Should be fixed: Search

I was going through this little article on Macworld about a “gem” for searching the mac and remembered one of those little annoyances that i don’t understand why hasn’t been already fixed.

The Mac Spotlight, although it roughly works and makes it easy to do queries, is annoyingly limited. You can state endless fields to look for, including if a document has a certain font embedded, or if a photo has an alpha channel. But i can’t specifically state a path/folder to include or exclude. Nor can i see and order by it on the columns on the finder.

My Downloads folder is a mess. A giant mess thanks to Safari, ((which should also be fixed, but i’ll elaborate on that on another post.)) which doesn’t allow me to specify in what folder i would like to save this file. So everything gets droped on Downloads, either i want it or not. I’ve tried to put an end to that mess. So i put a couple of “major” ((I generally create “major folders” by assigning a number before the actual name as 00.Applications , 01.PDFs, etc, and by giving them colored tags with the finder. This way they are always on top if alphabetically ordered and are easy to spot by me using the colors.)) folders to sort things out. One for applications, one for pdfs i want to integrate in my work, etc etc until i can delete everything else and just analyze what i selected first.

If i do a search for .app files, i would expect to be able to exclude the ones i already moved to the Downloads/00.Applications so that i could find whatever application files are present in all of the subfolders, made for example by decompressing a compressed archive. Or sort it by its locations so that i understood those that are related with one another.

And this is where it gets useless. I can’t do that with spotlight. I can’t do specify anything related with its location besides “search This mac” or “search This folder”. What annoys me is that, if i could just see the path in a column on finder, i could then sort it out myself. But i can’t do that either. i’m reduced to a giant list of files that could be everywhere on this folder, and the only way for me to check it is to select each one and look at the “crumble path” at the bottom of the window. Which would do just fine if i had a couple of finders. But if i’m using spotlight is exactly because i don’t just have a couple of folders…

So, the mess justs grow bigger and i desperately try to find an cheap/free alternative to Spotlight. Of course Apple knows this. They have been criticized for it, i think since the beginning of Mac OS X. And again, if you go to the Apple forums you can easily find threads relating to this. But, this is Apple. The 20/20 eagle eyed visionary company that has a severe hear impairment…

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