Longtime spotlight user.. Not anymore!

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by bbud, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. bbud, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    bbud macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    1. Location

    Does anyone actually like that it's now in the middle of the screen? To me, It was much better on the top right-hand side corner. I could launch apps, calculate, play a specific song, wiki something, go to dictionary without taking the focus on whatever was on my main screen.

    So they placed it in the middle, presumably since it will be used more (or perhaps look better in a showroom demo), and to perhaps compete with things like Alfred which are geared for power users. It's neither here nor there. Basic users will never use such a function, and mid-power users like myself have to go through so much junk to get what I want.

    2. Smarter?

    Hardly, I will reserve final judgement when I get a new mac, or if I clean install Yosemite on my iMac. But from the good old days where I basically had a 100% hit rate on getting what I want, the success rate with yosemite spotlight is more like 20-30%. It is so much slower, and almost works as intuitively as Windows XP file search (i.e. not at all). Linked with issue #1, if it was on the side of the screen, the search can afford to take the length of the screen.. If I type in 'xlsx' for an excel document, I can view it all at one glance, and continue to type more in to whittle the results down (correcting as I go).

    3. Spotlight options

    Spotlight should come with an option to always show the path bar and the command button click should summon up the folder with located item instead. Now it doesn't work half the time on stuff I have clicked/cmd. I used to be able to open file in Finder folder too, and although it's still there.. pressing R or double click is not as intuitive as Cmd/Shift/Click.


    Concluding remarks.

    When i got my first mac (OS X tiger) Spotlight was actually the biggest selling point at the time (besides a free iPod nano). The salesman showed me that I can type in a phrase in a document, then by using a memory hook.. I could just type something in Spotlight and it would retrieve it for me successfully. I knew this would be special and it has helped me so much.

    I'm saddened that so many changes on Mac/iOS are so superficial and lacking thought.. Integration of internet based info into spotlight is nice.. but it's almost as convenient as summoning a browser and googling it.

    They should give users an option in the next re-iteration.
  2. niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003
    i agree.

    not finding all items that should be able to be referenced by the search string, but not too many people are pointing this out.

    i work with 2 languages constantly (english and japanese). something strange is happening with spotlight not being able to find a significant share of Japanese language strings inside iWork docs such as Keynote or Pages, but, at the same time, being able to find the same language strings in Office documents such as Powerpoint and Word which were created by simply exporting the original iWork document. its very bizarre and frustrating.

    i have a question: what is the best, most thorough way to force Spotlight to index all documents, including contents of Mail?

    i know have tried the usual ones: (1) excluding the contents of the hard disk in Spotlight and then going back immediately to delete the exclusion to force it to index (2) using Onyx to toggle a re-index

    my drive is encrypted. does that matter?

    what is the best 3rd party software that is good at deep dives into contents of files?

  3. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    I absolutely think that this is a massive improvement.

    To decrease search latency turn off "Bing Web Searches" and "Spotlight Suggestions".
  4. nerowolfe macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    I'm actually using it more than I used to on Mavericks. Just had to disable bing search and some other unnecessary options.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I am not very fond with the new placement as it does make some things more difficult (e.g. using the calculator function to verify some data that are on the screen). However, I have never had any issues with speed or accuracy of Yosemite's spotlight. It finds everything and is pretty much instant as well. Its actually quite impressive that I can enter an arbitrary text string and the system will show me within a split second every single text and code file that contains that string.
  6. bbud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    i will definitely get the powerpack version when I have the money to!
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I only ever used Spotlight as a launcher, a dictionary and calculator. I never saw the appeal of a system-wide search. I prefer to do that in dedicated apps. From that perspective, I completely agree that putting this huge window in the center of the screen is a big disappointment. It also crashes super often with longer queries.
  8. bbud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    What's your favourite option/options? Weird that I have never thought of using a different search besides Spotlight/Finder/Alfred.
  9. matamoris macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2011
    Use it mostly as a calculator too. But this new version seems to always obscure the numbers I'm looking to calculate. So the degraded workflow is now to move window with numbers to side, then pull up spotlight. I find myself just launching Calculator instead now.
  10. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I meant: I do it within the apps (technically still Spotlight of course). Need to find a document? Search in Finder. Need an e-mail? Search in Mail. Almost every app has it: Contacts, Calendar, Messages, iTunes. I always found the system-wide Spotlight inefficient when you know what you are looking for. Hence why I only use it for the macros.
  11. fisherking macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    i like it, use it a lot; to open apps i don't access often, find a phone#, a document that's not where it should be (that does NOT happen often). i unchecked a lot in spotlight's preferences (simpler to leave mail out of it, for example). but i find it perfectly fine where it pops up...
  12. joedec macrumors 6502


    Jul 25, 2014
    Same here with the applications. If I'm looking for a contact, file, or message I use the corresponding application. I almost never use Spotlight, once I figured out they don't index libraries, which is what I most often search for in files.

    The application search is much more precise as well. For example if I search for a person in Mail I can specify From:, To:, or Entire Message as well as mailboxes or all mailboxes. Finder has virtually unlimited search parameters, and you can save as Smart Folders.

    I've never understood Spotlight as Calculator, seems pretty clunky in spite the Mac version that even has a paper tape.

    One caveat I've noticed, I don't index email and search from Mail works great. However if you drop a drive into Spotlight Privacy, hence turning off indexing for that drive, the Finder search doesn't work any longer.
  13. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    It’s actually quite awesome for quick calculations. I’ve never seen a reason to use the Calculator app. Spotlight is pretty much: what you see is what you get. No messing around with a skeuomorphic app. However, now that Spotlight covers the middle of the screen including the document you need the calculation for, it’s actually pointless now.
  14. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    There are SO many alternatives.

    For general purpose stuff, and heavy on launching try LaunchBar (my fave) or Alfred. Both awesome.

    For searching (remember that most applications use the underlying Spotlight indexing for searching; it could be just the interface you don't like) try HoudahSpot. Templates, lots of options, previews, operations with the results, etc. I use it a lot for finding metadata within photos like camera model, lens, capture time, keywords, etc). It can also tag, bring up email, lotsa stuff.

    For searching outside Spotlight, if you don't wanna use Terminal, try Find Any File. Or EasyFind. For finding stuff in web history, try HistoryHound.

    I'm sure there's other stuff. No need to stick with Apple's weak tea if you don't like it.
  15. HenryDJP macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    Admittedly after all the years of it being on the top right I had gotten used to it but I absolutely love it in the middle of the screen. It's a much bigger interface and clearly easier to do calculations.

    When Spotlight was first introduced I considered myself a "basic" user at the time and I used it extensively. I don't know where you're getting your "facts" from.

    Exactly, maybe....nah, not maybe, you should wait until you have a clean install. I run my business daily on my Macs with hundreds of files and Yosemite Spotlight has never had problems returning results. It's been 100%

    Uh, sir those are YOUR needs. I don't think many care about that.

    They do give you an option. You can use Windows instead. :)
  16. anp27 macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm the opposite... didn't really use Spotlight that much before but now I am! My Mac is pretty lean, I use a lot of the built in apps because I don't like having too much installed. Spotlight suits my needs just fine. I use it to find Contacts, documents and apps that I use occasionally (like Terminal). I use the Launchpad for launching apps and I've found it to be just about the fastest app launcher... 5 finger swipe (I use a Magic Trackpad which I absolutely love), point and and tap, done. No extra typing involved. I also have my most used apps placed strategically in the center so that I'm not scrolling around for apps.
  17. darmr macrumors member


    May 26, 2014
    I've never been a great fan or user of search engines, that is until I bought a Mac and discovered spotlight.
    It really is awesome. I use it every day.
  18. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    agree with the original poster that the new location is terrible.

    now you have to move the mouse to the corner and go back to the center where the windows is in the middle of everything else, and half covers them

    in addition, the window cannot be resized, so instead of having all the items to view, you have a very short list, from which you have to scroll

    how hard would have been to put a selectable option, or as a minimum put a manageable window, so one could place wherever they like it most?

    very disappointing
  19. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    I find the new location preferable to the old one. That being said, why not allow to move it around like any other window?
  20. notrack macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2012
    I use Spotlight severaltimes a day for calculations and dictionary lookups. It's not particularly useful that it covers up the numbers and words that I want to type in.

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20 January 29, 2015