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OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Smart Folders

A smart folder is a self-updating folder. It always contains exactly the items that matchcriteria you’ve specified in advance. (Smart folders are a lot like smart albums in iPhoto and iTunes, smart mailboxes in Mail, and so on.)

The key to creating one, as it turns out, is the little Save button in the upper-right corner of the Spotlight window when you’ve built a search request.

Here’s a common example. You choose File→Find. You set up the pop-up menus to say “last opened date” and “this week.” You click Save. You name the smart folder something like Current Crises, and you turn on Add to Sidebar (Figure 3-11).

Tip

Behind the scenes, smart folders are special files in your Home→Library→Saved Searches folder.

From now on, whenever you click that smart folder, it reveals all the files you’ve worked on in the past week or so. These items’ real locations may be all over the map, scattered around your Mac and your network. But through the magic of the smart folder, they appear as though they’re all in one neat folder.

Tip

If you decide your original search criteria need a little fine-tuning, click the smart folder. From the menu, choose Show Search Criteria. You’re back on the original setting-up-the-search window. Use the pop-up menus and other controls to tweak your search setup, and then click the Save button once again.

To delete a smart folder, just drag its icon out of the ...

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