3 Mac Spotlight Tips to Use it More Easily and Efficiently

Spotlight Tips

For Mac users Spotlight is easily one of the most useful tools that we can have at our disposal. Ever since its inclusion in 2005, this blend of search and launcher has become indispensable. So much so in fact, that there are other

apps for the Mac that try to replace it

, and it is also an important

part of iOS


In this entry, we’ll take a look at a few very interesting and useful tips for you to get the most out of Spotlight on your Mac and get things done more efficiently.

Ready? Let’s start.

1. Use Boolean Operators for More Accurate Searches

Spotlight is a fairly intelligent utility, and just like with some math operations, it allows you to use boolean operators like AND or NOT to get far more accurate results.

For example, let’s say you want to search only for MS Word or Excel documents. To filter these out in Spotlight, just type something like this:

  • kind: doc
  • kind: excel
  • kind: pdf
Spotlight Filter Excel
Spotlight Filter Pdf

If you want to filter your results even further, you can add the parameters OR, AND, NOT and such, like in the example below:

  • kind: excel and Spanish
Spotlight Filter Excel And Spanish

2. Get Things Done Right From the Spotlight Results Window

The main goal of Spotlight is to save Mac users as much time as possible when performing their everyday tasks. This is even more evident when you consider some of the tasks you can perform right from its results window without even needing to press an additional key.

For example, if you want to have an item you find on Spotlight available on your desktop or on any folder, you don’t have to open a separate search results window to access it. All you have to do is click on the item and drag it along to your desired destination.

Spotlight Drag File

Now, let’s say you are looking for the definition of a word. In that case all you need to do is type it on the Spotlight search field and the term will show up on the results as a dictionary entry. Just hover your pointer over it and you will be able to see its definition.

Spotlight Definition

3. Do the Math

Just as Spotlight can understand boolean operators, it can also work with other parameters to perform math operations, serving as an always-ready calculator.

All you have to do to take advantage of this feature is just open Spotlight and type your math operation on the search field. Spotlight even recognizes some basic math functions, such as sqrt, sin, cos, tan and more.

Spotlight Math

And there you have them. If you have a Mac, make sure to take advantage of these tips next time you use Spotlight. You’ll definitely save a lot of time and perhaps will even get rid of some apps on your Mac that now may seem useless.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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