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Finder: Arrange by, Sort by, Clean up by, what do they mean?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.7 Lion' started by baryon, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. baryon, Jul 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011

    macrumors 68030


    The more I use Lion, the more confused I get. What I'm particularly interested in is understanding how the new Finder icon organization methods work. They make absolutely no sense to me as they are now.

    In the following screenshot, I clicked Arrange By: Kind. I find it extremely annoying that all my icons are in a single row, meaning that it's impossible to see everything at once. You now need to scroll horizontally to see everything, or click "Show All" for EACH category one by one, every single time you open the folder (it defaults back to a single line of cover flow).

    In the next screenshot, I have pressed Alt to reveal the "Sort by" option, and then I clicked "Sort by: Kind". What staggers me is that everything is the same, except for the ORDER in which the icons appear. Someone explain why? Why does "Sort by" arrange icons in a different order than "Arrange by"?


    The next screenshot shows the arrangement after I clicked "Arrange by: None" and THEN I clicked "Sort by: Kind". What I then get is the old-style Finder view, with no lines to separate the various categories. The categories are still kept together, but not separated by a line. This makes sense.


    The next screenshot shows what happens when you press "Clean up by: Kind". What I see is the same thing as in the previous screenshot (Arrange by: None, and then "Sort by: Kind"). However, the order in which the icons appear is slightly different. This is the SAME folder, and I have scrolled to the same location (where the "folders" category starts). Yet you can see that the last file before the folders is an icon of a high heel shoe, while in the previous screen shot, at this position, you had a "GZ" archive file. Why?

    Screen Shot 2011-07-29 at  copy.jpg

    I'm extremely confused by all this, and I don't understand why Sort by works differently if you choose "Arrange by: None" first, or if you don't. I would think that one setting is for placing icons into categories separated by lines, while the other setting is for sorting them without placing the separation lines between them. Yet they both do both. And Clean up by seems to be identical to not arranging them with the lines, except in a slightly different order, but not a reverse order either.

    Also, sometimes the entire "Sort by" menu is greyed out, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, "Clean up by" doesn't even exist, and sometimes it's there. How does this all make sense?
  2. macrumors 68000


    would love to know what all these mean

    I have been trying to find a way to sort applications by kind (alphabetically, apps at the top, folders at the bottom), but cannot find the right combination of options in Lion
  3. macrumors 68030


    In Windows, you can have your icons "Shown in Groups", which traces a horizontal separator between each category. But the categories are only defined in ONE place, and the "Show in Groups" option doesn't change the sorting setting. All it does is separate the various categories. It has always worked perfectly well, and it's super simple. How come MS got this right 10 years ago, and Apple can't? Are they doing it on purpose to piss us off?
  4. macrumors 68030


    I figured out something! If you right click an empty space within the finder and choose "Sort by", it will do the same thing as choosing "Arrange by". However, if you click on the little cogwheel icon at the top, and press Alt, then "Sort by" will behave differently than "Arrange by". I believe there are several bugs here.
  5. macrumors 68000


    not sure if you looked at it

    click an empty space and go into show view options

    try sorting in there

    I get different results again from here

    **still cant sort how i want though :(
  6. Seo
    macrumors regular

    Arrange is how it displays the groupings. Sort is the order of the files.

    Finally figured it out. :D
  7. macrumors regular

  8. macrumors member


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