Most Mac users are aware of the built-in search program “Spotlight,” as it’s always sitting up in the menu bar. Although the average user is aware of it’s location and basic function, a few of Spotlight’s features may surprise you, and you may also be surprised at what features – aren’t included. Or supported.
Spotlight will search every file on your hard disk(s) or solid state drive(s) if you’re the lucky type. Everything from documents, photos, applications, even down to the core system files, can be searched and located. This shouldn’t be anything new to a seasoned Mac user, or even a less-seasoned Mac user.
Removable media, though, is a whole different story. Spotlight does not support searching CD’s, DVD’s, etc. If it’s removable, it’s un-searchable. At first glance, it seems foolish of Apple to not program Spotlight to search removable media. Upon further thinking, the reason becomes more obvious; oftentimes
CD’s and DVD’s (mainly DVD’s) contain so many files that one’s head would simply explode upon venturing through the removable media’s depths. At the same time – because there are so many files found there – I have to wonder, why didn’t Apple implement this into Spotlight?
When you boot up and log in, the computer builds indexes of metadata containing information about which files are located on your hard disk. When you search in Spotlight, these indexes are what Spotlight is checking. When it finds what you’ve typed in, it is shown in the results. But CD’s and DVD’s aren’t indexed by the filesystem’s metadata, so they can’t be searched by spotlight.
While I am somewhat bummed that something seemingly obvious has been left out, there is a functionality of Spotlight that you’ll be shocked to learn:
Calculator. All you need to do is type in your calculation and Spotlight will solve it. Now, Spotlight won’t handle a calculation that you need a degree in physics just to read, but it can be very useful if you’re running out of time or have a lot of windows/applications open, and you need that quick calculation done. Spotlight is also very useful for when you need to see the problem while you type it, especially if you have your window size shrunken down.
For a full list of Spotlight’s features and hidden functionality, you can check out http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-1…