Use Your Mac’s Spotlight Function To Quickly Open Apps, Settings

Use Your Mac’s Spotlight Function To Quickly Open Apps, Settings
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Opening apps on your Mac doesn’t have to be a drawn-out process just because you have tons of software. Using the Spotlight function that’s built into OS X, you can quickly open anything with just a few keystrokes.

You can call up Spotlight by either clicking on the small magnifying glass with your mouse cursor, or by pressing Command+Space. A small search field shows up instantly, and you can start typing right away. Hitting Enter at any time will open whatever item on the list that you have highlighted.

As you type, Searchlight will automatically fill the list of results with whatever best matches the characters that you’ve entered. Apps will get higher priority, putting them higher on the list — so if you were to pop open Spotlight and start typing “saf”, Safari would show up as first on the list. Other documents, files or folders will follow down the list.


  • Spotlight became the ultimate uni tool for me. I’d download a whole heap of pdfs from online journals about the topic I was writing an essay on. I’d rename them with the article author and name.

    Then whenever I needed a quote, I would type in “Foucault power control pdf” and it would show me all the articles that had the terms I was after. That way, I only had to read the relevant articles.

  • To be honest I still don’t understand the allure of quicksilver or alfred. People tell me ‘it’s great, you just type and it finds things!’ I later type something into spotlight, and wonder if I’m missing some important point.

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