Search smarter with Spot­light

Find things more eas­ily on your Mac and be­yond us­ing OS X’s search fea­ture

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

Find what you need and find it fast with OS X’s up­dated Spot­light search en­gine

Spot­light has long made it easy to find things on your Mac, and, more re­cently, on­line. By OS X Yosemite, you could search for lo­cal doc­u­ments, per­form quick con­ver­sions and cal­cu­la­tions, and lo­cate nearby stores and eater­ies. In El Cap­i­tan, Spot­light has ac­cess to a num­ber of new sources, en­abling you to get the weather forecast for any­where in the world, find out the lat­est sports scores, and check tran­sit routes for the lim­ited lo­ca­tions for which it’s pro­vided by Ap­ple Maps.

Spot­light has also gained some nat­u­ral lan­guage smarts. The idea is you type a search query as a phrase – some­thing like ‘email from Paul in April’ or ‘spread­sheet I worked on last week’ – and it re­turns rel­e­vant re­sults. It doesn’t al­ways work, but can be handy for get­ting at mes­sages, emails and pho­tos, us­ing in-con­text terms.

It’s worth not­ing that Spot­light is nav­i­ga­ble us­ing the key­board, not just the mouse. ç+[ Space­bar] opens it, of course, and you can use …æand to nav­i­gate the re­sults list. For a se­lected item, ç+r, ç+I, and ç+b, re­veal it in Finder, get its info (if the se­lected item is a file or folder), and search for what you’ve typed us­ing Sa­fari’s search en­gine, re­spec­tively. Press­ing oe clears what you’ve typed. You can also hold ç to dis­play the path to a se­lected doc­u­ment. All th­ese shortcuts are great time­savers for the key­board-cen­tric! Craig Grannell

Spot­light has ac­cess to a num­ber of new sources, in­clud­ing weather, sports scores and tran­sit data

Spot­light looks much the same as be­fore, but it has new tricks in­clud­ing nat­u­ral lan­guage file searches.

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