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Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, El Capitan Edition by David Pogue

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The Searching Window

As you may have noticed, the Spotlight window doesn’t list every match on your hard drive. Unless you own one of those extremely rare 60-inch Apple Skyscraper Displays, there just isn’t room.

Instead, Spotlight uses some behind-the-scenes analysis to display the most likely matches for what you typed. But at the bottom of the results list, you usually see that there are other matches; it says “Show all in Finder,” meaning that there are other candidates.

There is, however, a second, more powerful way into the Spotlight labyrinth. And that’s to use the Searching window, shown in Figure 3-20.

You can open the Searching window in either of two ways.

From Spotlight

If the Spotlight results list—its Most Likely to Succeed list—doesn’t include what you’re looking for, then click “Show all in Finder” at the bottom. You’ve just opened the Searching window.

Now you have access to the complete list of matches, neatly listed in what appears to be a standard Finder window.

From the Finder

When you’re in the Finder, you can also open the Searching window directly, without using the Spotlight window as a trigger. Actually, there are three ways to get there:

  • -F (for Find, get it?). When you choose File→Find (⌘-F), you get an empty Searching window, ready to fill in for your search.

    Tip

    When the Find window opens, what folder does it intend to search? That’s up to you. Choose Finder→Preferences→Advanced. From the “When performing a search” pop-up menu, you can choose Search This Mac, ...

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