Is the Find command psychic?

Have you ever used the Find command in an OS X application and found that the word you want to search for has already been entered into the search field? Pretty cool, huh? You might think that the folks at Apple are psychic, but there’s a more mundane explanation than that. Here’s how to reproduce the phenomenon.

1. In Safari, type in a search word or phrase in the Find search box (command-F) and press return.
2. Open TextEdit and create a new document.
3. Execute the Find command from the edit menu, or type command-F. Lo and behold, there’s your search word.
4. While we’re at it, type in a new word in TextEdit’s search bar.
5. Open Mail, click on an email, and type command-F. There’s your search word again!
6. This even works with Chrome’s Find command.

Not every application uses this “psychic” Find, but quite a few do. This functionality is part of the Cocoa API.

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