The Gippy Pages


Speedier Spotlight searches and exact matches

Oct 20, 2005 | Computers | By Shawn Parker

I just read a “hint” about spotlight for speeding up searching via Spotlight in OS X 10.4 Tiger. It seems that no matter how quickly you type that spotlight will try to make matches as you go along.

The hint I read comments that you can copy and paste your search term from another location to only allow spotlight to search for that entire word.

Well, it is in fact much easier than that but wasn’t something that I had really thought about until considering how utterly convoluted it was to type out your word, copy it, and paste into spotlight.

The answer is simple – start of the search with a quote mark. Spotlight will only return exact matches, and will return them even before you close the quote, so you really only need to type “bobblehead to find your famous bobblehead photo. With Spotlight’s reaction time it is actually faster to write out your entire word.

Now that I’ve been forced to think about doing this it just might become my default method of searching with spotlight – I typically know the word I’m shooting for, just not the location of the item or I am pulling up a rarely used application for launching. The exact match method works significantly faster and thus reduces the frustration of waiting for Spotlight to finish displaying “ip-to-country” when going for “iphoto”

Tagged as: comment, osx, quote, search, speed, spotlight, tiger