The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Smart Searches in Tiger

TMO Quick Tip - Smart Searches in Tiger

by , 7:30 AM EDT, May 1st, 2006

Searching for documents and folders can get tedious, especially if you seem to be hunting for the same things over and over. For example, I always perform searches for the documents, emails and schedule items for the various projects I work on, but don't want to move each item to a centralized location just to keep what otherwise would seem to be a random collection of documents together. Instead, I rely on Tiger's Smart Folders feature to organize everything for me.

I also use Smart Folders to search for files names: something that is conspicuously absent from regular Spotlight searches. Here's how:

  • Click your Desktop to make the Finder the active application.
  • Choose File > New Smart Folder.
  • Choose Name from the Kind pop-up menu.
  • Enter the file name you are looking for in the Name search field.
  • Close the Smart Folder window to save your search, and give it a descriptive name, like "Name Search."


Choose Name as your search criteria in your new Smart Folder.

To use your file name search tool, just open your new Smart Folder, and enter the name of the file you are looking for in window's tool bar search field. Your search results appear in the same window, all nicely grouped by file type.


Smart Folders organize your search results for you.

I use a Smart Folder to track all of the documents, folders, emails and ical events associated with my soon to be released book, The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X. When I open the folder, I see everything related to the book grouped by file type: my PDFs are grouped together, text files are together, and I can see all of my Mail messages or appointments at once. Smart Folders leave your original files untouched, so you never have to worry about documents moving without your knowledge.


if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.

Recent Headlines - Updated May 1st

Mon,12:40 PM
Three Ways to Protect your Apple Watch (and One Way Not To)
Fri,6:10 PM
An Open Letter to Phil Schiller about iPhones, iPads, and Macs
5:30 PM
New Products Apple Might Give Us While We Wait for the Car
4:42 PM
Nomad Pod Portable Apple Watch Battery Pack: $33.95
4:40 PM
FBI Director in the Dark on iPhone Hack Details
2:36 PM
How to Select Single Pics from Burst Photos on Your iPhone
1:30 PM
SolarTab Portable Solar Panel is a Bright Spot in Outdoor Charging Solutions
12:00 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2016-04-29: Kicking Off a New Apple Conference
9:15 AM
Changing Your Wi-Fi Channel for Improved Speed
Thu,7:59 PM
Carl Icahn Isn’t Wrong about Apple in China
5:54 PM
House Passes Email Search Warrant Bill
3:20 PM
Roxio Toast 14 Titanium for Mac: $49
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!