I'm used to using the search window in Windows that provided the ability to use options such as:
- Date of Creation/Modification
- File Size
- File Extension
- Wild Card Characters
How can I search with Spotlight with similar criteria?
This article has a lot of good information on maximising the power of Spotlight search. To search by date, for example:
Unfortunately it seems you can only do wildcard queries using "raw queries" which are typically associated with the mdfind command. For example (the c at the end makes it case-independent):
While you can't do Raw Queries from the simple Spotlight fields (menubar and upper right in Finder), you can use Raw Queries from Finder advanced search (aka Spotlight window). Jump to finder search in Finder using Command-F (or use the global shortcut Command-Option-Space). Then change the Kind to "Others > Raw Query":
You can then click Save to add it as a Smart Folder in the Sidebar. To skip the Others and get to Raw Queries a little faster you can add Raw Query to the Kind drop-down menu:
A little more info on mdfind and wildcards is at http://macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2006/01/04/mdfind.html?page=3. Also see this great superuser blog post by @slhck at Digging Deeper: Mastering Spotlight in OS X. The different attribute keys you can use is at Apple MDItemRef.
The Finder provides you with multiple options to constrain the search: (in 10.4) just select File>>Find... from the Finder's menu and click on the (+) button to get more options like the size, the kind of the file, or when it was last opened.