Hands-On Mac

May 1st 2020

Hands-On Mac 7

Spotlight on Spotlight

Hosted by Leo Laporte
Spotlight Does More Than You Think!
Although the show is no longer in production, you can enjoy episodes from the TWiT Archives.
Category: Help & How To

The only problem with the Mac's GUI interface is that it may take some digging to find the file or application you want to use. But Apple has a fix for that: Spotlight, and it's the easiest way to open anything on your Mac.

Press command-space and start typing. You can launch applications, documents, even emails, with a few keystrokes. Command-option-space launches a Finder window for searching.

But there are a few little known shortcuts that make Spotlight even more useful.

  •  Use the kind: keyword to narrow down your search:
  •  kind:audio
  •  kind:folders
  •  kind:app
  •  kind:email
  •  To find the location of a file, select it on the list then hit the Command key. The full directory will show up in the status bar. Command-R opens the file location (not the file)
  •  You can look up definitions by typing a word
  • Type
  •  Use it as a calculator
  •  Type 2 + 2
  •  Convert units
  •  Search for movie showtimes, weather, and places near me
  •  Type movies
  •  Type weather
  •  Type drugstores
  •  Search for flight information by entering the airline and flight number
  •  United 30
  •  Or a stock price
  •  aapl
  •  Search for contact information by typing a name

To limit the searches Spotlight can make, check the Spotlight system preferences. You can also change the key command.

If you like what spotlight can do, there's a third-party app, Alfred, that does even more!


Leo Laporte gives you helpful tips to get the most from your Mac every week on Hands-On Mac

Download or subscribe to this show at https://twit.tv/shows/hands-on-mac

Discuss episodes in the TWiT Community.