Leopard’s Spotlight

October 30, 2007 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

Serious Performance.  I’ve read about how much better Spotlight performs on Leopard than Tiger.  But, it’s one of those things that doesn’t quite sink in until you’ve tried it out yourself.

Launcher?  Back shortly after I got Tiger, I used Spotlight as a poor man’s version of Launchbar.  Well, for a while, at least.  The truth is that Spotlight under Tiger just wasn’t up to snuff.  I’d start searching for an app and it would take several seconds to get it in the list.  I tried QuickSilver, but honestly didn’t like it.  I settled on Launchbar (even though it costs a bit of money), and it worked well for me.

Enter Leopard.  If Tiger’s Spotlight was as fast as Leopard, I doubt I would have ever purchased Launchbar.  Launchbar might be a little better at figuring out what application you are looking for, but Spotlight is no longer way behind in the speed department.

Safari Indexing.  Ever remember reading a web page from a few weeks ago about some obscure technology and later want to refer back to it?  If you are good at googling, you might find it, but if you surfed the site in Safari, you won’t have to use Google at all.  Just use Spotlight!  Whenever you surf a page in Safari (except, I’m sure, in “private browsing” mode), the contents of the page are indexed.  This is something that I’ve wanted for quite some time as I occasionally read something in passing, then want to refer back to it later.  Now, if I can only get the guys at OmniGroup to add this feature to OmniWeb too.  (It’s only the best browser on any platform)

Advanced search capabilities.  Open Finder in Leopard and start typing something in the Spotlight search field.  By default, this will search “This Mac”.  Using the “+” sign at the end of the field will let you create quite a specific search.  You can even save the resultant search.

Easy math with Spotlight.   You know how Google’s search page allows you to enter a math problem, like 12.5 * 3.1416, and it will give you the answer?  No need to hit the web for help with math anymore – Just key the problem into Spotlight.  Heck, you can even put in Sin, Cos, Tan, Log, factorials, and other operators and Leopard will do all the heavy lifting for you.

Spotlight has a bright future.   With Tiger, I really only used Spotlight a few times a month.  With the performance improvements Leopard included, along with the additional capabilities it now has, I honestly expect to use Spotlight at least weekly, if not practically everyday.

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Entry filed under: Mac.

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