User Guide

Find tutorials, tips and tricks for getting the most out of Findspot.

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Findspot is very easy to use. Once you have installed Findspot, press Control-Space to activate Findspot. If you have configured the keyboard shortcut to something else, press that instead. You will then see a search box. Type some keywords and Findspot will show you a list of files and folders that match your query.

To open the selection, press Enter. To open other results, press the keyboard shortcut next to that result. You can also double click a result to open it.

You can use Up and Down arrow keys or Control-P and Control-N to move the selection up and down. You can also click on a result to select it.

Reveal the selection in Finder

To reveal the selection in Finder instead of opening it, press Command-Enter.

Fuzzy searching

Findspot uses a technology called fuzzy searching to find your files. The names of your files don't have to match the query exactly. For example, the query “tr-pl” can match a file named “trip-planning”. As long as the path contains all the characters in the query, the path will be considered as a match. Matched paths are then ranked by their relevance.

Install Findspot CLI

Findspot ships with a command line utility that works with Bash and Zsh. The utility saves you time in typing long paths by showing you a prompt to select a path using fuzzy searching. To use that, add the following shell command to ~/.bash_profile (for Bash users) or ~/.zshrc (for Zsh users).

source /Applications/Findspot.app/Contents/Resources/shell.sh

We assume that you have installed Findspot to /Applications. If you have installed Findspot to somewhere else, you will need to change the above path. Now restart your shell so that it reloads your configuration.

Use Findspot CLI

The usage of Findspot CLI is as follows:

fs [command [argument ...]]

What Findspot does is that it will show you a prompt to select a path. Then Findspot will run the specified command with the given arguments and the selected path. If no command is specified, “echo” is the default which is useful for command substitution. Here are some examples.

Change the working directory to your selected directory. If you selected a file, the working directory is changed to that file's enclosing directory.

$ fs cd

Edit your selected file using vim

$ fs vim

Concatenate the file named “foo” and your selected file

$ fs cat foo

Count the number of lines matching the pattern “Info” in your selected file

$ grep Info "$(fs)" | wc -l

vi and Emacs editing modes

Findspot's command line utility supports vi and Emacs editing modes through libedit shipped with OS X. The default editing mode is Emacs. To change that to vi mode, add the following configuration to ~/.editrc.

bind -v

In vi command mode, you can move the selection up and down using k and j. In Emacs mode, you can move the selection up and down using Control-P and Control-N.

Start Findspot on system startup

You can setup Findspot so that it is automatically started when you login. To do that, open Findspot's preferences window by clicking Findspot's icon on the menu bar and then “Preferences...”. Once the preferences window is shown, tick the check box named “Start Findspot on system startup”.

Change the keyboard shortcut

By default, the keyboard shortcut to open Findspot is Control-Space. To change that, open Findspot's preferences window by clicking Findspot's icon on the menu bar and then “Preferences...”. Once the preferences window is shown, click on the field that is next to the label named “Keyboard shortcut” and then type the new key combination.

Change the search locations

By default, only files in the home folder and applications folder are indexed. To change that, open Findspot's preferences window by clicking Findspot's icon on the menu bar and then “Preferences...”. Once the preferences window is shown, use the add and remove buttons next to the label named “Search locations” to change the locations that are indexed by Findspot.

Ignored files

Some files are ignored by Findspot to reduce the size of the index. These files include hidden files (files with names that start with a dot), the contents of a bundle, the Library folder, node_modules and __pycache__.

Long paths

Long paths are truncated to fit in the search box. The missing text is indicated by an ellipsis. To see the whole path, hover your mouse over the truncated path. A tooltip showing the full path will be displayed.