How to use Spotlight and Smart Folders in OS X (with video)

“One of my favorite features inside of OS X has to be Spotlight,” Robert Anthony reports for Mactuts+. “I have honestly never seen so much utility packed into such an inconspicuous feature. You may already know that Spotlight is available in the Menu Bar as well as integrated right into Finder; but Spotlight is also used in an amazing and useful feature you may not be familiar with: Smart Folders.”

“Smart Folders use Spotlight to dynamically update their aggregated content, based on search criteria that you specify. Think of Smart Folders as saved instances of a Spotlight search, because that is exactly what they are,” Anthony reports. “This means that you can create a folder to show anything from all the music or Word documents on your Mac, to something very specific like showing you all the image files that you have downloaded to your Downloads folder and marked with a file label color, but only within the last week. And because Smart Folders aren’t actually moving or copying any files on your Mac — they are dynamically showing the results of the search criteria you specify for them — they take up practically zero disk space.”

Read more, including step-by-stpe examples, in the full article here.


  1. We all want to see more articles like this that actually uplift us, as opposed to those that arouse the baser instincts—attacking our core beliefs, branding us as gullible fools, demeaning our personal and political choices, suckering us into increasing the click-counts of unremitting prostitutes, exposing us mercilessly to the diatribes of maniacs, lending any shred of credibility to opinions in agenda-corrupted national publications, or suggesting that Ashton Kutcher is a serious actor.

  2. Excellent tutorial! As a 29 year vet with Macintosh and Apple, this type of info is remiscent of the early Mac days on the internet, where we all shared and learned together. It is nice to see our comaradery is still alive!

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