Finding a particular type of file in macOS using Spotlight is a breeze, whether it’s searching in the Finder window or creating a smart folder. You can specify a file type by using the correct syntax in a freeform search or by using the correct option when setting up a smart folder.
As a practical example, a reader asked how to find all their photo libraries. The Photos app will list all the libraries it is aware of if you hold down the Option key while launching the app. You can control-click any library in the list and select Show in Finder. But you have to repeat it for each entry, a tedious process.
To create a file type search, start with Finder to see how macOS lists a file type under the Kind column in the list view. You can select and choose a file File> Get info To view an entry labeled as such. Note the full name as in the photo library. You can then enter the correct format to create the search.
Enter the search field in a Finder window
kind:"description name". If the file type name contains a space, enclose the name with a quotation mark, e.g.
If you feel the need to search for such files again and again, you can create a smart folder:
- To like File> New Smart Folder.
- Make sure the folder scope to the right of “Search:” is selected as This Mac.
- Click on the + (plus) icon in the top right corner.
- From the first line popup menu, select Kindly.
- Select “is” from the popup menu Others.
- Type or paste the full name without quoting like photo library.
Results appear as you type. You can click Save to hold the search or place it in the sidebar.
This Mac 911 article answers a question posed by MacWorld reader Tony.
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