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I probably use Spotlight more than any other tool to search for or launch items on my computer. So I decided to give up the third-party plugins.


While some of the third-party plugins have all kinds of great and creative enhancements, if I wasn’t using them, that just meant computer clutter. For me, using Spotlight was just faster. Probably because I keep my fingers on the keyboard and access many files and folders from my keyboard.










Here are some of the shortcuts that help me navigate with Spotlight for quick and easy access.


  • Open Spotlight search function
    Command+Space bar

  • Open a Spotlight window
    Command+Option+Space bar


Once a search term is entered, the Spotlight menu populates:

  • Open the top hit search term
    Press Return key

  • Open the folder location of the top hit search term

  • Select first item in the next category
    Command+Down Arrow

  • Select the first item in the previous category
    Command+Up Arrow

  • Select the first item in the Spotlight menu
    Control+Up Arrow

  • Select the last item in the Spotlight menu
    Control+Down Arrow

  • Show info for selected hit

  • Search for a specific document type
    Enter “kind:psd” and "kind:psd filename" 
  • If you need a quick calculation
    Enter the equation in Spotlight, it will supply the answer








  • What a about a quick definition?
    Enter the word into Spotlight
    You’ll get a definition as one of the search items
    Hover over the snippet to get a popup of the full definition or select it and the Dictionary will open with more info.









How cool!

Do you have any Spotlight shortcuts to add?



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2 Responses to Spotlight on Spotlight

  1. geoff says:

    My main complaint is that I can’t add the Size column to my Finder Spotlight search results, as I could in OS X 10.4. This feature broke in 10.5, and more than three years later, I’m still waiting for it to be fixed. Without sort by size, how do I delete the ten larges music files on my drive, etc etc etc?!?

  2. Chita says:

    The request was for shortcuts in Spotlight not complaints, but to answer your complaint…

    Sometimes you can’t wait, you have to find a way to get to the information you want. If you create a Smart Search you can list a size and kind criteria and always find the the ten largest music files on your drive.