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Quickly Switch Between File Size or Time Units

Searching by file size can be very useful – not only to find and clean out large files, but also to limit search results to files large enough to be relevant.

When you add a new file size criterion to your HoudahSpot search, it defaults to searching for files that match a size you specify in MB. When searching for files larger than 1 GB, you might be tempted to type 1000 so as to avoid reaching for the mouse to change the unit from MB to GB.

Actually, there is a much easier way.

Screenshot: Switch between KB/MG/KB using letter keys
Quickly switch between file size units

One Keystroke to Switch Between KB, MB, and GB

While typing in the value, you can use letter keys to switch between options in the unit selection menu:

  • Hit the ‘k’ key to select KB,
  • the ‘m’ key to select MB,
  • or the ‘g’ key to select GB.

Thus, you only need to type ‘1g’ to set the value to 1 GB.

You have guessed correctly: the keys to type match the first letter of the unit value you want to select. Easy to remember.

Quickly Switch between Minutes, Days, Years, etc.

The same works when searching for files by date using the “within last” operator. Say you want to find files modified within the last year. HoudahSpot expects you to enter a number of days or to reach for the mouse to select ‘year’ from the unit selection pop-up menu. Or does it?

You can specify the time span in minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years. Press the ‘m’ key to use minutes, the ‘d’ key to use days, and so on.

But what about ‘months’? It shares its first letter with ‘minutes’. Easy: Hit the ‘m’ key twice!

This also works in the German or French version of HoudahSpot. HoudahSpot will, of course, not expect you to know the English unit names. You will use the first letters of the units as listed in your language. E.g. in the German version, you can press the ‘j’ key to switch to ‘Jahren’ (years).