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OS X app to quickly search a set folder and its subfolders?
April 4, 2014 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Which launcher app (Alfred, Butler, Quicksilver, etc) or menu bar app can quickly search a defined folder and its subfolders without having to choose the folder each time?

In OS X, I frequently need to search a folder and its subfolders for files. I'd like this to be as quick as possible without having to choose the folder or waste time searching the entire drive.

Is there a launcher app (Alfred, Butler, Quicksilver) or menu bar app where you can define the parameters of the search (location, file type) beforehand and quickly launch it?
posted by bluecore to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Are you searching for just the filename or for content in the file?
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:19 AM on April 4


You mean you are in Finder, and you want the search field to only search the current folder?
posted by devnull at 10:25 AM on April 4


Since OS X is a journaled filesystem, you shouldn't waste time searching the entire drive. Most search results would be almost instantaneous in Finder's Command-F interface.

Seems like you could potentially do it all with a mouseclick if you prescripted with Apple Script but I don't see an obvious way to do the limitation to a specific folder easily with some sort of other kind of setting in Finder or other tools.
posted by kalessin at 10:26 AM on April 4


Don't underestimate Spotlight either: CMD+Space, then type your filename. Unless you have the same filename in multiple folder trees and you want to search specific trees for a specific copy.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:32 AM on April 4


If you have the folder open in Finder, start searching for something. Then just below that, in the grey bar, click Search: "Folder Name Written Here", instead of "This Mac", and you will limit the search to the current folder.
posted by devnull at 10:36 AM on April 4


I use Alfred for a lot of things, this included. Unless you are going to take advantage of Alfred's other features, Finder is certainly a much cheaper route. If you are accessing the same files over and over, or want to look at a recent list, Trickster might be useful.
posted by Silvertree at 10:43 AM on April 4


Find Any File is what you want. I use Quicksilver to launch Find Any File and go from there.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 12:59 PM on April 4


If it is just one folder, and always the same folder, you can use Spotlight and use the config setting to limit the search to the folder-tree of interest.

Using the Finder to limit search to the specific folder open in the window is fine, but requires that you first open/switch to that folder.
posted by Good Brain at 1:21 PM on April 4


Also from the command line you can always do:


$ cd /path/to/search && find . | grep -i [what-you-want-to-search-for]

posted by jeffamaphone at 3:52 PM on April 4


Without any response to the clarifying questions, I would suggest Leap.
posted by yclipse at 8:10 PM on April 4


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