Mac: Smart Folders

You can identify Smart folders by their purple color and cog icon. Otherwise, Smart folders look just like regular folders on your Mac, but instead of files and other items, they display Spotlight search results. So if you open a Smart folder, you won’t be able to see the contents inside the folder. You’ll view items elsewhere in the directory structure, instead. Even if you try, you can’t add items to Smart Folders. You use them to search for items elsewhere on you system.

How to Work With Smart Folders

Working with Smart Folders and using the Spotlight search box, you can narrow Spotlight searches even further. This technology exists within Finder and in some Mac OS apps, although they can be named differently, as Smart Mailboxes, Smart Playlists, and so on.

How to Make Smart Folders

Making Smart Folders is easy. Besides, the Mac OS comes with preloaded with a few Smart Folders. To access to these folders, open a new Finder window. Then look in the sidebar for the new Search For area. You’ll see Today, Yesterday, Past Week, All Images, All Movies, All Documents. All these elements are Smart Folders.

If you want to create a new Smart Folder, choose File – New Smart Folder from the Finder menu bar. Use the first drop-down menu option to choose a category, such as Kind, Last Opened, Created Date.

When you create a Smart Folder, look also at the Other option. This menu opens a list of options that can be added to the drop-down menu. It’s worth taking time to investigate offerings to add, as there are many of them, from aperture values to video bit rates.

Use the Add (+) button to add multiple search terms to narrow the results. For example, you can create a Smart folder that contains files about the secondhand electronics you have purchased the last month.

When you are finished, save the Smart Folder and access it in Finder. To save the newly created folder, click Save button on the right side of the New Smart Folder Window.

To add the Smart Folder to the Search For area in the Finder‘s window setbar, select the Add to Sidebar check box in the Save dialog box.

Alltogether, you can create multiple Smart Folders which search for Microsoft documents, PDF files, large or small images, documents you’ve worked this week, search for photographs taken with certain cameras. In fact, by looking through the Other folder, you’ll find lots of inspiration for many Smart Folders.

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