Limit by Tag (new in OS X Mavericks)
Use the tag: keyword to limit searches by a specific tag . For example, if I was looking for a file named “skippy” which I had tagged as “critters”, I would use the following search criteria:
Limit by Date
Limiting by date is a feature that I use all the time. Using the date: keyword, you can limit your searches to the following time periods:
- last week
- this week
- next week
- this month
- last month
- next month
- this year
- next year
- last year
For example, if I was looking for a file named skippy that I created last month, I would use the following search criteria:
skippy date:last month
Of course, the future keywords will only work with calendar appointments and events.
Limit by Metadata
Spotlight also allows you to limit your search by the file’s metadata. For instance, you can use keywords such as author, keyword, title, lastused, width, aperature, focallength, iso, modified, created, and much, much more.
Let’s say that I wanted to find a file named squirrel that was modified between 6/14/2013 and 6/30/2013. I would then use the following criteria:
You can also use the greater than, equal to and less then operators:
Using Multiple Search Criteria
You can search by multiple search strings using Spotlight. For instance, let’s say that you are searching for a file that has squirrel in the filename, that is a pdf and was created before 1/1/2014. Thus, your search string would read:
squirrel kind:pdf created:<1/1/2014
Using Complete Search Strings
This trick is similar to using an online search engine such as Google or Yahoo!. If I wanted to find a file that had the words Attention Deficit Disorder in the file name, a search would turn up any file with the word attention in its name, deficit in its name and disorder in its name. This is not exactly what we want. So to ensure that only the exact matching string is returned, you use quotations.
“Attention Deficit Disorder” kind:document
Hopefully, you’ll find some of these Spotlight searching tips helpful in your own workflow.