Remember the good old days–basically 4 months ago–when you could search for a specific preference file in spotlight? Since Leopard’s release, some users have been noticing that this rather simple functionality has strangely disappeared in Leopard. But has it really?
Try a little experiment: Open the “preferences” folder in your “user/library/” directory. Pick out a preference file–let’s try “com.apple.iChatAgent.plist.” Now, close the preferences window, and go up to the spotlight icon in the upper right hand corner of your desktop. Try searching for “ichatagent.” Oddly, the preference file in question will not show up.
So how can you find a specific preference file if this is true? Well, the good news is that it can be accomplished in a couple of different ways (one of which involves tailoring search criteria using the optional pull-downs), but here’s a quick and dirty solution:
Let’s stay with the “ichatagent” example: First, you’ll need to drill down to the “library” folder in your user directory. Now enter “ichatagent” in the search field in the upper right hand area of the window. You’ll notice that the window goes blank with no results. Fear not: simply select “Search: Library” instead of “this Mac” in the thin gray bar above the search results field.
Voila! There’s “com.apple.iChatAgent.plist,” right where it should be.
So, the next time you need to find a specific preference file, remember you’ll have to actually be in your “library” folder (or the “Preferences” folder itself) to find it. A little odd, but at least you know you can still find those files!
Note: As mentioned above, there is another viable method that can be used to find your pref files which involves using the search criteria pull-downs and then (optionally) saving the search for later use. Although I prefer the method here, it’s always matter of personal taste!
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