For this week’s Do You Use It? poll, we’re asking about Spotlight. Initially, I thought Spotlight would be an easy question—surely everyone turns to it at least occasionally to find things. But as I thought about it more, I realized that Spotlight occupies an unusual space in macOS. Apple introduced it in Mac OS X Tiger (see “Put a Tiger in Your Tank… in 2005,” 28 June 2004) to add metadata-based searching to the Mac’s previous filename and content searches. Since then, Apple has expanded Spotlight’s purview, enabling it to launch apps, perform calculations and conversions, search inside apps that maintain their own databases, and return results from online sources. So we have two questions this week: how often do you use Spotlight, and what do you use it for?
For this poll, assume we’re talking about the standalone Spotlight accessed by clicking the magnifying glass in the menu bar or pressing Command-Space, not Finder window searches that are restricted to finding files.