QUESTION I want to find all the images on my Mac not in iPhoto, and all music not in iTunes. I don’t want to automatically add them to iPhoto and iTunes, I just want to find them. The Finder’s Find command (and OS X) seems incapable of excluding a location (ie, look everywhere except the iPhoto Library folder and its interior folders).

Since this seems beyond OS X, what’s the shareware app to use?

ANSWER It’s not completely beyond OS X. Just open the Spotlight system preference, click the Privacy tab, navigate to your user folder in the Finder, and drag the folders or items you’d like to exclude into the Privacy window – in your case the iTunes folder and iPhoto Library package. When you next conduct a Spotlight or Finder search, you’ll find all items except those within the iTunes and iPhoto Library.

If you’re looking for a utility that allows you to do this kind of thing without turning to Spotlight’s preferences, check out Houdah Software’s HoudaSpot 2.1 (£12.54, www.houdah.com).

HoudaSpot 2 allows you to create custom searches based on Spotlight data that are otherwise impossible.

Among its many charms is the ability to easily exclude folders and their contents from your searches. It runs on OS X Leopard, so if you’ve upgraded and are running the new operating system it’s definitely worth a look.