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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

1607. Creating Smart Folders on the Mac

Creating Smart Folders on a Mac

On my Mac, I end up searching for the same types of files over and over. Is there some way to set up a saved search so I don’t have to repeat the same steps every time I want to find these specific types of files?
This is a common problem; it’s so common, in fact, Apple included the ability to create saved searches as part of the built-in behavior of Finder. Imagine that you create Microsoft Word documents as part of your job, and you store them in multiple folders, based on the client you’re working for. At some point, perhaps you want to find all the Microsoft Word documents, no matter what folder each is stored in. Rather than dig through each of the folders where you might have stored a Word document, you can instead create a Smart Folder—that is, a saved search that displays all the files that meet the criteria you specify (in this case, files created by Microsoft Word).
To create a new Smart Folder, in Finder, select File, then New Smart Folder from the menu. Specify a search criterion (you could use “.docx”, without the quotes, to search for Microsoft Word document files). Click the Save button, give the saved search a name and the named search appears in the Finder sidebar. Selecting that Smart Folder displays all the files that match the criterion you specified, so next time you need to look at all the Word documents, you don’t need to take any extra steps.
The great part about a smart folder is that Finder shows you all the matching files as if they were all in the same folder, even though they’re not. It’s easy to manipulate groups of the documents as if they were in the same folder, and it’s easy to find them all later. Using a Smart Folder, you can organize your files however you like, yet still find them as a group later.
Note that deleting the smart folder will not delete the files: Remember, a Smart Folder is simply a saved search, not an actual folder. You can, however, use a Smart Folder to delete multiple files—select all the files you want to delete (or move, or print) and you can act on those files, even though they’re stored in separate folders.

For more information about creating saved searches and Smart Folders, check out this link:

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