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Using Document Finder

Document Finder lets you find documents of a specified type. For example, you might want to find all the documents created by an application that is no longer installed on your computer, and then archive or delete these files. You could also use Document Finder to identify files of a particular type and then move these files to one location to better organize your data.


Finding documents of a particular type:

  1. From the Find Files and Folders category, select Find a specific type of document. The Document Finder window will open.
  2. Choose the document type. You can either choose from a list of common files (use the Edit This Menu option to add your own file types to the list) or browse for a sample document of the type you want to search for.
  3. Choose the search location. (To omit locations from the Document Finder search, click the Exclusions tool on the tool bar.)
  4. Optionally, apply a Search Filter by checking the Apply Search Filter box. Then click the Specify Search Filter button to choose conditions for a Search Filter.
  5. Click Search.

In the search results, Document Finder groups the files it finds into three categories:

 "These files are of the same type and were created by the same application." Unless you changed the icon yourself, these files should all have the same icon as the file you chose for the search since they were created by the same application.

 "These files are of the same type but were created by a different application." These files may have different icons. For example, if you selected a SimpleText text file for the search, then Spring Cleaning finds all the files whose type is TEXT. This includes AppleWorks files, Microsoft Word text files, and other text files.

 "These files have the same extension as the file you chose." These files have the same file extension as the file you selected for the search, but they do not have the same type and creator.

More About Search Results

Search results from a Spring Cleaning tool appear in a new window panel. (The details of this panel vary depending on the tool you are using.)


If you are not getting the results you expect, click the Exclusions tool from the results window. The Preferences pane will appear and you can see what search locations are excluded for the tool you are using. Some locations (such as /System) are excluded for all search tools. You can turn off an exclusion without deleting it.

You can use the Name Filter field in the upper right corner to filter the results. (To create a more detailed set of filtering criteria, click the Results Filter tool in the tool bar.)

You can set a flag for each item by clicking on the flag icon to the left of it. Setting a flag will help you remember that this file needed special action if you elect to go back to these search results and work on them at a different time.

To identify the largest files, click the Size column title.

To clean up or manage your files, choose a Spring Cleaning action from the Actions Menu. Note that the particular actions available on the Actions Menu depend on the Spring Cleaning tool you are using.

You can view the criteria used to come up with these results by clicking on the blue info icon at the bottom right of the results screen.