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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

I Search, Therefore I Find

In college, I had to write a 10-page paper on René Descartes’ brilliant observation, “Cogito Ergo Sum” (“I think, therefore I am”). To be honest, at the time I didn’t see the value of the assignment. But now, too many years later, it has paid off: I came up with a lame play on Descartes’ words for the title of this tip. And what a tip it is! Spotlight now has the capability of doing AND, OR, and NOT searches (Boolean searches, for the nerdly inclined). Let’s say you want to find all the WMV (Windows Media) files on your drive so you can convert them to another file format. Simple: enter “kind:movie wmv” and you’ll have your list. But what if you want to find all the WMV, MPEG, and QuickTime files? In previous versions of Mac OS X, it would have been impossible. But thanks to Boolean search capability, here’s what you would type in: “kind:quicktime OR kind:mpeg OR kind:wmv”. If your brain works like mine (a terrifying thought, isn’t it?), wouldn’t you think that if you wanted to find all the QuickTime, MPEG, and WMV files you would use AND instead of OR in your search? But if you use AND, you’re asking for files that are all three formats at once. You can have multiple personalities, but don’t even think about having multiple file formats. One more quick search type—finding all files except ones you don’t like (you don’t have anything personal against them, you just don’t need them right now): enter “kind:movie NOT mpeg” and you’ll get a list of every movie except those kinds of files. Note: I wasn’t yelling when I did the searches here. You need to use all capital letters whenever you use Boolean search terms.

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