The search-by-label blues

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Despite his elders’ admonition that labeling just isn’t cool, reader Jon Co would like to put Leopard’s labels to good use. He writes:

In Leopard is there a way to search by label? It seems the new Command-F search has dropped it as an option and I have about a thousand pictures labeled blue so I can keep them in a smart folder. Now when I open that folder, it’s a collection of everything. Is there some hidden way to search by label or am I missing something?

It is hidden and therefore, yes, you are missing something.

When you choose File -> New Smart Folder and, in the New Smart Folder window, click the Plus (+) button, you can be forgiven for thinking that Leopard is pretty miserly about what it allows you to search for. Click the pop-up menu labeled Kind and you see just Kind, Last Opened Date, Last Modified Date, Created Date, Name Contents, and Size.

Ah, but take a look at that promising Other… entry at the bottom of the list. Choose that and a rich, searchable world opens. Specifically, when the search attribute sheet appears, you want to enter Label in the Search field. Do so and you’ll find that File Label appears as the sole entry. Select it and click OK. The first condition in your search now reads File Label followed by Leopard’s array of label colors. Click the blue color and all items you’ve labeled blue will appear in the window. Click the Save button and you’ve got a smart folder that contains all blue-labeled items.

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