find by content with Mac OS

Timothy Miller gandalf at
Thu Jun 9 21:04:13 EDT 2011

Thanks Jim and others.

I have worked out ways to search my LC stacks quickly and conveniently (more or less) for the things I need. I can always use the "find" function in Stickies. I can search my email messages in Mail. This is the usual procedure.

I always had the vague idea that find-by-content in Mac OS, was available as a last resort if I couldn't find something important. Today I was searching for some notes I made several months ago. I couldn't remember whether I had saved the notes in a LC stack, in stickies, in an email I sent to myself, or whatever. I thought find-by-content would help me find the notes. I knew they contained some rare or unique words. It didn't help.

I can't fault other developers if Apple itself doesn't enable find-by-content in its own applications. Come to think of it, find by content probably doesn't work for bookmarks in Safari. Nor does it work for "events" in iCal. Nor any content in Address Book, nor email messages in Mail -- not sender nor recipient nor address nor content. Funny, I always assumed it did all of these things, but never thought much about it.

On the other hand, if Apple and other developers can easily enable find-by-content, but don't, this seems inconsiderate all around. If Apple doesn't want to bother supporting its own feature, and doesn't want to encourage developers to support its feature, maybe Apple should eliminate find by content.

At minimum, Apple should take more care to notify users that find by content only searches a small subset of all the files on their hard disks, or even their documents folders.

Regarding LC scripts, it appears these are not indexed, either. There are plenty of unique strings in my LC scripts. They are not turning up.

At one time, find-by-content was supposed to be a thrilling new feature in some Apple OS rollout. Maybe OS 7?

I long ago abandoned the naive daydream that computers will make my life more convenient. Every new feature introduces new complications. So, I'm over it.


On Jun 9, 2011, at 3:12 PM, Jim Ault wrote:

> Usually the vendor has to adjust their app to make spotlight indexing  'Allowed' and 'visible'.  Some vendors have created plugins and made them available for download.
> Google "spotlight nabble revolution" to get a better take on the issue.
> For OSX QuickView, their are plugins for expanding the formats, eg.  '.php' files
> The best solution for now is to have an LC script export to a text file all the info you would like to have Spotlight available.
> Hope this helps
> Jim Ault
> Las Vegas

More information about the Use-livecode mailing list