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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
kind:applications
kind:app
Audio kind:audio
Bookmarks kind:bookmark
kind:bookmarks
Contacts kind:contact
kind:contacts
Email kind:email
kind:emails
kind:mail message
kind:mail messages
Folders kind:folder
kind:folders
Fonts kind:font
kind:fonts
iCal Events kind:event
kind:events
iCal To Dos kind:todo
kind:todos
kind:to do
kind:to dos
Images kind:image
kind:images
Music kind:music
Movies kind:movie
kind:movies
PDF kind:pdf
kind:pdfs
Preferences kind:system preferences
kind:preferences
Presentations kind:presentations
kind:presentation

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.


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