Tag Archives: TimeMachine

Ultimate Spotlight Secrets on Mac OS X


I think the majority of mac users would say that spotlight is a really nice tool. But most of them don’t even know what cool tricks Spotlight can even do. In my opinion, Spotlight is one of the best productivity tools that comes for free (well, you have to buy Mac OS anyway).

Windows users can only dream of it. You would need to buy a lot of software to cover the same functionality. And performance I don’t even want to mention here.

So, what can we actually do with Spotlight?

1. Normal Search

Searching for some documents is pretty simple. Just hit cmd+Spacebar (Spotlight will open in the top right corner of you screen) and start typing the phrase. Let’s say we are looking for: script. And voila, we get a list of everything containing script.


2. Boolean Search

Now that we’ve got a nice list, we want to refine it a little bit. We don’t want to get results that contain editor. Spotlight comes with boolean search functionality. It works with the following operators: AND, OR, NOT. Now the important part here is to type these operators all in capital letters, otherwise they will be understood as search terms.


3. Type Search

When you are looking for a specific type of document, let’s say an image, you can use the kind command followed by a colon and the file type. In this case the command would be script kind:image.

spotlight-kindMake sure that you don’t have any space before and after the colon. There is a list of types you can use with this command:

Search for: Use:
Aliases kind:alias
Applications kind:application, kind:applications, kind:app
Audio kind:audio
Bookmarks kind:bookmark, kind:bookmarks
Browser history kind:history
Contacts kind:contact, kind:contacts
E-mail messages kind:email, kind:emails, kind:mail message
Folders kind:folder, kind:folders, kind:fol
Fonts kind:font, kind:fonts
iCal Events kind:event, kind:events
iCal To-Do Items kind:todo, kind:todos, kind:to do
Images kind:image, kind:images
JPEG files kind:jpeg
Keynote files kind:keynote
Movies kind:movie, kind:movies
MP3 files kind:mp3
Music kind:music
Numbers documents kind:numbers
Pages documents kind:pages
PDF files kind:pdf, kind:pdfs
PowerPoint files kind:powerpoint
Preference panes kind:preference, kind:preferences
Presentations kind:presentation, kind:presentations
QuickTime files kind:quicktime
TIFF files kind:tiff
Word documents kind:word

4. Calculations

There is a nice calculator in the Dashboard but you could use the space for another nice widget. Spotlight can to all basic calculations as well. It also can handle brackets withing the formulas. Furthermore it is capable to handle a few more advanced calculations too, like square root, power, PI, …

As you can see spotlight is more advanced than the regular Dashboard calculator.


5. Application Launcher

That’s my absolute favorite one. The Dock has a limited space to place icons. Of course you can extend it with a stack and put there even more icons but it’s so much simpler with Spotlight. Just start typing fire to show Firefox in the list.  Just think about how many clicks it can take you sometimes to launch a specific application.


6. Definition

Another nice feature of spotlight is that it can show you the definition of a word you type. Just hover the definition row in the result set and it will show you the definition of that word in a tooltip. Really nice.


7. Show in Finder

If you don’t want to open a document within Spotlight but show it in a Finder window you just press cmd and hold it while clicking the found document.

Spotlight is a powerful tool to speed up your work. It is included in every open/save file dialog box and helps you finding lost files in TimeMachine.

Apple unveiled new Snow Leopard at WWDC today


Today at the WWDC Apple presented the all new Mac OS X known as Snow Leopard. A lot of improvements have been done but most of them only under the hood. Yes! More power and more speed.

The release date is planned for September (before Windows 7) and an upgrade will cost only $29. Considering Apple’s upgrade policy in the past will this be a steal.

So here is what you should know about the new Mac OS X:


1. Exposé reloaded

Exposé will be integrated in the Dock. Clicking and holding an application icon in the Dock will unshuffle all it’s windows. Stacks will be scrollable and finally navigation through folders inside a Stack will be possible (man, I was really waiting for that one).

2. Performance

Most of the code base has been rewritten to increase performance system-wide. PDFs are opened 1,5 times faster than before and JPEGs are loaded even twice as fast. Opening Mail will take only 50% of time. I can almost hear it roaring.

3. Full 64-bit and Multi-Core

The gained performance could be a direct result of the full 64-bit integration. All native Mac applications have been rewritten for 64-bit support.

4. Safari 4

The fast browser will get even faster. The Javascript engine has been improved by 50%. And  Safari 4 passes the Acid3 browser test (as the current beta does).

5. TimeMachine

Same goes for TimeMachine. There will be a performance jump up to 50%.

6. Smaller footprint

Snow Leopard will be more lean than the current version. The installation will save 6 GB of the hard disk. Nowadays disk space is really cheap (I can remember my first PC with a 170 MB hard disk) but it’s great for MacBooks where you cannot just add and add more hard drives.

7. More reliable disk eject

One of the situation I really hate about my Mac is when some application just stalls and you cannot eject the DVD or even worse if you cannot eject an USB drive. Snow Leopard will be able to show you the problematic application so you can shut it down completely.

Can’t wait to see my MacBook Pro with the new Snow Leopard in action.