How to search on mac for a file

Search through PDF comments and annotations

You can open a generic Finder window and use the search box at the top, press command-F to convert any open Finder window into a search window, or press command-option-spacebar to open a brand-new search window. Press command-F to open a search window in the Finder. You can limit your search to specific areas of your system or network.

Click on a column header to changer how results are sorted. Simply choose Show All at the top of the menu, and Spotlight will display the results of that search in a Finder window.

You can then select the column headers to sort by name, kind, or date. You can click on the File Name button new in Leopard , which forces Spotlight to search only for file names rather than names and contents. Or you can click on This Mac to change the target of your search from the folder you were in when you started searching, to your entire Mac.


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If your computer is connected to other Macs, click on the Shared button to search networked machines as well. When your Mac is connected to other Leopard machines, Spotlight will search both file names and file contents.

How to Show Full Path for File in Finder on Mac OS X

But when your computer is connected to a Mac running Tiger, Spotlight will search only file names. Clicking on it brings up two pull-down menus; by default, the first is set to Kind, and the second is set to Any—but there are other options to choose from. To narrow down your results, start by selecting one of the criteria in the first menu, such as Created Date, Last Opened Date, or Name. Or choose Other to call up many more options, including Authors, Audio Bit Rate, Email Addresses, Recipients people who received a certain file , Layers names of Photoshop layers , and much more.

Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets. Skip to main content.

HoudahSpot — Powerful File Search Tool for Mac

Click the blue "Spotlight" icon under the "Personal" heading. About the Author Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in while attending Michigan State University. Accessed 03 November Artman, Jason. Small Business - Chron. You can then choose which ones you want to delete.

2. Search current folder

A much better interface is the Storage Management app built into macOS, which displays all files sorted by size, and shows the date you accessed them last:. The Storage Management app has some other useful tools, as well.


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  • You can use it to configure iCloud storage and set your Mac to empty the Trash automatically, for example. Disk Inventory X is an excellent free tool for visualizing disk space.

    Get to know the Finder on your Mac

    You can see which sections are taking up the most space by which squares in the visual display are the largest. Click any square to view the associated file name. You can right-click each file to move it to the Trash or view more info about it. There is one important thing to keep in mind when using Disk Inventory X, though. When you launch the app, it performs a scan of your drive, looking in those junk and cache folders that you may miss in Disk Inventory.