[OS X TeX] How to make locate/spotlight search ~/Library/texmf

Alan Munn amunn at gmx.com
Tue Aug 10 18:00:27 EDT 2010

On Aug 10, 2010, at 5:04 PM, Dr. Clea F. Rees wrote:

> On Tue 10th Aug, 2010 at 13:32, Michael Sharpe seems to have written:
>> On Aug 10, 2010, at 10:41 AM, Alan Munn wrote:
>>> On Aug 10, 2010, at 1:35 PM, Herbert Schulz wrote:
>>>> On Aug 10, 2010, at 12:16 PM, Alan Munn wrote:
>>>>> On Aug 10, 2010, at 12:51 PM, Herbert Schulz wrote:
>>>>>> On Aug 10, 2010, at 11:22 AM, Alan Munn wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi,  I can use the locate command in a Terminal to quickly  
>>>>>>> find files in /usr/local/texlive.  However, it doesn't find  
>>>>>>> files in ~/Library/texmf.  How do I make it do that?
>>>>>> I'd guess that the locate database won't contain anything in  
>>>>>> the Users folder since that is private for each individual  
>>>>>> user. Perhaps there is a way to ell it to build a personal  
>>>>>> database.
> There is. Or, at least, it can be done for GNU locate. I installed  
> that
> as glocate and then build both a general database and a personal
> database. I then use locate to search the generic, system-wide  
> database
> which gets updated once a week, I think, or glocate to search both a
> system-wide and personal database both of which are updated daily.
> I can't remember why I did it this way so I'm not sure if you could do
> the same with the default locate or not.
> Let me know if you want further details.

Hi Clea, yes, I would like to see the details if it's not too much  
trouble to recreate them.

>>>>>> I've been using `Find Any File', <http://apps.tempel.org/FindAnyFile/index.html 
>>>>>> >, and I'm quite happy with it.
>>>>> Yes, I have that too, but I'm lazy... For most quick searches  
>>>>> command-space is simply more convenient.  I'd just like to be  
>>>>> able to find things in my local texmf folder as easily.  If  
>>>>> locate could do that, that would be fine, since I've always got  
>>>>> a terminal window open; if it can't, I'd prefer to use Spotlight  
>>>>> if possible.
>>>>> Alan
>>>> And that's why I use `Find Any File'!
>>> Sure, but they're far from functionally equivalent, since Find Any  
>>> File doesn't search on content.  So if I don't know the name of  
>>> something but I know what's inside it, I can't find it with that  
>>> tool.  Since that's my preferred searching method for many things,  
>>> using Find Any File just adds a third tool for me, so it's really  
>>> a last resort.
> But locate doesn't search content either, does it?

True (I guess I sound incoherent in what I want :-)) Basically I'd be  
happy if locate could find stuff (albeit without content, but from the  
command line) or spotlight could (with content, in the GUI).  What I  
don't really want is a third tool that's GUI but only finds names.  
(Which is more or less what Find Any File is) since that for me is the  
worst of both worlds.  (And I understand that this is a very personal  


> Good luck,
> cfr
>>> Thanks
>>> Alan
>> There is a way to get Spotlight functionality with access to system  
>> and ~/Library/texmf files, using the Automator that came with Snow  
>> Leopard. Create an application, drag "Find Finder Items" onto the  
>> right hand panel, the select "Computer", "All" and "Any Content".  
>> Then, under Options, check "Show this action when workflow runs".  
>> Next, drag "Filter paragraphs" to the right panel, underneath "Find  
>> Finder Items", and set it to Return paragraphs that do not end  
>> with .emlx". After that, drag "Run Applescript" onto the right  
>> panel under the two other items, and enter the following:
>> on run {input, parameters}
>> 	set dq to ASCII character 34
>> 	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to ASCII character 10
>> 	set dat to input as text
>> 	tell application "Terminal"
>> 		activate
>>               delay 1
>> 		do script ("echo " & dq & dat & dq) in window 1
>> 	end tell
>> end run
>> Then save the application, say as myfind.app. You can set a hotkey  
>> for it under System preferences/Keyboard. The end result is that  
>> when you hit the hotkey, the Find Finder Items dialog will appear,  
>> and after pressing Continue, you will see a list in a Terminal  
>> window of all files containing the specified text.
>> Michael
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Alan Munn
amunn at gmx.com

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