Find by name using spotlight index

marbiol

Registered
I'm not much of a coder, so this is why I am asking and not doing, but I've been getting really annoyed with the lack of find by name functionality in the main spotlight search window. I know it can be done using a smart folder, but I just want to hit cmd-opt-space and search for a filename.

I'm currently using Easyfind as a way around this, but after looking through the Apple developer pages, they make a big thing of any app potentially having access to the spotlight database/index.

Has anyone thought about or started on an app that just queries the spotlight database, and automatically filters for filename? I just want to be able to do a search and just find a file rather than 500 unrelated files that happen to contain the same word somewhere inside...

Dan.
 

ebalch

Registered
I realize that this is not an answer to your question but I've seen quite a few people raising the issue that you have and it seems to me that Apple should expand Spotlight prefs to allow you to set the initial filter to a custom one -- that way the base search that anyone performs would be the one they most desire. Bug Apple, I did :)

To answer more directly, It would be totally possible for a developer to do what you are stating. It may already exist. Check VersionTracker.com yet? Somthing like that might make a nice widget too.
 

Scottfab

Helpless Mac Newbie
i thought searching in quotes searches by name...

I personally havent used spotlight ever.
 
From what I've heard about Spotlight it can be quite annoying. Is it possible to use the type of search Panther has? (Yes, I know, I dont have Tiger yet; but wait, I will Hopefully :). hopefully.....
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
no, you can't simply go back to the way panther searched. you _can_ change the defaults for the Finder's Cmd-F window (smart folder) and you don't have to _save_ that search. You'll find the tip somewhere on macosxhints.com ... But then you have to enter the search term inside the "name" field, not in the search field. It's a way around things, but I agree that Apple should let the user define the default search.
 

perfessor101

Registered
marbiol said:
Has anyone thought about or started on an app that just queries the spotlight database, and automatically filters for filename? I just want to be able to do a search and just find a file rather than 500 unrelated files that happen to contain the same word somewhere inside...
Apple has. If you will click on the desktop then press Command+F you will get a search box where you can specify different Spotlight search criteria. If you specify Other from the list of search criteria you will find
  • File exists
  • File extension hidden
  • File pathname
  • File readable
  • File writeable
  • Filename
Admittedly it would be nice to be able to have this on the top level criteria list rather than having to go through the list of Other criteria but there it is. I haven't looked yet but you may even be able to create a script for doing this by using Automator.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
To me it looks as if Apple thinks file names are not important. (Slartibartfast? Never mind.) ... At all.
 

btoth

Person that uses a Mac
Scottfab said:
i thought searching in quotes searches by name...

I personally havent used spotlight ever.

In the Spotlight search field, putting quotes around individual names of a filename seems to work, or the whole search string if you want to be exact.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
yep. doesn't find _parts_ of words in filenames, though. i.e. "names" won't find filenames.txt ... so it's basically useless. Whether it's just a bug and _should_ work this way, I'm not sure. But the problem ain't solved.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
And should Apple decide to remove a way to copy files in the Finder, we can always move on to other third party software? No, Quicksilver is quite certainly not a "solution", it's a "way around" at best.
 

Scottfab

Helpless Mac Newbie
I almost never use Spotlight because I always use Quicksilver. I was hating on it after the switch to Tiger until they released an update. Its so good.
 
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