Though there are large selection of Mac Application Launchers, many still don’t intend to switch from the blazing Spotlight.
To satisfy the demand of many Spotlight fans, I will discuss several Spotlight tweaks that I usually play around with. I hope you can use these tweaks wisely.
Several UsingMac resources that will be helpful for you to improve your Spotlight experience:
- Leopard – Optimizing Spotlight Search
- Spotlight – Indexing
- Leopard Spotlight – Calculator Functions
- Change Shortcut for Spotlight
But before we started the tweaks…
We won’t take any responsibilities for damages or data loss due to practicing the content of this article. Please kindly backup your files involved in the tweaking before you proceed.
Now let’s begin the tweaking process!
Tweaking Spotlight Label
To some, it would be really boring to look at the very same labelling for Spotlight search results in every event of using Spotlight. To few, it would be really painful to be the same as others. To me, I just want to think different!
Therefore, I change my Spotlight labelling: from “Top Hit” to “Recommended”, from “Definition” to “Dictionary” and many others. And I will guide you on how to do this.
- Go inside Macintosh HD → System → Library → Core Services, where Macintosh HD is my Hard Drive name (yours will be different). Look for Spotlight
- Control-Click on it to show up the contextual menu and choose Show Package Contents
- Follow this path: Contents → Resources → English.lproj
- Find the file MDSimpleGrouping.strings and copy it to your Desktop
- Delete the original file (the one inside Spotlight package) but don’t forget to make backup
- Open the file copied to Desktop and update the content
If you want to change the label name, change the value on the right hand side of the equal sign. Examples:
“TOP_HIT” = “Top Hit”; → “TOP_HIT” = “Recommended”;
“DEFINITION” = “Definition”; → “DEFINITION” = “Dictionary”;
- Save the file and drop it back to English.lproj folder (the one under Spotlight package)
- Open your Terminal and relaunch your Spotlight by executing command line: killall Spotlight
Cheers, now you’ve done your relabelling.
Tweak Spotlight Search Counts
While searching with Google, we will know exactly how many results are there in Google pool (sometimes it”s millions of results returned), but in Spotlight, only plain “Show All” displayed.
Today, I will guide you on how to display the search count (like what’s shown on the screenshot above).
- Go inside Macintosh HD → System → Library → Core Services. Note: Macintosh HD is my Hard Drive name
- Look for Spotlight
- Control-Click on it to show up the contextual menu and choose Show Package Contents and then follow this path: Contents → Resources → English.lproj
- Find the file MDMenuStrings.strings and copy it to your Desktop
- Make a backup of it and delete the original file
- Open MDMenuStrings.strings (which is just now copied to Desktop)
- Make the changes:
SHOW_ALL_NO_COUNT = “Show All”; → SHOW_ALL_NO_COUNT = “Show All (%d)”;
- Save the file and copy it back to English.lproj folder
- Relaunch your Spotlight (Terminal command killall Spotlight will do)
Believe me, you would be able to get the count from now on!
As mentioned before in Spotlight – Indexing, we can force Spotlight to reindex certain volume by executing this command line:
sudo mdutil -E -p “/Volumes/Macintosh HD”
where Macintosh HD is the volume name I want my Spotlight to re-index.
The indexing will take quite a long time, so it’s recommended to use this as necessary.
Or if you want to play safe, you can follow the instruction from Apple Support:
- Go to System Preferences
- Click Spotlight and go under Privacy tab
- Drag folder or entire volume to the list
- Remove it
- Spotlight will re-index the contents
We’ve reached the end of our tweaking session. If you’ve any great tweaks regarding to Spotlight, feel free to put that in the comment box below. Thanks.