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Using Spotlight to Search Remote Computers

The Apple Spotlight search technology makes it incredibly easy to locate files based on a wide range of search criteria, including the contents of the file. In Remote Desktop 3, Apple has built-in Spotlight support, making it easy to search remote computers for files in much the same way that you can use Spotlight to search your local computer. To perform a Spotlight search, first select the computers that you want to search in a computer list (or a multiple observe window, or the Messages From Users window, or a report window) and then click the Spotlight button in the toolbar, select Spotlight Search from the menu, or use the Apple+F key combination.

If you’ve used Spotlight, you’ll notice that the Remote Desktop Spotlight dialog box, shown in Figure 5, is very similar to the Finder’s Spotlight dialog box. It lists the select computers (and you can drag and drop more computers into the list). It also includes options for whether you will be searching the entire computer, its startup disk, the current user’s home folder, or a specified folder on the hard drive (if you choose a folder, you will need to enter the file path to the folder you wish to search).

Figure 5

Figure 5 Remote Desktop Spotlight Search dialog box

To search all criteria for a file, simply enter the search string in the search box in the top right of the window. You can also specify criteria for the search by clicking the plus sign next to the search location. The criteria you can specify include kind; date opened, created, or modified; label; contents; name; keywords; and size. As with a local Spotlight search, the results will be displayed in real time as they are located.

Once Spotlight displays results, you can use the buttons in the Spotlight Search window’s toolbar to determine what to do with the found files. You can select any of the search results and choose to open the item on the computer in which it was located, to copy it to the administration computer you are using, or to delete it. However, you will need to have the appropriate Remote Desktop privileges on the remote computer to take these actions.

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