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This used to work (e.g., in 10.4 I believe). For some reason as of 10.5 it seems to treat the Finder specially and will not return it as a result when you search for "Finder".

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Why do you want to do this? Just press command-tab, or click the Dock icon. – Benjamin Dobson Aug 25 '09 at 22:02
Because it's much more efficient to use keyboard shortcuts than to constantly switch gears between the keyboard and mouse. This is not an uncommon preference/goal for software developers. – pfc Aug 28 '09 at 21:38
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Go to /System/Library/CoreServices/ find and make an alias of it that you can put inside your /Applications folder.

But it will be like clicking the Finder icon on the Dock. It will not create a new window if there is already one open.

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This got me excited, but oddly enough, after doing a: ln -s /System/Library/CoreServices/ /Applications/ ... I can now "open /Applications/" -- but Spotlight still doesn't return either the original or the symlink in its search. – pfc Aug 27 '09 at 13:55
Don't use command line symlink. Just drag the icon on the desktop while pressing Option (Alt) and Command (Apple Key) at the same time. Then it will be seen by spotlight. – Loïc Wolff Aug 28 '09 at 5:46
Ooooooo, thank you so much! That worked like a charm. – pfc Aug 28 '09 at 21:41
On 10.7 this just opens the contents folder in a new Finder-window, even if I have another Finder-window open in the background. – Erika Aug 12 '11 at 15:45

MacWorld has a good article on how to enable system searches with spotlight here. Once they are enabled the finder will show up in spotlight.

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Thanks for the link! Unfortunately, as one of the comments on that page correctly points out, "you still can't search for system files from the spotlight (command-space) menu." Rather, the tip on that page simply allows you to manually select "system files" as a special-case search more easily (it puts it in the default drop-down menu for non-standard searches) -- but it doesn't change the default search to include them. – pfc Aug 25 '09 at 21:20
You're right. I realized that just after I posted. I'm working on another solution that might work. Give me a couple minutes – Alex.Bullard Aug 25 '09 at 21:22
Okay so after working on this for a while I was unable to get it to work. Spotlight's quick search seems to default to searching without any conditions so even after I made the default spotlight search search system files automatically it still didn't work for the shortcut. It also does not seem to be possible to edit any spotlight plists to make this work. The easiest solution would probably be to change to quicksilver for use as an application launcher. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. – Alex.Bullard Aug 25 '09 at 22:04
Thanks anyway, Alex -- I appreciate all the work trying to help! – pfc Aug 27 '09 at 13:53

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