Restricting Spotlight search to one level only?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by haravikk, May 16, 2012.

  1. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Okay, so I thought I was being clever by using labels to mark off items in a folder that have been processed, the idea being that I can easily find things that I haven't processed yet.

    However, the folder is now quite large and I was hoping to use Spotlight search to return all items without a label. However, the items to be processed aren't all single-files, some are folders, and Spotlight is returning items within these folders when all I'm interested in are top-level items.

    Is there some way to restrict a Spotlight search so it won't include results inside folders, but will still return the folders themselves?
  2. robgendreau, May 16, 2012
    Last edited: May 16, 2012

    robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I have noticed that other applications that do spotlight searching have the same problem (EasyFind, HoudahSpot): they can't limit searches to the top domain.

    A work-around is to sort the results of the search by path. That way the results you are interested would rise to the top, as it were. I don't know how the Finder can sort by path, or if it even can, but the aforementioned search utilities both do that. And I think TotalFinder and/or PathFinder would as well.

    And it might be easier to select all the of the documents in that big folder and and give them a criteria you could search for. I'd use tags myself, something like "subject to processing." When processed, just add "processed" as a tag. If you want to find unprocessed, you search for "subject to processing" and exclude those files that also have "processed" as a tag. I'd recommend Tags or Punakea. Or HoudahSpot. Or Leap. If you don't use tags you could probably use a spotlight comment or something to accomplish the same thing, although I don't how to do this in a batch in the Finder. Since you've committed to a form of tagging, I'd go and get some tagging software. A Finder label is a kind of tag, it's just a very, very limited one.


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