Searching for and Locating Files

Mac OS X gives you five ways to find files — two easy-to-use methods through the Finder, and three more as Unix commands you can invoke through the Terminal.

Finding Files Through the Finder

Selecting File Find (

Finding Files Through the Finder

-F) in the Finder brings up the window shown in Figure 2-21. You can also open the Find window by clicking on the word “Search” below the Search field in the Finder’s Toolbar.

The Finder’s file-finding interface

Figure 2-21. The Finder’s file-finding interface


Mac OS Versions 8.5 through 10.1 launched the separate Sherlock application at this Finder menu command. Sherlock still exists in the latest versions of Mac OS X (see Section 6.1), but it has been demoted to work solely as a web-searching interface. Aqua-based file-finding functions have been placed back in the Finder’s realm.

The "Search in” pop-up menu lets you define the domain of your search. It contains the following choices:


The search will include every disk mounted on the filesystem, including network-mounted volumes.

Local disks

The search will include every disk mounted on the filesystem, except for network-mounted volumes.


The search will limit itself to your Home folder.

Specific Places

Selecting this summons a filesystem browser, which lets you add disks to include in the search, as well as individual ...

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