How to convert currencies and get exchange rates with Spotlight in OS X

BY Jason

Published 25 Jan 2015

As a part of the Spotlight redesign in OS X Yosemite, Apple added a lot of new features to Spotlight, the search bar in OS X. One of these useful features is the ability to convert currencies, which turns out to be much faster than using a dedicated app.

Here’s how you use Spotlight to convert currencies:

  • Bring up Spotlight by pressing ⌘ + Space or clicking on the search icon at the top right.
  • Now type $1 or any other amount prepended with any currency symbol, and you’ll see the converted amount in multiple currencies including the pound and yen:

Screenshot 2015-01-25 23.02.36

  • If you want to specifically convert from one currency to another, just type in a query like “$2 to yen”. You’ll immediately see the conversion result in the search bar itself.

Screenshot 2015-01-25 23.02.45

Spotlight can do other unit conversions too, including weight, length, data etc. Just like currency, type in any measurement and you’ll see converted values in the right panel.

Before Yosemite, I relied on the currency converter Dashboard widget or Google search for converting currencies, but Spotlight is much faster than both these options. I hope that in iOS 9, Apple adds a similar conversion feature in Spotlight on iOS as well.