43 Folders

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Tiger's Spotlight: Smart Folders to monitor for large files

As my media collection grows and my downloads get larger and more frequent, my poor PowerBook is almost always this close to being completely full. Having an overstuffed drive can hammer your performance as well as take you off-task (“You Startup Disk is almost full…”), so regular deletion of crufty files is a part of most folks' regular Mac maintenance.

Although OmniDiskSweeper is my favorite way to exhaustively comb a drive for fat-assed files, it can be time-consuming on a large drive. So I often do a surgical strike with a few simple Spotlight Smart Folders to identify the most likely candidates for fast deletion. A few very basic suggestions:

  • Movies
    • Folder: Downloads
    • Kind: Movies
  • MP3s
    • Folder: Downloads
    • Kind: Music
  • Disk Images
    • Folder: Downloads
    • Name: Ends with “.dmg”

I prefer these searches to simply sorting a folder by Size since the Smart Folders automatically ferret out nested, sub-folder files--no hassle, clicking, or re-shuffling.

Of course the applications of this are endless, but the basic idea stays the same: make it easy to monitor the locations where large files tend to accumulate. For example, you could also make a Smart Folder to watch your work files for large-item projects you can archive or delete:

  • Folder: Work
  • Size: Is greater than 20MB

Tiger has been out for several months now. Have you found novel ways to make Spotlight part of your workflow?

Mortimer's picture

I do not use spotlight...

I do not use spotlight a lot in my work but I still have found the pdf full text indexation usefull for my thesis.

When writting, I need to know which of the paper in my bibliography cites wich other paper in it. I could use one of the services online, but they are not perfect and they are not limited to the sole paper I have in my collection. I could also use a bibliography manager (bibtex), but then I will have to input all the coreferences by hand.

Spotlight provides a simple way of doing it. Put all the pdf files from your bibliography in a folder, index them with spotlight, then, when you want to know who sites the paper you are working on, just type the name of the author and perhaps a few keywords.

Spotlight will return the pdf that contains this citation, cool.




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