Spotlight

Spotlight actions and integration.

Summary  
Available on macOS version 10.11, 10.12, 10.13, 10.14
for Quicksilver build 4024, 4025

Spotlight Plugin

This adds Spotlight integration to Quicksilver. It allows you to add files to your catalog based on Spotlight queries, tag files, and perform searches directly from Quicksilver.

Tagging

Users on OS X 10.9 or later are strongly encouraged to use the tagging features from the File Attribute Plugin. It offers all of the same features without the compromises by taking advantage of OS X's native tagging system. Tagging related actions and catalog presets are disabled by default, but can be activated in the preferences.

To distinguish between the two systems, the type of tags offered by this plug- in are now referred to as "comment tags".

Comment tags are all prefixed with one or more characters to make them stand out from regular text. By default, tags will be prefixed with #, but you can change this (to @ or tag:) in the preferences. You should choose a prefix prior to tagging any files and stick with it. If you change it later, you'll have to go update all existing tags manually.

Tags and comments are both stored in a file's "Spotlight Comments" field, but they don't interfere with each other. In other words, manipulating tags will not erase an existing comment, and setting a comment will not alter any tags.

Catalog

Presets

There are two catalog presets added by this plug-in.

Custom Entries

You can create custom catalog entries to add files based on a Spotlight search. (See the Syntax section.) From the catalog preferences, click the "+" and choose "Spotlight". You'll be able to define the query, limit the search to a specific folder, and ignore removable disks via the entry's info panel.

Actions

Get Spotlight Results

Searches for text and shows the results in Quicksilver.

Show Spotlight Results in Finder

Uses search text to create and display a Smart Folder.

Spotlight in Window

Opens a Finder window with the search text pre-populated. The main advantage to this action is that it allows you to use the search syntax most users are familiar with.

Spotlight Contents…

Perform a Spotlight search inside the selected folder and display the results in Quicksilver. Enter search text in the third pane.

Spotlight Contents in Finder…

Perform a Spotlight search inside the selected folder and display the results in Finder. Enter search text in the third pane.

Spotlight Filenames Matching…

Search only filenames inside the selected folder and display the results in Quicksilver. Enter search text in the third pane.

Show Files Matching Comment Tag

Create and display a Smart Folder containing files matching the selected comment tag.

Show Comment Tags

Show any comment tags for the selected file or folder.

Add Comment Tags…

Add comment tags to the selected file or folder. Enter the new tags separated by a single space in the third pane. Existing tags and comments will be preserved.

Remove Comment Tags…

Remove comment tags from the selected file or folder. Enter the tags to remove separated by a single space in the third pane.

Set Comment Tags…

Replace any comment tags with the ones specified. Enter the tags separated by a single space in the third pane. Existing comments will be preserved.

Set Comment…

Set the file's Spotlight comment to the text entered in the third pane. Tags in the comments (if any) will be preserved.

Syntax

To search for basic terms like "vacation", you can just search for the word. For more complicated searches (by type, etc.) this plugin is unfortunately not able to support the familiar Spotlight syntax like kind:movie, so you might have to get your hands dirty to set up a search. The syntax for most searches is poorly documented by Apple in two places. It's really only worth the trouble if you're adding a custom catalog entry based on Spotlight, but it also works with most of the actions.

Some examples might be helpful.

To search for movies related to "vacation", you might do something like this:

kMDItemKind LIKE '*movie' && (kMDItemDisplayName LIKE[cd] '*vaction*' || kMDItemTextContent LIKE[cd] '*vaction*')

To replace the default "Applications" preset in your catalog with one that finds all applications, you could add a new entry with this query:

kMDItemKind == 'Application'

A good way to see what attributes are available and what the values look like is to examine a file in Terminal using mdls.

mdls ~/Movies/Beach.mov

To make things worse, Smart Folders use a different syntax so if you're trying to do a complicated search with the "Show Spotlight Results in Finder" action, you'll need to use that, which is also documented.