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:
Spotlight's Kind Keywords

TMO Quick Tip - Spotlight's Kind Keywords

by , 7:30 AM EDT, October 9th, 2006

Tiger's Spotlight is capable of finding a wide range of files on your Mac, but if all you really want is to perform a quick search for a specific type of item, like a contact or a folder, the long list of items Spotlight shows you is just plain overkill. Spotlight has the ability to limit the scope of item types it looks for - as long as you remember to include the appropriate kind keyword.

A kind keyword is a special term you add to the end of the text you enter in a Spotlight search. The keyword you use limits Spotlight's search to a specific file type. For example, if you want to look up a business contact named Anna, but you can't remember her last name, you can enter "Anna kind:contact" in Spotlight's search field. Your search result will list every Address Book contact with "Anna" in their name.

Spotlight kind keywords filter out items you aren't interested in.

Spotlight includes kind keywords for several different item types like applications, contacts, email, iCal, and more. Here's a full list of keywords:

Applications kind:application
Audio kind:audio
Bookmarks kind:bookmark
Contacts kind:contact
Email kind:email
kind:mail message
kind:mail messages
Folders kind:folder
Fonts kind:font
iCal Events kind:event
iCal To Dos kind:todo
kind:to do
kind:to dos
Images kind:image
Music kind:music
Movies kind:movie
PDF kind:pdf
Preferences kind:system preferences
Presentations kind:presentations

Spotlight kind keywords are handy when you need to perform a quick search for a certain type of information. If you need a more refined search, however, it's time to move on to Smart Folders. Not familiar with Smart Folders? Check out this Quick Tip.

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


Recent TMO Headlines - Updated November 27th

Wed, 9:23 PM
Happy Thanksgiving 2020!
Wed, 9:06 PM
My Big Sur Upgrade was Painless
Wed, 9:01 PM
Retro TV Game Console: $35.95
Wed, 5:49 PM
Apple Goes to Hollywood - Media+
Wed, 4:48 PM
How John Evelyn Created ‘The College Atlas’ Game for Apple Arcade
Wed, 4:41 PM
Apple Should Leave TikTok to The Experts - Its Users
Wed, 4:34 PM
‘Coppice’ is a New Mind Mapping App for the Mac
Wed, 3:30 PM
Twelve South Products on Sale for Black Friday 2020
Wed, 2:48 PM
The iPhone 12 Pro Costs Apple $406 to Manufacture
Wed, 2:45 PM
First Look at 'Cherry' - Heading to Apple TV+ March 12
Wed, 2:29 PM
Tierra Whack Stars in ‘The Magic of Mini’ Apple Ad
Wed, 2:21 PM
Ming-Chi Kuo: Redesigned Apple Silicon MacBooks Launching H2 2021
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Daily Observations
  • TMO on Twitter!