Tiger's search function.

Impreza

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 17, 2003
31
0
California
Is it me or does it entirely suck now? In Jaguar and Panther, I'd get relevant results and 95% of the time, I'd find the file I'm looking for. With Tiger, however, the search looks weird, and it gives me results that have NOTHING to do with what I'm looking for. I was looking for an old Notorious BIG song in both of my hard drives by typing, "notorious", but it ended up only finding two PDF files which absolutely had nothing to do with it. The files were users guides to IconBuilder Pro. WTF? ARGH. This was a useful function that I use every single day, now it's a friggin' train wreck! =/
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,039
30
Salt Lake City, UT
I find Spotlight very useful. Most of the time the top hit is exactly what I'm looking for. By it's nature it returns extensive results for simple queries, but it seems to a do a pretty good job of determining relevance and sorting results.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
You may need to reindex it if you're not finding results that you know are meant to be there. I'm pretty sure this is simply a case of turning it off in the System Preferences and then turning it on again, but I could be mistaken.
 

DJY

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2003
843
0
Canberra AUST
I love Spotlight!
I use it daily!

I am very organised when it comes to folders and directories anyway... but find that it is faster for me to access a file (even when I know where it is) to access it via Spotlight!
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
11,749
4,983
Republic of Ukistan
mad jew said:
You may need to reindex it if you're not finding results that you know are meant to be there. I'm pretty sure this is simply a case of turning it off in the System Preferences and then turning it on again, but I could be mistaken.
No, I think you have to drag the drive out of the search window in Spotlight Prefs and then drop it back in. Otherwise there's a "mdutil" script you can find on MacOSXhints.com. Make sure you have "music" checked on that Prefs list, too. Spotlight was very flaky for me until I reinstalled Tiger on my 'puter. So flaky that I reverted to 10.3.9 for a month.

I use it mostly for quick access to rarely-used apps I don't keep in my Dock.
 

pulsewidth947

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2005
1,106
2
I also use it daily. I've started getting into the habit of using spotlight comments too. They are awesome (as long as you dont have an external drive formatted to FAT32.. they dont work then!).

Its not quite as instant as I was lead to believe at first, but finding all my results in 2-3 seconds cant really be sniffed at!
 

EGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
1,605
1
I normally keep my computer quite organised but i still find Spotlight very useful. I love it :)
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
I know I read it in another thread... but I've long since lost track of it. Does anybody know the keyboard shortcut to pull up Spotlight? I'd be much obliged. :eek:
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Impreza said:
I was looking for an old Notorious BIG song in both of my hard drives by typing, "notorious", but it ended up only finding two PDF files which absolutely had nothing to do with it. The files were users guides to IconBuilder Pro. WTF? ARGH. This was a useful function that I use every single day, now it's a friggin' train wreck! =/
Are you sure the word "notorious" didn't appear in the PDFs? Check. It probably did. Which means... well...spotlight did its job. It isn't a mind reader! :)

Also, see this:

http://www.apple.com/macosx/tips/spotlight.html

On the right, halfway down, is a list of keywords. If you put in something such as kind:music, it will only find music files.

But...if you have the Notorious song, and Biggie's stage name is in the ID3 tags somewhere, it should have been found. I'm not sure why it wasn't. But I think there's something specific wrong on your computer, rather than Spotlight being a train wreck... because it does work for many others, including me. So perhaps try the re-indexing...

Edit: Devilot -- Apple-Space and Apple-Shift-Space, for the little pop-up in the corner, and the big window, respectively, unless you changed it. You can see what the shortcuts are by going to system preferences -> keyboard and mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts. :)
 

hyperpasta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2005
680
0
New Jersey
Spotlight Cheat Sheet

devilot76 said:
I know I read it in another thread... but I've long since lost track of it. Does anybody know the keyboard shortcut to pull up Spotlight? I'd be much obliged. :eek:
The Shortcut for opening the Spotlight menu is COMMAND-SPACE. You can also jump directly to the Spotlight window, bypassing the menu, by pressing ALT-COMMAND-SPACE. You can change these shortcuts in the Spotlight panel of System Preferences at the bottom of the screen.

When the Spotlight menu is open, COMMAND-ENTER opens the top hit (make sure the search is finished or you'll open the top hit so far which changes rapidly) . ENTER opens the Spotlight window (chooses "Show All").

Therefore, to quickly open, say, Automator, you can type COMMAND-SPACE Automator COMMAND-ENTER. :D I love keyboard shortcuts!
 

beatle888

macrumors 68000
Feb 3, 2002
1,690
0
Impreza said:
Is it me or does it entirely suck now? In Jaguar and Panther, I'd get relevant results and 95% of the time, I'd find the file I'm looking for. With Tiger, however, the search looks weird, and it gives me results that have NOTHING to do with what I'm looking for. I was looking for an old Notorious BIG song in both of my hard drives by typing, "notorious", but it ended up only finding two PDF files which absolutely had nothing to do with it. The files were users guides to IconBuilder Pro. WTF? ARGH. This was a useful function that I use every single day, now it's a friggin' train wreck! =/

Impreza, this will help spotlight act more like the old Finder searching.

When you do a search in spotlight, incase the word you type in quotes. this will limit spotlight to search the name of files and not the content of files. so if you searched for "business" instead of business you would get results from all file names with the word business in them. however if you dont use quotes you'll get results from every file that spotlight has in its indexed list containing business, whether its a file name or some random legal copy buried deep within a pdf.

since my files are fairly organized i find searching with quotes more relevant.



Edit: it looks like it will also show files within the path as well. so if you searched for "photoshop" you would get anything within the photoshop directory AND any .psd files you might have on your disk.
 

DJY

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2003
843
0
Canberra AUST
922 said:
The Shortcut for opening the Spotlight menu is COMMAND-SPACE. You can also jump directly to the Spotlight window, bypassing the menu, by pressing ALT-COMMAND-SPACE. You can change these shortcuts in the Spotlight panel of System Preferences at the bottom of the screen.
I haven't changed any shortcut key combinations...
but for me it is CTRL and SPACE to get Spotlight working.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,827
223
Bergen, Norway
Spotlight uses cmd-space as default, cmd-space isn't even on the drop down list in the Spotlight preference.pane.

Quicksilver, on the other hand uses cmd-space to open the search window, as default...
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
skunk said:
That's probably because you've only got one keyboard option selected in International. Keyboard switching is COMMAND-SPACE by default.
Is that something they fixed with a dot release? Mine automatically set both IME changing and Spotlight to the same keys, and I had to manually change one (IME). I use option-space now for IME reverse cycling (because it keeps cycling), and Cmd-Option-Space for forward cycling. The Ctrl key is too far away to reach! ;) :eek: :D
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
11,749
4,983
Republic of Ukistan
mkrishnan said:
Is that something they fixed with a dot release? Mine automatically set both IME changing and Spotlight to the same keys, and I had to manually change one (IME). I use option-space now for IME reverse cycling (because it keeps cycling), and Cmd-Option-Space for forward cycling. The Ctrl key is too far away to reach! ;) :eek: :D
I think they must have changed that, yes. You must have tiny hands!
:D
 

Marble

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2003
770
4
Tucson, AZ
The only thing that irritates me regularly about Spotlight is that I have an external drive that gets reindexed whenever I plug it in, sometimes making it splutter and click. I've told Spotlight not to index that drive, now, but now I can't even run an old-fashioned search on the contents of the drive if I want to find something.

Too bad there's no compromise, there.
 

beatle888

macrumors 68000
Feb 3, 2002
1,690
0
search versiontracker.com for a "search" utility and use that for your external....its better than nothing.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Yeah, they need to add a feature that lets you house the spotlight data for external and network drives on your principal HD.

I wonder if you can do some trick with the external disk's mountpoint, so that it's contained in an uplevel directory that holds the spotlight file? Or else... what if you copied the spotlight file to the principal hard disk, and then replaced the copy on the external drive with a symbolic link? I wonder what would happen then. That seems like it might be worth a shot. Spotlight should follow the link and read/write the copy on your disk, instead of the external disk.
 

stevietheb

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2004
591
0
Houston
Is it possible that you have the Spotlight Sys Pref setup not to index our music? Since I always use iTunes for music, I set it up that way so that when I search "Beatles" or "Dylan" I don't get a million mp3s in my face.
 

Sogo

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2004
352
0
I like spotlight and what it can do, but my only complaint is that it is not as fast as steve jobs made it out to be. I regularly do repair permissions, scripts, and i have a good amount of space left on my hardrive. Oh well, not much of a bother though.
 
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