The Speclight Primer

Speclight is easy to approach. It is free, to start with. It consists of a single dialog (a query form). All you have to do is to fill one of the fields (or how many fields you like) and press the button “Search”. If you haven't a copy of iNMR, or if you are new to iNMR, you may be tempted to dismiss Speclight as unusable, because you haven't got a collection of NMR spectra to search into. It is not so. If you are a curious guy, you can have fun with Speclight alone.

Important note: if you have iNMR 2 installed, it already contains Speclight embedded; you don't need to install it. Simply issue the command “Edit/Search”.

Second note: to follow this primer you need Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger (or later).

The first search field, on the top-left, is the “text”. There is a menu, under it. Select the first option “in title”. “Title” is a generic tag common to: iTunes songs; pdf documents; email messages, etc.... You can type a common combination of characters, like “do” or “with” or “the”, etc.. and start a search. You can restrict the search to a specific year and/or a specific folder. When the search is completed, the list of results can be very long. Resize the window. Select one of the results and the full title will appear on the left column, accompanied by the date. You can browse the other results with the keys “up arrow” and “down arrow”.

When you are tired with titles, it's time to download ChemSpotlight. It is a completely different product, a Spotlight plugin that extracts metadata from a long variety of chemical drawings files (including ChemDraw). The role of a plugin is exclusively to import the information into the Spotlight database. You already have Spotlight (built into Mac OS 10.4) to perform the searches. Once you have installed ChemSpotlight and indexed your chemical files (don't worry if you haven't: a few of them come with ChemSpotlight itself) you will discover that Speclight and ChemSpotlight share three tags: formula, SMILES (“substructure” in the dialog) and molecular weight. It means that you can use iNMR/Speclight to search inside your collection of ChemDraw files. For example, a “P” in the field “formula” will find all the structures containing Phosphorus or Platinum or Palladium, etc...

You can use the button “Clear All” to clear all fields before a new query. Now you know enough things to continue the exploration by yourself...

the Speclight window

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