Spotlight was redesigned in OS X Yosemite and it now displays centered window similar to Ubiquity. There is a list of possible results on the left and preview of the currently selected result using QuickLook on the right. The results are grouped by the item category. User can use
arrow keys to navigate in the result list,
command + arrows jumps to different category.
The query can include boolean operators
NOT and items can be filtered by metadata attributes like creation date, modification date, size, author, etc. For example query like
budget kind:document AND author:Pete searches all documents by Pete that contain the word
budget. There is detailed description of query parameters. Here is a list of item types that can be used for the
Finder Search can be opened using
Option + Command + Space and can search same queries as Spotlight. Finder Search can be used to further refine the query and narrow down the results. It presents graphical interface to build the expression and lists the available attributes.
There are command line tools that can be used to interact with Spotlight.
mdfind can be used for performing searches.
mdls lists all attributes extracted for a given file.
mdimport is used to import additional attributes or files.
mdutil is a tool for managinx Spotlight indexes.
Spotlights settings includes options to choose which categories should be displayed in results and their order. In the privacy settings one can setup which locations should be excluded from the search.