In Mac OS X, you’ll spend much of your time in the Finder, the part of your operating system that manages files and such. While you might think you know all there is to know about it, the Finder is a complex and wonderful app — with its own special tricks to master.
Here are 10 essential Finder tips that will help you get the most out of your time working or playing on your Mac.
The OS X sidebar, introduced in Mac OS X Panther (10.3), has gotten an increased set of features over the years, including the most recent changes in Mountain Lion, which let you Hide and change the order of your Sidebar items.
These changes carried over to Mavericks, and it’s possible some of us forgot that we could do these things, if we even knew it in the first place.
In the spirit of showing you how to do do stuff you may have missed, here’s how to add things to your Sidebar, hide them when you don’t want to see them, and then move them into a different order over there on the left-hand side of your Finder window.
Spotlight is crazy useful to find stuff on your Mac. Just hit Command-Space on your keyboard and type in the name of files, words from in text files, the kind of document you want, or even the date when you think it might have been created or modified, and you’ll find it in an instant.
I rarely organize stuff into fine-grained folders anymore due to the power of this one simple to use feature in OS X.
Sometimes, though, I want to know where a found document is — here’s a cool trick to do just that, sent to us from Cult of Mac reader Ivan Manzanilla.
I’m kind of a stickler for a clean hard drive, especially since I started using Macbook Airs a few years back, what with their tiny little SSD units. I’ve moved most of my music to the Cloud and my iPhoto library to an external hard drive, but there’s still a ton of cruft that ends up on my system.
So, once a month or so, I sort my Movies, Applications, and Downloads folders by size, and delete the biggest things I don’t need anymore. Or I move them to an external hard drive for access later.
What I’ve never done before is use Spotlight to find these files easily across all my folders.
There are times when you just need to clear off the icons on your Desktop, like when you’re giving an important presentation at work. No one wants to see all the images you’ve saved from the internet, right?
I used to solve this problem with a Sort Me folder on the Desktop, just select all in a Finder window focused on the Desktop, and drag it all to the Sort Me folder.
There’s an even faster and easier way to hide all the icons on your Desktop, though, using the Terminal.
The Mac’s Finder is great at locating files if you know the file’s name and likeliest folder. But often you don’t, and end up searching through your entire computer to find that one file. Now, Trickster does a fantastic job at keeping track of all the files you’ve been using recently. You won’t ever need to open Finder again on your Mac. With Trickster you can simply drag and drop files exactly where you want them. Trickster gives you quick and easy control over finding your files and documents–just a mouse click away right there in your Menu bar. Read on to see the video and get the special deal here.
A new Apple patent describes an invention that may one day replace the Mac’s Finder.
Referring to a method for classifying documents in such a way as to allow for a multi-dimensional graphical representation of their contents, the patent would move away from the way information is currently structured toward a “graphical multidimensional file management system and method” that would be far more intuitive than the system used today.
Sick of all those boring blue folders that crowd your Finder windows? I know I am. I can barely copy a file without my eyes starting to cross, my breathing slowing and the tendrils of sleep starting to soothe my brain. What you and I need is Folderol, a $1 Mac app that lets you change the colors of your folders by drag and drop.
One cool thing you can do in the Finder is set any window to view as large, 512X512 icons. You can do this by clicking on the icon button in the top left of any Finder window, then dragging the resizing slider in the lower right corner.
It’s fairly easy, but not super precise, and if you often use the Finder to quickly scroll through large photo icons to preview images you’ve taken or downloaded, it can be somewhat of a tedious chore.
Creating an AppleScript to do it for you is easy, and it will save you some serious time.