Mac OS X (10.5.6) Spotlight search results are crippled

Open a Finder window, run a search, and you’ll see that the results are presented in three sortable columns: Name, Kind, and Last Opened.

You might expect to be able to adjust those columns to include/exclude whatever file attributes you wish. After all, you can certainly do this when using Finder to browse the file system. What you wouldn’t expect is for Apple, a company known for slick GUIs and user-friendliness, to leave you standing alone on the freezing tundra with your pants around your ankles.

Sorry, I’m not sure why that particular imagery popped into my head.

I won’t spend too much time griping about this because others have already done the work for me:

The take home points are: 1) you cannot customize the search results, 2) “Last Opened” is a silly attribute to use, and 3) no one seems to know when/if Apple is going to correct this usability issue.

I submitted an enhancement request to Apple through their Bug Reporter and I suggest that you do the same. Blogging about the problem also couldn’t hurt.

A competent programmer who is familiar with the software could add customizable columns to the search results in about a day. Maybe figure a few weeks of testing/QA and Apple could push an update out the door. Or maybe this feature will be included in 10.6 as a way to get people to buy Snow Leopard. Either way, it’s a perfect example of the shortcomings of proprietary software.

UPDATE: Apple’s predictable response…

This is a follow up to Bug ID# 6778875. After further investigation it has been determined that this is a known issue, which is currently being investigated by engineering. This issue has been filed in our bug database under the original Bug ID# 5981948. The original bug number being used to track this duplicate issue can be found in the State column, in this format: Duplicate/OrigBug#.

Thank you for submitting this bug report. We truly appreciate your assistance in helping us discover and isolate bugs.

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1 Response to Mac OS X (10.5.6) Spotlight search results are crippled

  1. gatortone says:

    It will be interesting to see if 10.5.7 or 10.6 (snow leopard) will correct this issue. We will soon see as 10.5.7 should be out shortly. It will apparently have over “100 minor tweaks”.

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