. I can open the file in a finder window and stare at it, and then open a spotlight search for it and nothing shows up. Curious to see if I was not indexing something properly, I poked around and discovered that the new leopard Spotlight by default doesn't consider filenames an important search criteria, and that you have to go into the spotlight window and click the little "+" button to add "filename" "contains" to the search criteria for that spotlight window. You can check a little "always appear" box next to this, and then if you want to find a file by its filename, you use that text entry point instead of the regular search text box and it will find the files just fine.

    Now, aside from the fact that this logic is stupid and backwards and completely counter-intuitive, (why is spotlight trying to deduce which files i might really want to see and hiding from the the ones it doesn't see as important enough? even if that's the default behavior, why can't i just click a "always show all results" checkbox in the spotlight preferences to change this?), it is killing my productivity for one simple reason:

    The custom changes you make to the spotlight search bar (adding "filename" for example, as a default search option) don't carry over into the "open" and "save" dialog boxes in applications!

    You can go in and hit the plus button each time you want to search for a file name, then scroll down through the list of a billion possible search criteria, then select "contains" because it isn't the default argument, and THEN type the 4-5 numbers of the UPC that will narrow it down to a single file, but that isn't exactly fast, now is it?

    So my work-around is to minimize the document, open a custom, separate search window, and then drag-drop the results into the app. Maybe if I had more monitors this wouldn't be such a pain, but there was a very good system in place before and now it is broken. The only problem with 10.4's implementation of this function was that if there was only 1 search result, you still had to click on it to select it before you could hit "enter" and have it open in the document. If there is only one search result, it should at least highlight it for you by default...

    so i was hoping that 10.5 would do that, because in the menubar it does (highlights the top hit) and I think users of quicksilver can attest to the usefulness of this.

    My post's purpose is this: to complain about this broken feature and to ask for any possible work-arounds other than the back-asswards one I described above. requiring you to type in the entire file name before the search results will show anything is the opposite of a smarter search.

    And to those who say "just use EasyFind" I ask you, does it integrate with Open/Save dialog windows? If not, then it doesn't really take the place of Tiger's Spotlight.
  2. StructAural macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2007
    The Netherlands
    I have exactly the same problem. All our files are full EAN numbered filenames in PDF format. I cannot get Spotlight (even in Tiger) to find the files with part of filename (even if on my desktop). EasyFind is the only solution I've found so far, it's very quick even on non-Local Volumes. Don't make the mistake I made though and put wildcards in if you've not clicked the wildcard button. Just the part of filename is enough.

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