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Find Files from a List of Names

Sometimes, you get a list of file names and need to find the actual files. You may be a photographer who sent out a contact sheet for photo proofing and got back an email listing the images to be printed. Or you may have sent friends messages with tiny photos and got a reply asking for larger copies of images 7359, 7365 and 7366.

HoudahSpot can help you work through such notes and collect the requested files.

  • Open a new HoudahSpot window
  • Set the search location to the folder where the files are to be found. E.g. “San Francisco Trip”
  • Make sure you have a “Name contains:” criterion. It is part of the default search.
  • Add a “Content Kind is: Image” criterion.
  • Start the search. HoudahSpot will list all images in that folder.
  • From the list of file names, drag the first entry – e.g. “7359” – and drop it onto the “Name contains” criterion.

The search will refresh to list only images where name contains “7359”. Most likely, that will be only the one image you are looking for.

Repeat the procedure for all items on your list. You don’t need to stop the search or open a new one. Simply drag the next name to the “Name contains” criterion to update the current search.

To send the images to a client or a friend, drag the files HoudahSpot finds to a mail message.

If you prefer to collect the files in a Finder folder, remember to hold the Option key as you drop the files so that Finder creates copies.

You can use the same procedure to compile a list of file paths. Drag a file from HoudahSpot to a plain text file in TextEdit to insert its full path into the text.