The mdfind command consults the central metadata store and returns a list of files that match the given metadata query. The query can be a string or a query expression.
# Find a file by it's name: mdfind -name file # Find a file by it's content: mdfind query # Find a file containing a string, in a given directory: mdfind -onlyin directory query # To return all files with any metadata attribute value matching the string "image": mdfind image # To return all files that contain "MyFavoriteAuthor" in the kMDItemAuthor metadata attribute: mdfind "kMDItemAuthor == '*MyFavoriteAuthor*'" # This returns all files with any metadata attribute value matching the # string "skateboard". The find continues to run after gathering the initial # results, providing a count of the number of files that match the query. mdfind -live skateboard # To get a list of the available attributes for use in constructing queries, see # mdimport(1), particularly the -X switch.