1. Use Boolean Operators in Search

    brian on 2006.10.07
    at 07:16 pm

    Macworld: Secrets: Get more from Mail

    To indicate an AND search in Mail—in other words, both search terms must be present in the message—use an ampersand (&). For example, you might type jack & jill in Mail’s Spotlight field to find messages containing both jack and jill. To specify an OR search—meaning that either, but not necessarily both, of the terms must be present—use a pipe character (|). For example, type jack | jill to find either of those names in a message. To specify a NOT search, use an exclamation point (!). For example, type jack & (jill | hill) ! water to find messages containing jack and either jill or hill but not water (see “Find It”). The parentheses group terms together so that a single AND, OR, or NOT applies to all of them. Be sure to include spaces between the terms whenever you type your search because if you don’t, the search (for example, jack|jill ) may not work.

    Awesome. I’ve wanted this for so long and it was there the whole time. I wish is was in the documentation!

    Here’s more than what’s in the article: since Mail’s Spotlight powers the Smart Mailbox functions… you can use Boolean searches to bolster the quality of your Smart Mailbox sorting! But the sad thing is that this appears not to function in the system-wide spotlight… when using the pipe operator, it pulls up documents that actually have the pipe character typed within them.

    Posted in: Apple · Software


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