How can I install Spotlight search and QuickLook on Mac Catalina, for Mathematica version 12.1?

The most important for me is Spotlight search. Without then I can't search for text inside a .nb file, just by file name.

I believe I forgot to do this in my installation, and I don't want to reinstall It.

Some way to execute these files? enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think they need to be executed ... just put somewhere... let me check. on a mac here: ~/Library/QuickLook/ and probably ~/Library/Spotlight/ $\endgroup$
    – chris
    May 1, 2020 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ or /Library/QuickLook/ and /Library/Spotlight/ BUT I have not done it so take it only as a suggestion! $\endgroup$
    – chris
    May 1, 2020 at 15:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't think they need to be installed. It should just work as it is. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    May 1, 2020 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ At least for me, it does. I'm on macOS 10.14. I do know that several other apps provide QuickLook generators this way. It is sufficient that the app is present on your computer and that it has been used before. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    May 1, 2020 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ @chris Tks! If you want to answer, I will accept It. You suggestion worked. I just copied the respective files to /Library/QuickLook/ and /Library/Spotlight/ $\endgroup$
    – Murta
    May 1, 2020 at 23:22

1 Answer 1


For QuickLook to work, the file Wolfram Notebook.qlgenerator needs to be copied to ~/Library/QuickLook/ (user only) or /Library/QuickLook/ (system wide).

For searching into mathematica files, the file Wolfram Notebook.mdimporter needs to be copied to ~/Library/Spotlight (user only) or/Library/Spotlight/` (system wide).

  • $\begingroup$ This is not correct. These files should be left where they are. The system will pick them up. To see which QuickLook generator the system is actually using, run qlmanage -m plugins | grep wolfram on the command line. You should see the one inside the latest Mathematica app bundle you have installed. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    May 2, 2020 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ as stated above I did not try myself but @Murta said it worked for him. Please delete my post once you converge with him. $\endgroup$
    – chris
    May 2, 2020 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a later date on 10.3 than on 12.0? Or do you have .nb files set to open with 10.3 by default? $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    May 2, 2020 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ No, I meant the date on the .app. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    May 2, 2020 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Szabolcs The same. nb files open with 12.0 $\endgroup$
    – chris
    May 2, 2020 at 9:40

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