tutorials

Mac Tips Daily! #69 - Searching with Smart Folders

Smart folders are a feature built into OS X Tiger that allows you to harness some of the power from Spotlight. You can create folders that only contain criteria that you have searched for, and the search is persistent. In this example, we are going to search for PDF files created within the last month, but you can take the technique and adapt it to your needs. Here is how to do it: On the 'Dock', Click on the 'Finder', this will make it the active application. finder From the Finder menu, choose File->New Smart Folder finder menu Next, setup the search criteria in the example below. You can use the drop down menus to change the criteria, and get very granular with it, which is great for honing in on exactly what you want to track. In the example below, I am searching in my 'HOME' folder, for PDFs, created - this month. After you have set your search criteria, click on 'Save'.

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search criteria When prompted with the Save dialog box, enter a name and choose where you want to save your smart folder. In this example, I am saving mine on the Desktop, but you can put them anywhere. save dialog Now you have a new 'Smart Folder' that is on your desktop. Everytime you open it, any documents you have setup in your search criteria will appear in it. smart folder If your folder comes up empty... well, you may not have any PDFs created in the last month. Adjust your criteria, for example, choose - Last Year. Note: The contents inside the folder are 'Aliases' - shortcuts to the files. So, you can delete the smart folder anytime, and it won't affect your files.