Spotlight - Useless or Brilliant?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by smoking monkey, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

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    #1
    I don't get the love for spotlight. I've very rarely used it and even then I'd much prefer other ways of searching. As for opening programs that way, isn't that what the dock is for?

    Am I missing something? IS there something amazing that spotlight does, that I'm unaware of?

    So, who uses spotlight and what do you use it for?

    Thanks.
     
  2. deviant macrumors 65816

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    #2
    you never tried Alfred i guess. this spotlight is .. well, a mini alfred i'd say.
     
  3. smoking monkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

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    #3
    Actually I did download Alfred many years ago, but never really used it. I never really got the point.
     
  4. IndoX macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I find it faster to do Command+Spacebar and type in a few keys than using the trackpad.

    A quick example for me is activity monitor. I quickly use command+spacebar and type "ac" press enter and its up.
     
  5. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2013
    #5
    Agree with the above. Spotlight and Alfred allow users (who like to use keyboard shortcuts) to rapidly launch applications, search for files, and execute many time saving tasks. As a long time Alfred user, Iʻm really enjoying the new Spotlight in Yosemite.
     
  6. colourfastt macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

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    #6
    Agreed; I never understood why Apple added Launchpad when we already had Spotlight and Stacks (easiest thing in the world .. click once on the Apps icon in the dock and see all your apps and click on the one you want).
     
  7. stewacide macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2002
    #7
    Spotlight web results (Wikipedia, etc.) aren't showing up for me at all (they're enabled in the preferences). Do they not work outside the US or something? I'm in Korea.
     
  8. sunfire7 macrumors member

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    #8
    Same here.
     
  9. simon48 macrumors 65816

    simon48

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    #9
    If you're someone like me who has ~140 apps and only has ~30 in the dock, a launcher is very useful. I use Alfred all the time, I almost never use Spotlight.
     
  10. cyb3rdud3 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Spotlight is brilliant. Who cares where on the file system it is when search is so good. And i find launch much quicker than any other method as well. Two hands are already at the keyboard so a quick press and couple of letter it is great. Heck it is so great that Windows 8 has a similar feature now as has Ubuntu ;)
     
  11. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

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    #11
    the ginourmous search bar, and the icons which are there sometimes not others, is kind of off putting.
    It will remain to be seen if the results will be useful or not.
    So far it is okay for apps.
    Also seems they fixed that stupid "new Folder" bug.

    Still not liking iTunes.
     
  12. smoking monkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

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    #12
    I didn't know about the Command+Space Bar short cut to bring up spotlight. That might make me change my usage a little although 95 percent of all my used apps are in my dock.

    BUT...

    you say who cares where a file is on the system? I do and I don't! I often have up to 100-150 of the same named item with varying dates on them and as such spotlight becomes pointless in that situation. I really need to be in the folder to search it correctly. I have found tags to be a much better search tool for me personally.

    I'm totally open to giving the new spotlight a chance when I upgrade though.
     
  13. Tiptizzle macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Spotlight searches tags too.
     
  14. DJTaurus macrumors 65816

    DJTaurus

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  15. leman macrumors 604

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    #15
    Spotlight is much quicker to launch applications than Dock or launchpad. Its also brilliant for finding documents (given that its blazingly fast on document content). Its very useful as a calculator.

    I am not a big fan of Yosemite's spotlight though - it obscures too much. E.g. I often need to look up some content in a window behind spotlight (say when using it as a calculator). The old position on the edge of the screen was better.
     
  16. smoking monkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

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    #16
    Re opening apps. I'm not sure pushing command spacebar and then entering a few letters is faster than pushing an icon in the dock. If it is, it can't be much faster and it's probably less accurate if you make a typo.

    As for finding documents.I guess it can get to the folder fast enough but as for individual docs - I have way too many with the same name for it to be fully functional.

    But thanks for your input. I'm always willing to try new ways and will give spotlight a chance with Yosemite.
     
  17. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #17
    A lot of people avoid the trackpad or mouse and use many keyboard commands to speed up workflow. Quicksilver used to be a very popular app launcher and a lot of people use spotlight to find things, search things, and launch apps. It has so much functionality. That said I default to the trackpad. And hardly use Spotlight. I've also developed the use of app stack to organize my dock as it was originally meant to be in Tiger or Panther and never released and so I don't keep a busy full dock like I see with a lot of people.

    All that set, if you can train yourself to use Spotlight, it will benefit you and speed you up.
     
  18. simon48 macrumors 65816

    simon48

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    #18

    It doesn't seem like it would, but if you've been using launchers for a while (I have since Quicksilver was cutting edge) it's faster. If I need to open Terminal I can hit option + space and then "te" a lot faster then opening a Finder window and going to utilities or even moving my hand to the trackpad and clicking on it in the Dock.

    It all adds up over the course of a day.
     
  19. dasx macrumors 65816

    dasx

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    #19
    I use spotlight a lot. A LOT. It's super useful. Now when I use a Windows PC I'm always hitting ALT+Space because my subconscious is looking for Command+Space, lol
     
  20. Tech198 macrumors G4

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    #20
    new Spotlight : - more info at your fingertips, search all in one place for more.

    disadvantages would be as a result, it now must be an app, It may look like its not, but when you start typing, it expands to an "application-like" interface, so from my point of view, it's basically a minimized app which pops up on-screen.

    While you can move it around, its front and center, which interrupts you straight away compared to Mavericks where its tucked out of the way already in the corner.

    While i could also say Mavericks spotlight is more useful this it's less intrusive to the user, but does not provide 'all you can eat' in one area..

    However, this may be a good thing..

    How much info is too much ?

    I would say, i'd much rather less info, than having an interface i must move out of the way anyday.
     
  21. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #21
    What? Hit the windows key and start typing has been a thing since windows 7 at least and there was desktop search before that.
     
  22. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #22
    Spotlight is brilliant for quick launch and calculations. There is no way a mouse is faster than a keyboard in certain situations.

    Now it even does unit conversions. Heaven!
     
  23. WMuntean macrumors regular

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    #23
    Agreed. It's the quickest way of launching programs. Especially for power users with tasks requiring repetitive launching of programs. Of course, it's not for everyone, and probably not for the average user, which is why it's foolish trying to convince the OP to utilize spotlight for this purpose.

    Now, for those who use spotlight extensively, any way to move its location?! Not a big fan of having it right in the middle of the screen.
     
  24. smoking monkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

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    #24
    Is there any chance you could elaborate on this? I'd appreciate it. Even if I don't use it (yet), I'd like to know real world usage apart from launching apps that aren't in your dock (or even are) or finding files.



    I think the key to your statement is "certain situations". I also understand that it will take a while to train myself to start using it to open apps. I'm willing to give it a month and see how I go. What I guess I need to do is start learning the first couple of letters of all the main apps I use and getting that to become second nature.




    And it's not foolish as I do appreciate the time people are taking to explain it to me, but I do think my usage is possibly different than most of the people on this thread who use spotlight extensively. I just counted and I only use about 15 different proggies on a daily basis and two of them start with the word "Final". I wouldn't consider myself a power user, but I wouldn't think I'm an average user either. I think I'm in that hazy middle ground and that's why I'm looking to solve this riddle and improve my knowledge.

    Thanks.
     
  25. Hotknees macrumors newbie

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    Queenstown, New Zealand
    #25
    Agreed. Use it on a daily basis for apps and calculations and more often than not its obscuring the content I want to work with. Would be great if you could drag and reposition the window.
     

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