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Profile: Find Any File

Issue: 11.1 (January/February 2013)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,577
Starting Page Number: 13
Article Number: 11102
Related Link(s): None

Full text of article...

Find Any File was one of the earlier apps on the Mac App Store and possibly the first written in Real Studio to get accepted, and yet it's still one I use several times a week. Apple's built-in Spotlight search is fast and handy, but it won't search system files and often finds too many hits since it always looks inside files.

(First, a disclaimer: Thomas Tempelmann has written for this magazine, but I bought this tool entirely on my own.)

The appropriately (if unimaginatively) named Find Any File just works. It's got a simple interface but does just what it says it's going to do. Unlike Apple's Spotlight, it doesn't index files and it doesn't look inside files, but that's fine since this meets a different need. It's still plenty fast (especially on solid-state disks), and I often find it more useful than Spotlight. It's especially useful for finding invisible or system files such as preferences as Spotlight ignores those.

Find Any File has plenty of search options, such as constraining a search to particular drive or directory, and you can search based on file name, date created or modified, size, label, and much more. The one odd limitation is that there's no explicit way to search by file type, so if you can't restrict a search to just Real Studio projects or JPEGs, for instance. You can workaround this by adding two "name" search fields and putting a file's extension in one (such as ".rbp" or ".jpg"), or you can simply set the search results window to sort by Kind or filter it by typing an extension in the Filter text field on that window.

Once you've got found files, you can Control-click on a file to bring up a menu of actions, such as opening, deleting, or revealing in the Finder. You can also use Quick Look to preview the file, which is handy to confirm you've found the file you were wanting.

In short, Find Any File is just one of those great tools that blends seamlessly into your life. It just works. I use it nearly every day and I can't imagine what I'd do without it.

End of article.