Hands-On Mac (Video)

HOM 7: Spotlight on Spotlight

May 1, 2020

The only problem with the Mac's GUI interface is that it may take some digging to find the file or application you want to use. But Apple has a fix for that: Spotlight, and it's the easiest way to open anything on your Mac.

Press command-space and start typing. You can launch applications, documents, even emails, with a few keystrokes. Command-option-space launches a Finder window for searching.

But there are a few little known shortcuts that make Spotlight even more useful.

  • Use the kind: keyword to narrow down your search:
  • kind:audio
  • kind:folders
  • kind:app
  • kind:email
  • To find the location of a file, select it on the list then hit the Command key. The full directory will show up in the status bar. Command-R opens the file location (not the file)
  • You can look up definitions by typing a word
  • Type
  • Use it as a calculator
  • Type 2 + 2
  • Convert units
  • Search for movie showtimes, weather, and places near me
  • Type movies
  • Type weather
  • Type drugstores
  • Search for flight information by entering the airline and flight number
  • United 30
  • Or a stock price
  • aapl
  • Search for contact information by typing a name

To limit the searches Spotlight can make, check the Spotlight system preferences. You can also change the key command.

If you like what spotlight can do, there's a third-party app, Alfred, that does even more!


Leo Laporte gives you helpful tips to get the most from your Mac every week on Hands-On Mac

Host: Leo Laporte

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