Tiger tip: save time with a smart folder

2006-10-31

in Geek stuff

One tip for people using Mac OS X Tiger: you can use a smart folder to speed up finding things you are working on. Here’s how:

1. Create the folder on your desktop

To do this, either select File: New Smart Folder from within the Finder, or hit Option-Apple-N while looking at the Desktop.

Remove all but one of the filters listed. Then, click the leftmost bubble, where it will say something like ‘Kind’ or ‘Last Opened’ and go all the way down to ‘Other.’

For some reason, it takes a little while for the next dialog box to open.

Scroll down and select “Spotlight Comment” as the search attribute.

Back in the New Smart Folder window, set it up to require Spotlight Comment to contain the term “InProgress.”

2. Tag files or folders

Select a file or folder that you are working on. For instance, I selected the fish presentation I gave yesterday.

Click File: Get Info or hit Apple-I.

In the box at the top that says “Spotlight Comments,” add the term “InProgress.”

Now, that file or folder will appear automatically in the smart folder you created. To remove it, just remove “InProgress” from the file description.

This is especially useful for people who have deep directory trees. It is certainly much quicker than clicking through to Documents \ Original \ School \ Oxford \ 2006-07 \ Michaelmas 2006 \ Developing World Seminar. I have tagged files relating to a half-dozen projects, as well as a few things I use all the time. It is a much cleaner option that putting masses of links on your desktop.

PS. I really wish that Spotlight could search within text files, like Google Desktop Search does.

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