Spotlight - Useless or Brilliant?

smoking monkey

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 5, 2008
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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.
 

deviant

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2007
1,151
228
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.
you never tried Alfred i guess. this spotlight is .. well, a mini alfred i'd say.
 

IndoX

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
257
30
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.
 

nobodyjustwalks

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2013
211
0
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.
 

colourfastt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2009
885
524
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.
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).
 

stewacide

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2002
195
37
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.
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
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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.
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.
 

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
1,279
408
UK
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 ;)
 

calaverasgrande

macrumors 65816
Oct 18, 2010
1,290
160
Brooklyn, New York.
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.
 

smoking monkey

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 5, 2008
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I HUNGER
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 ;)
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.
 

Tiptizzle

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2011
381
2
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.
Spotlight searches tags too.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,999
4,564
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.
 

smoking monkey

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 5, 2008
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I HUNGER
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.
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.
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,527
1,422
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.
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
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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.

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.
 

dasx

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2012
1,098
17
Barcelona
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
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
13,976
1,643
Australia, Perth
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.
 

Mr. Buzzcut

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2011
1,037
486
Ohio
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 ;)
What? Hit the windows key and start typing has been a thing since windows 7 at least and there was desktop search before that.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
83
Poole, England
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!
 

WMuntean

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2007
178
0
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!
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.
 

smoking monkey

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 5, 2008
1,268
275
I HUNGER
I use spotlight a lot. A LOT. It's super useful.
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.



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!
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.




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.
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.
 

Hotknees

macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2014
26
8
Queenstown, New Zealand
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.
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.