100 Tips #14: What Is Cover Flow?

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In the last tip, we showed you three standard views for looking at files in a Finder window.

There’s a fourth view, though. It’s called Cover Flow, and we’ve given it a tip all of its own because you’re likely to see it in many different places.

Cover Flow shows the contents of a folder as a series of large thumbnails floating on a black background. You browse through them by flicking from one side to another – the floating stack shifts and displays the next item as you go.

Cover Flow started life as an independent third-party add-on for iTunes, but it was purchased by Apple and has since appeared not just in iTunes, but throughout Mac OS X.

Cover Flow is now on iPods, iPhones and iPads. You can use it to browse bookmarks and browsing history in Safari 4. And of course, files and folders in Finder windows. It appeals to some people and not to others. It can be very useful when you want to find a particular image inside a small group, but when you’re looking at large numbers of files the flicking back-and-forth can get tiresome.

To switch to Cover Flow view in a Finder window, hit Command+4. To get out of hit, use one of the other quick commands to switch to a different view, or use the View buttons in the toolbar.

(You’re reading the 14th post in our series, 100 Essential Mac Tips And Tricks For Windows Switchers. Find out more.)