Ben Summers presents
Spotlight, the way you've always wanted it!

Defining your Metadata Keys

SpotMeta helps you to use Spotlight the way you want to. The first step is to define your own metadata keys, which are the labels you will apply to your files.

The default definitions file will open, and contain just one example key.

Default definitions file

You can add and remove keys at any time, so your choices are never fixed. You can develop your scheme as you use SpotMeta, and experiment to get used to the system.

To add another key, click the "Add New Key" icon at the top of the window.

Adding a new key

You have a choice of five different key types:

TextA small amount of text, for use where you need to enter information which could be different on every single file.
ChoiceOne or more choices from a pre-defined list can be added to files. Use when the list of choices is small, and you need to be absolutely sure you don't enter the wrong thing.
DateA simple date.
CheckboxA yes or no choice.
NumberA number, which can have a fractional part.

The menu also includes a "Delete Key" option which is used to remove definitions that you no longer need. However, the metadata stays applied to the files, so to bring it back simply create another key with exactly the same type and name.

In this example, we'll set up a few different keys.

Example definitions

To change the order in any list, simply drag items.

There are several fields on this page.

Name of keyThis is a short name used to refer to the key in the user interface.
DescriptionA short description of the key and how it'll be used. It's displayed in the Finder listing of available keys.
Apply by default to files with no metadata If you want to apply this key to most files that you're going to edit, check this box. This makes the key ready for editing if the file hasn't had any metadata applied before.
Add to Finder FavoritesIf checked, the key is added to the list of "Favorite" metadata to make it quicker to select when searching in the Finder.

A Choice key also has a list of choices, and a menu to choose how to display and edit the choices. An example of the user interface is shown below.

Use Delete and New to edit the list of choices, and drag the choices within the list to reorder them.

If you choose a "Token list" display type, you can specify whether or not choices which aren't in the list are allowed with the "Allow options not listed" checkbox.

Once you have finished creating your initial metadata keys, click the Save and Activate button to begin using the definitions.

Save and Activate icon

Depending on the changes SpotMeta makes, the Finder may need to be restarted. If SpotMeta does do this, a message will be displayed to tell you what is happening.

Next step - applying metadata to files...




How SpotMeta helps you organise your files

Using SpotMeta

Information for Advanced Users


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Project status


SpotMeta is an Open Source project, licensed under the GPL.

See note about development status on the contact page.