Copy Files Right From Spotlight In Lion [OS X Tips]

Copy Files Right From Spotlight In Lion [OS X Tips]

Spotlight debuted in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, bringing a whole new way to find files and launch applications. In Mac OS X Lion, it resides in the top right corner of the Menubar, accessible from within any application via mouse or with the default hot key combination of Command-Space. You can find any indexed file on your Mac with Spotlight, and launch any App, as well. Today’s tip shows you how to do even more with Spotlight: copy files.

To try this neat little feature out, first do a Spotlight search. Activate Spotlight with a Command-Space keyboard shortcut, type in a few letters or a full search term and find a file you want to copy.

Use the arrow keys to highlight the file you want to copy and then use the keyboard shortcut to Copy a file, Command-C. Your file will now be copied to the Clipboard, ready to paste elsewhere.

Navigate to the Finder, and open your Desktop folder. Hit the shortcut for Pasting, Command-V, and the file you just copied from Spotlight will show up there. According to the fine folks at Macworld, this not only copies files and folders, but also contacts and mail messages, which is pretty slick. It does not work for web pages in your browsing history or chat files, though.

  • clith

    You can also option-drag to copy the file or simply drag it to move it.

  • Chris Waldrip

    You can also use Opt-Cmd-V to ‘move’ the file after you’ve copied it.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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