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Using the Spotlight Search for Tagging

by Nibbles Skribbles on 15 March 2012
in Elements (PSE),Mac Only Pin this scrappy stuff!

Most of my digi-supplies are organized in a way that I understand and can use, but sometimes it would be nice to search for a keyword and find exactly what I’m looking for. I’m really not interested in having additional software installed to tag my kits, files etc. and then need to use that software to search….so I needed to find another way.

I discovered that as a Mac user (and perhaps Window’s users have something similar, but I’m not familiar – share in the comments) can use the Spotlight search built right into your OS as a tagging system! It’s really easy to do! In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve used this feature without even knowing it!

Your Spotlight search bar appears at the top of any Finder window you have open (See the area marked Search Terms in the image below, I’ll explain this image more later). To search for items, you just type in what you’re looking for and voila! A list appears.

Before we add tags, remember, it will be searching the file names along with the keywords you are assigning, and unless we limit the search, it will be looking at everything on your computer or External Hard Drive, so add some specific terms to make it easier. For example: spell out numbers, use abbreviations you’ll understand and be consistent to make your searches easier.
To tag your files, you’ll need to add Spotlight Comments to your files. It’s easy to do this! Simply right click on the file, and select Get Info.

At the very top of the window that opens is an area called Spotlight Comments. This is where we want to put our key words. You may find a bunch of file info in this box already. You can delete it or just add your tags before it. (You can use this box for lots of things, I often put credits for layouts in it).

For this template (From Nibbles Skribbles Photo Templates) I have added the following words “Two-Photo, Template, Nibbles Skribbles, Ice Cream” When you are finished adding your tags, simply close the window! Done!

Now, when I am looking for a great two-photo photo template, I can type “two-photo” into my search bar and this template will be in the list, along with any others I have tagged with that phrase. To limit the items appearing in the list, I could add more of my tags to my spotlight search – like Ice Cream! Make sense? The only other little trick is seeing where you’re searching on your computer. It will default to “This Mac” (ie: your entire computer) but whatever folder you had last opened will also be available as an option. So if all of your templates (for example) are in one folder and you are looking for a template, start at your Templates folder (which will appear where it says “_My Stuff” below).

Here are some of the key words I use when tagging my templates, hopefully it will help you! One-photo (two, three, etc), double (for two-page templates), multi-photo (for templates with more than 5 or 6 photo spots), clusters (for templates with lots of clustering),  journaling (for templates with lots of journaling), oversize (for templates with really big photo spots)…I also add the following to every template: Template and PU/CU (whichever license the template has) and the designer name/abbreviation if it’s a designer I have a lot of templates from.
Happy Tagging!
<3 Mandak
Nibbles Skribbles
Products available at: theStudio PU and theStudio CU

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mischalaneous 22 April 2012 at 11:33 am

This is SOOO HELPFUL! Thanks so much, Manda!

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2 pauli 5 May 2012 at 11:47 am

Is there a way to make it so you can use this on 2 computers and 1 external where I keep things? I switch between hubby and my mac with my external drive…

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3 Mandak (Nibbles Skribbles) 5 May 2012 at 11:51 am

You can’t search all of them at once, however, if you start at, say the external hard drive (open it and then search) and make sure to select your hard drive as the search location you should be able to use it that way. I typically search within areas of my drives. ie: through my kits or through my CU stuff…not usually all at once. You can see what I mean a little if you look at the first screen shot and see where I’ve marked in green. The green is your ‘starting location’ or the folder you have open at the time…

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