Essential Spotlight Tips and Tricks Every Mac User Should Know

Here's a guide on how to get the most out of Spotlight on Mac with essential Spotlight tips and tricks every Mac user should know.

Spotlight is the readily available search tool you can use in macOS, but there are quite a few things Spotlight can do that might not be as widely advertised.

Learn how to better use Spotlight on Mac to be more productive and better use your Mac.

Tips and tricks

Here are the steps to get to know Spotlight better and use it to your advantage.

Watch the video above for more information on how to use Spotlight on your Mac.

How to use Spotlight to search

The main reason for Spotlight is the above seek functionality. If you need to find a file or image on your machine, you can click on the Spotlight icon in the top right corner or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Spacebar .

Launch apps with Spotlight

To begin a search, simply type in terms of what you are looking for. For example, by typing the name of a contact you cannot locate an email from . Or if you just need to quickly open an app , you can type its name to quickly open it. Spotlight is very intuitive and will usually be able to generate matching items in moments.

Clicking these matches will allow you to see the result in an application or in the Finder. Showing in Finder will open a new Finder window and break down the various file locations and allow you to more selectively open them there. You can also add different search parameters including file type, creation date and more.

Enter search terms in Spotlight

Spotlight 's search features are easily some of the best I've used on any operating system, and indexing your data is remarkably fast and accurate. There's rarely been a time when I couldn't access the data I'm looking for when I use Spotlight to search.

Tips and tricks

Spotlight also has some hidden features which can also prove to be very useful for you. One of the easiest to use is using Spotlight Dictionary Support. If you need to know the meaning of a word, just Enter as a Spotlight search term and scroll to dictionary tab . You should be able to see the full dictionary page after selecting this result.

On a similar note, entering mathematical equations in Spotlight will generate results as if you were using the Calculator app. You'll need to type in your Numbers If you're using a 10-key keyboard, this shouldn't take any extra time. Entering the equation as if you were reading it, 4+4, will instantly produce 8 and present it in both the Spotlight field and the drop-down screen. This is one of my most used Spotlight features and even beats pulling out your iPhone for a quick calculation.

If you are connected to your network, you can also get information about Sports teams by typing the team name. For example, typing “Lakers vs” into your Spotlight will show both recent Lakers games and W/L stats as well as Upcoming Games.

Sports statistics in the spotlight

Another very quick one worth mentioning is the Onboarding Time . You can type in the limelight “  Weather (of your city)” and within moments should have a current forecast and upcoming forecast displayed right in your search bar.

You can also search for music and movie information to view m how long for local theaters, or iTunes purchase information .

Times of theater sessions available in Spotlight

You are also able to move the projector window away from its default location on the center screen and move it elsewhere if you prefer. You are also able to lengthen the screen by dragging the down arrow slider at the bottom of the window.

Spotlight is one of the best features of macOS and Mac OS X before it. I've enjoyed the increased integration with other apps over the years and I'm really excited to see how they expand it further.