Finding Printed Documents on MAC

philsimmons used Ask the Experts™
I recently acquired my first MACAirbook (I'm a dyed in the wool PC guy).   I went to an online continuing education course, and "printed" my certificate using "Microsoft Print to PDF" (my local printer wasn't available due to security issues on the education website).  I selected "Desktop" as the location for the print (and subsequently I selected "Documents" and "Downloads").  However, when I went to my Desktop (and Downloads and Documents) to find the PDF file, nothing is there.  How do I find out where the MAC put my document(s)?


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On OSX the universal search is called Spotlight and it SHOULD be indexing files stored in all the regular locations.

You can find the file by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the finder toolbar and entering part of the filename or even it can search the indexed contents of the PDF for certain words.

Assuming it finds the file, hold down the APPLE/COMMAND key and double click the file in Spotlight to open the enclosing folder rather than the file.

Alternatively you can go to the GO menu in the Finder and choose Recent (or press COMMAND + SHIFT + F) and you'll see all your files listed in reverse order by date created/modified.

I sometimes use a 3rd part app called EasyFind as an alternative to Spotlight -
It can search the entire mac for files based on the filename or contents and is easier to use than my final suggestion.

Finally if the file is missing on Spotlight and on Recent .. then you can do a deep search using the Terminal and run the following command (as long as you know a word or part of a word in the filename you're looking for)
sudo find / -name "*searchword*" -print

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noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Normally OSX search must show it to you. Just type the name in and see the results.
Microsoft Print to PDF is a Windows Construct.  Are you using a VM?  If you were printing from Mac, you would normally have just a Print Dialog box and a PDF drop-down option  at the lower left corner of the Print Dialog.  You would choose that to save to PDF.

The Microsoft Print to PDF is a "fake" printer that doesn't exist on a Mac.  Are you using bootcamp?


Thanks for your help.

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