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Spotlight on Sam & Dave: Spotlight Search Tips

Scott Kelby and Dave Gales walk you through Leopard’s amazing Spotlight search feature.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

If there was ever a product that richly deserved its own chapter, it’s Leopard’s amazing Spotlight search feature. That’s because we spend a ton of our time searching for things on our Macs. Why? Because we don’t know where anything is. Ever. Take my car keys, for example. You might as well take them, because I generally have no idea where they are. For some reason I can clearly remember undocumented keyboard shortcuts from Mac OS 7.1, but I have no idea where I laid my car keys last night. You know what I need? I need Spotlight outside my Mac, in my regular life. I would just type in “car keys” and it would say “in the kitchen, just to the left of the bowl of fruit” or, more likely, “they’re still in the ignition.” So, how does the name of this chapter, “Spotlight on Sam & Dave,” fit in? Well, that’s the hook from the classic oldie “Sweet Soul Music” by an artist named Arthur Conley. In the song, he “spotlights” other singers, like James Brown and Otis Redding.

You Can’t Use It If You Can’t Find It

One of the most important features of any operating system is the ability to search the contents of your storage devices and find the files you need. Hard drives are getting bigger all the time, which is good because we keep filling them up. But bigger drives mean there are more places for your files to hide. Some operating systems use a little dog to distract you while it finds the file you need. Leopard doesn’t have a dog, but it does have a search engine, Spotlight, that kicks butt. Spotlight was introduced in Tiger, but has undergone a major upgrade in Leopard. Every time you do a search you’re using Spotlight, but it has a couple of different “doors,” depending on where you are and what type of information you want to retrieve. I’m telling you, Spotlight rocks with a funky beat and is going to be your new best friend.

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