How To Copy Search Results Directly From Spotlight In OS X

Copy-Search-Results-From-Spotlight-OS-X-ThumbMac OS X’s Spotlight can be really useful when finding applications to launch, documents, images, files and many other items that you have stored in your user account. The shortcut to open up Spotlight is “Command + Space”, where you can enter a search term and have Spotlight return the relevant results. These results can be previewed and/or opened directly.

Spotlight can find seemingly everything, but one thing you might have not heard of is that Spotlight includes basic file functionality. You can cut, copy and paste files directly from the Spotlight windows, allowing to easily make duplicates in deep-buried files. This is done using the handy Finder’s “Cut and Paste” abilities, which happen to function directly from Spotlight in OS X.

So, without any further ado, here are three tips that you can use to easily copy, cut and paste files directly from Spotlight:

How To Copy Files Directly From Spotlight

1. Open up Spotlight by clicking on the Microscope icon in the upper-right corner or by pressing “Command + Spacebar” on your keyboard.

2. Search for the file/folder you want to copy. Highlight the item in Spotlight results either by hovering over with the mouse or selecting it with the arrow keys.


3. Drag the item directly to wherever you want to make an alias of the file, or press “Command + C” on your keyboard to copy it, follow by “Command + V” to paste it.


How To Cut Files from Spotlight

1. Search of the file in Spotlight as usual, and press “Command + C” to copy the file to the clipboard.


2. Navigate to the location wherever you want to move the file to, and press “Command + Option + V” to move the file to the location.

Hitting the additional “Option” key will cut the file instead of simply pasting it.

Both of these tips can be extremely useful if you want to embed a searched item in a program that supports drag-and-drop embedding, such as Word, Pages, Mail, and others, or if you want to make a shortcut to an item in the Dock.

Shujaa Imran
Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier's resident Mac tutorial writer. He's currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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