Home Made Spotlight Keywords

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Spotlight has its own built-in list of keywords you can use when searching for files, but that list is designed to help you limit the types of documents it finds, not find documents that contain specific keywords. If Spotlightis keyword feature seems a bit limited for you, just come up with your own keyword scheme that works the way you want.

Creating a list of keywords that makes sense to you doesnit have to be a complex project. You might, for example, use "client projects" for documents and folders that relate to the businesses you work with, and another called "family events" for holidays and other get togethers with your family. The trick is to add your keywords to document and folder Spotlight Comments.

Hereis how:

  • Select a file or folder that you want to add your custom keywords to.
  • From the Finderis menu bar, choose File > Get Info, or use the Command-I keyboard shortcut to open the itemis Info window.
  • Add your custom keywords to the Spotlight Comments field.
  • Close the Info window.


Add your own keywords to the Spotlight Comments field.

Now your keywords are attached to the file or folder, and are searchable with Spotlight. This works even if you are using a file format that Spotlight isnit otherwise compatible with -- meaning it canit look inside the document to scan its contents.

I use this trick when I want to locate documents and folders that all have some common theme, and I find it especially handy when I make a Smart Folder to track files for a specific client project. I just use the same keywords in every document that relates to the project, and my Smart Folder groups them for me, regardless of where they are hiding on my hard drive.

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