MacMost Now 595: Lion Search Tokens

Performing quick by complex searches in the Finder and in Mail is easier in Lion because of the new search tokens feature. You can build queries using text, dates and file types right in the search field.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at search tokens in Lion. So if you've tried to do a spotlight search or a find a window search or even a search in mail inline, you may have noticed that things work a little differently. There are these new things called search tokens and they make searching a lot quicker and easier. So here I have a finder window and I'll start typing a search term. I use my name there, and you can see it comes up with file names, file name contains Gary, and sent by Gary Rosenzweig. These will create tokens. If I select this one, it creates a token and this is what one looks like, the left side is where to search and on the right side is what to search, they're kind of fixed together in a little shape here. I can change from searching the file name to everything, so full content so you can see four hundred and twenty eight items found with everything, just file name only seventy four items. I can select it and hit the delete key to get rid of it. So in addition to names I can also do kinds, so for instance if I start typing doc as in document and I can see several different kinds listed here so I can select text document and it will create this token here kind is text document. I can change from kind to everything, just like before and I can add more to the search here so I can do a second token, I can type Gary and add the token name, contains Gary and you can see I have one file that's a text document that contains Gary in the name. You can also use dates, you can do that in a variety of ways. So for instance I can start typing a month like august and I can have a token for this august, I can type a year and create a token for that. I can also use the words last and this, so last week or this month. And as you saw before I can use a name and then select send by and it will show me emails, photos, things that come from that person in my contacts list. Now using a person from your contacts list makes much more sense inside of mail where you can use the same search tokens. Now you can use tokens in conjunction with search criteria just as it existed before in Leopard and Snow Leopard, so for instance I can decide to search this Mac or just MacMost user folder, I can add another type of criteria here of alternate types, even go to other, so there's a lot that you can add here in addition to using the simple search tokens so it's like for quick things you can use search tokens and then to get really detailed and say search alternate metadata inside the files you can continue the same type of criteria you used before. In addition to that you can also hit the save button here and save this as a saved search, add it to your side bar just as you could before but you can do that now in conjunction with using the tokens and now you can actually create a smart mailbox the same way using that same save button. So you're typing quickly using just the keyboard so I can type word and go arrow down to word document this arrow down to month Gary arrow down to file name contains and I quickly have a list if I had any of word documents from this month containing the word Gary in the name. There's a quick look at the new search tokens feature inline, you can use them in the finder windows and you can use them in mail, until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 595: Lion Search Tokens”

    Richard Tench
    9/8/12 @ 10:39 pm

    When I search in a Finder window it defaults to Name Matches. How can I change it to Name Contains?

      9/9/12 @ 8:30 am

      They mean the same thing in this case. “Matches” should show you results where the file name contains that string of characters.

        Bernd Conrad
        1/12/13 @ 11:27 am

        On my iMac, when I search for specific term, I get different results when searching with the default (name matches) as opposed to searching with filename contains. I would prefer the latter to be the default but have not found a way to accomplish it.

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