Macs seems to be organized one of two ways. Neat and tidy. Or, files are strung out all over the place. Your Mac’s Spotlight app helps to find files when you can’t but there are better ways.
Try using a nifty, inexpensive Mac app that lives for one thing. Finding files when you can’t and Spotlight doesn’t. For Macs that may contain a few million files, this is a utility to keep around.
Search, And Ye Shall Find
For most Mac users, finding files is a two-step process. Step One: The Finder. We use the Mac’s Finder to find files by looking first where we think the file or files might be.
Step Two: Spotlight. Since Spotlight indexes virtually all the files on your Mac, it can be handy to use.
Spotlight is friendly in the beginning, but not so much after using it awhile. Why? Criteria. It finds too much.
Add another step. There’s an inexpensive Mac app called Find Any File. What it does is simple. It finds files which are difficult to find on a Mac overloaded with files.
And, it’s fun to use (unless you’re in a panic, when it’s merely handy until it finds the files you want, then it’s a Godsend). Select where on your disks you want to search. Add specific search criteria.
The pull down menus make criteria creating interesting and useful.
So, what happens when the search is complete? A simple list of what Find Any File found, including invisible files on your Mac’s disk drive.
Other useful functions include the option to search your Mac as the root user.
You can also save specific search criteria to be reused in the future.
Typical search criteria allows you to search any specific disk drive connected to your Mac.
Or, any specific folder. Then you can narrow the search to names, creation or modification dates (when you last used the file), approximate size (smaller or larger).
What Find Any File doesn’t do, and where Spotlight has an edge, is the ability to look inside a file for specific data—useful for text, spreadsheets, PDFs, and many other files. Since this is a budget app, try a budget alternative, TextWrangler, which searches for text in multiple files.