Spotlight is a love it/hate it experience. Don’t stop reading if you hate it, however, because here’s a tip that shows how useful Spotlight can be if used correctly. A simple trick lets you search for emails or documents by a particular author, which can be extremely useful when trying to track down that elusive file or message.
Here’s another tip from Mac Kung Fu, which contains over 300 tips, tricks, hints and hacks for OS X. It’s available from Amazon as well as other bookstores, and also as an eBook for all eReaders.
Spotlight lets you use keywords to further refine search results. One commonly used by many people is kind: — type kind:spreadsheet quarterly reports, for example, and the search results will only include spreadsheets. Typing kind:spreadsheet on its own will list all the spreadsheets you have on your system.
Using the author: keyword, you can specify the author of the document—the person who sent the email, or the person listed within a Microsoft Office document as the author. Enclose the name in quotes if you specify both first and last names: author:”keir thomas” will return documents and emails created by Keir Thomas, for example.
You can invert this by typing a minus before the keyword. Say you wanted to find emails about iPads from anybody BUT Keir Thomas, you could simply type a minus before author, like this: ipad -author:”keir thomas”.