Software Tools for Searching: Spotlight

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Spotlight Desktop Search Tool

Open Spotlight


IT Help Center
Last Updated: 10/11/06
Copyright © 2005 University of Delaware

Spotlight Desktop Search Tool

Spotlight is a software program built into Mac OS X that allows you to search your entire computer for text in a file title or within the file itself. Using Spotlight, you can search through the following:

  • Applications
  • System Preferences
  • Documents
  • Folders
  • E-mail Messages
  • Address Book Contacts
  • Images
  • PDF Documents
  • iCal Events
  • Music
  • Movies

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Open Spotlight

  1. To open Spotlight in a separate window, press the ALT + ⌘ + SPACEBAR key combination. You should see a window similar to the following:

spotlight window

  1. Type the search characters in the blank field in the upper-right corner of the window.
  2. To open Spotlight to perform a simple search, press the ⌘ + SPACEBAR key combination. You should see a small window similar to the following in which to type the search characters:

small spotlight window

  1. To customize Spotlight's settings, click System Preferences. Click the Spotlight icon in the upper-right corner of the window.

preferences

  1. If necessary, click Search Results. You will see a window similar to the following:

search results

  1. Select or clear a check box to include those categories you want Spotlight to search. You can also drag the categories up or down the list to change the order in which search results are displayed.