Tips, Tricks
& Treats

The Complete List of Unknown Spotlight Search Keywords

You are a Pro. You know how to use Spotlight, Apple's renowned search tool, in the dark. Hit cmd-space (+space), enter two or three letters, ready, return, go! But are you really a Pro?

Among the most useful Spotlight features the calculator is top-ranked, at least for me. It comes up in a fraction of a second, and I'm ready to do whatever has to be done (calculated). And, sometimes, it's more complicated than 2+5. In any case, you can use it as a backup, confirming any results of mental number juggling.

In addition, many users know that Boolean operators like "AND", "OR" and "NOT" may be used to combine search terms. Caveat: Uppercase is essential!

A still smaller group of users is aware of the fact that keywords like flash, to narrow down your search, exist.

But in order to become a real Pro, you would need to know them all! Enter the First Complete List of Unknown Spotlight Search Keywords (actually the second I know of, but this one fits Mavericks). If you think that remembering well over 100 keywords is a bit much to ask for, you may be right - just pick the ones you need frequently down below, and start saving time.


kMDItemDescriptionSearch Keyword
kMDItemAcquisitionMakeMake of the device used to acquire this documentmake
kMDItemAcquisitionModelModel of the device used to acquire this documentmodel
kMDItemAlbumTitle for a collection of media, such as a record albumalbum,title
kMDItemAltitudeThe altitude of the item in meters above sea level, expressed using the WGS84 datum. Negative values lie below sea level.altitude
kMDItemApertureSize of the lens aperture as a log-scale APEX valueaperture,fstop
kMDItemAppStoreCategoryApp Store Category item is a member ofcategory
kMDItemApplicationCategoriesCategories application is a member ofcategories
kMDItemAudiencesWho the document is intended forto,audience
kMDItemAudioChannelCountNumber of channels in the file's audio datachannels
kMDItemAudioTrackNumberTrack number of the song that is part of an albumtracknumber
kMDItemAuthorAddressesAddresses for authors of this itemfrom
kMDItemAuthorEmailAddressesEmail addresses for authors of this itemfrom,email,mail
kMDItemAuthorsAuthors of this itemfrom,author,with,by
kMDItemBitsPerSampleNumber of bits per samplebitspersample,bps
kMDItemCityCity of the itemcity
kMDItemCodecsCodecs used to encode and decode the mediacodec
kMDItemColorSpaceColor space model of this imagecolorspace
kMDItemCommentComments about this itemcomment
kMDItemComposerComposer of the song in the audio fileby,composer,author
kMDItemContactKeywordsContacts associated with this itemcontact,contactkeyword,keyword
kMDItemContentCreationDateDate when the content of this item was createdcontentcreated,created,date
kMDItemContentModificationDateDate when the content of this item was modifiedcontentmodified,modified,date
kMDItemContributorsPeople or organizations contributing to the content of the documentby,contributor,author,with
kMDItemCopyrightCopyright information about this itemcopyright
kMDItemCountryCountry or location where the item was created according to the providercountry
kMDItemCoverageExtent or scope of the content of the documentcoverage
kMDItemCreatorApplication used to create the documentcreator
kMDItemDateAddedDate when this item was last moveddateadded,added,date
kMDItemDeliveryTypeMethod used to deliver the media (Fast Start or RTSP)delivery
kMDItemDescriptionDescription of the content of the documentdescription,comment
kMDItemDisplayNameLocalized name of the filename,displayname
kMDItemDocumentContainerContaining folder of itemcontainer
kMDItemDueDateDate this item is dueduedate,date
kMDItemDurationSecondsDuration of this item in secondsduration,time
kMDItemEXIFVersionVersion of EXIF used to generate the metadataexifversion
kMDItemEditorsEditors of this itemeditor
kMDItemEmailAddressesEmail addresses associated with this itememail,mail
kMDItemExecutableArchitecturesArchitectures the item requires to executearchitectures
kMDItemExecutablePlatformPlatform the item requires to executeplatform
kMDItemExposureModeMode used for the exposureexposuremode
kMDItemExposureProgramType of program used by the camera to set the exposure: Manual, Normal, Aperture priority, ...exposure,exposureprogram
kMDItemExposureTimeSecondsTime the lens was open during exposureexposuretime,time
kMDItemExposureTimeStringExposure timeexposuretime,time
kMDItemFNumberFocal length of the lens divided by the diameter of the aperturefnumber,fstop
kMDItemFSContentChangeDateDate the file content was last changedmodified
kMDItemFSCreationDateDate the file was createdcreated
kMDItemFSInvisibleWhether the file is visibleinvisible
kMDItemFSIsStationeryWhether the file is stationerystationery
kMDItemFSNameName of the filefilename
kMDItemFSOwnerGroupIDGroup ID of owner of the filegroup
kMDItemFSOwnerUserIDUser ID of the owner of the fileowner
kMDItemFSSizeLogical size of the file on disk in bytessize
kMDItemFinderCommentSpotlight comment for this itemcomment,spotlightcomment
kMDItemFlashOnOffWhether the picture was taken using a flashflash
kMDItemFocalLengthFocal length of the lens in millimeters (mm)focallength
kMDItemFontsFonts used in this itemfont
kMDItemHasAlphaChannelWhether the image has an Alpha channelalpha
kMDItemHeadlinePublishable summary of the contents of the itemheadline,title
kMDItemISOSpeedISO speed of the camera when the picture was takeniso
kMDItemIdentifierReference to a resource within a given contextid
kMDItemInstantMessageAddressesInstant message addresses associated with this itemchat,imname
kMDItemInstructionsOther information concerning the item, such as handling instructionsinstructions
kMDItemIsApplicationManagedThe file is owned and managed by an applicationappmanaged
kMDItemIsGeneralMIDISequenceWhether the MIDI sequence contained in the file is setup for use with a General MIDI deviceismidi
kMDItemIsLikelyJunkWhether the file is likely to be considered a junk fileisjunk
kMDItemKeySignatureMusical key of the song in the audio filekey,keysignature
kMDItemKeywordsKeywords associated with this itemkeyword
kMDItemKindKind of this itemkind
kMDItemLanguagesLanguages of the content of the documentlanguage
kMDItemLastUsedDateDate when this item was last usedlastused,date
kMDItemLatitudeThe latitude of the item in degrees north of the equator, expressed using the WGS84 datum. Negative values lie south of the equator.latitude
kMDItemLayerNamesNames of the layers in the filelayer
kMDItemLongitudeThe longitude of the item in degrees east of the prime meridian, expressed using the WGS84 datum. Negative values lie west of the prime meridian.longitude
kMDItemLyricistLyricist of the song in the audio fileby,lyricist,author
kMDItemMaxApertureSmallest F number of the lens in APEX value units, usually in the range of 00.00 to 99.99maxaperture
kMDItemMediaTypesMedia types present in the contentmedia,contains,mediatype
kMDItemMeteringModeThe metering mode (Unknown, Average, CenterWeightedAverage, Spot, MultiSpot, Pattern, Partial)metering,meteringmode
kMDItemMusicalGenreMusical genre of the song in the audio filegenre,musicalgenre
kMDItemMusicalInstrumentCategoryInstrument category to which the file belongsinstrument,instrumentcategory
kMDItemMusicalInstrumentNameName of instrument relative to the instrument categoryinstrument,instrumentname
kMDItemNamedLocationName of the location or point of interestlocation
kMDItemNumberOfPagesNumber of pages in the documentpages
kMDItemOrganizationsOrganizations that created the documentorganization
kMDItemOrientationOrientation of the picture (landscape or portrait)orientation
kMDItemPageHeightHeight of the document page in pointspageheight,height
kMDItemPageWidthWidth of the document page in pointspagewidth,width
kMDItemPathComplete pathname of this filepath
kMDItemPhoneNumbersPhone numbers associated with this itemphone,phonenumber
kMDItemPixelCountTotal number of pixels in the documentpixelcount
kMDItemPixelHeightHeight of the document in pixelspixelheight,height
kMDItemPixelWidthWidth of the document in pixelspixelwidth,width
kMDItemProducerProducer of this itemproducer
kMDItemProfileNameName of the color profile used for the imageprofile
kMDItemPublishersPublisher of the documentpublisher
kMDItemPurchaseDateDate this item was purchasedpurchasedate
kMDItemRecipientAddressesAddresses for recipients of this itemto
kMDItemRecipientEmailAddressesEmail addresses for recipients of this itemto,email,mail
kMDItemRecipientsRecipients of this itemto,recipient,with
kMDItemRecordingDateDate the song was recordedrecordingdate,date
kMDItemRecordingYearYear the item was recordedyearrecorded,year
kMDItemRedEyeOnOffWhether 'red eye' correction was on or offredeye
kMDItemResolutionHeightDPIResolution height of this image in DPIheightdpi,dpi
kMDItemResolutionWidthDPIResolution width of this image in DPIwidthdpi,dpi
kMDItemRightsLink to information about the rights held on the documentrights
kMDItemSecurityMethodEncryption method used to make the document securesecurity,securitymethod
kMDItemStarRatingUser Ratingstarrating
kMDItemStateOrProvinceState or province of the item according to the providerstate,province
kMDItemStreamableWhether the content is prepared for streamingstreamable
kMDItemSubjectSubject of this itemsubject,title
kMDItemTempoTempo of the music in the audio file in Beats Per Minutetempo
kMDItemTextContentText content of this itemcontent,contains,intext
kMDItemThemeTheme of this itemtheme
kMDItemTitleTitle of this itemtitle
kMDItemTotalBitRateCombined bit rate of the audio and video in the mediatotalbitrate,bitrate
kMDItemURLURL of this itemurl
kMDItemUsedDatesDates when this item was usedused,date
kMDItemUserTagsTags associated with this itemtag
kMDItemVersionVersion number of this itemversion
kMDItemVideoBitRateBit rate of the video in the mediavideobitrate,bitrate
kMDItemWhereFromsWhere the item came fromfrom,source,wherefrom
kMDItemWhiteBalanceWhite balance setting of the camera when the picture was takenwhitebalance

Remember that a keyword always requires a colon (:) and an argument. 1 usually stands for "true" and 0 for "false", as in "flash:1" (finding all images made with a flash turned on).

Also, for international users, the keywords differ substantially. As soon as I find the time, I will publish counterparts for other languages. (MacConfig)