Help a newbie - is Finder = File Explorer in Windows?

Discussion in 'OS X' started by ArthurDaley, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #1
    Just switched from Vaio PC to MBP.

    It seems that Finder is the OSX equiv of Windows File Explorer.

    But Finder seems a bit crap so I am really wondering. Now File Explorer was not great but it seems easier to view all my files with. Also on the PC I had a third party file manager called Directory Opus that is miles better than what Finder appears to be. Am I missing something?
     
  2. Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Finder is great, and yes it is the equivalent, just try changing the view to suit your liking

    [​IMG]

    Alternatives include Leap and Path Finder, but I recommend having a long look round Finder first before trying others

    Also, check out the MacRumors guide for some tips: http://guides.macrumors.com/Finder
     
  3. macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #3
    Finder is OS X's file viewer and pretty much explorer Finder used to be much worse but its somewhat palatable now.

    If you dont like the default finder then try Path Finder some swear by it
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    DaveTheGrey

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    #4
    Mac 101
    Get started with the mac :)
     
  5. macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #5
    if u just got a mac, its probably leopard. pretty much the same, biggest difference (practically) is you can turn your windows explorer into IE anytime u want.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    chagla

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    #6
    While windows explorer should have some more features (like folder size) etc, it is much better than finder on a mac. i'm a heavy keyboard user and can easily jump from one folder to another exteremely easily. not possible on finder. cuz it is very mouse based.

    adding two three icons on the top is not much of a customisation. it is about usability and navigation.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    #7
    You can view the path of each folder by going into view and then show path bar. What is it that you want the finder to do that its not doing? That would be a good question to ask.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    applefan69

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Location:
    Medicine Hat
    #8
    Want keyboard navigation in finder, heres what you do

    step 1: PRess the keys, Command + 3
    step 2: Use your arrow keys to nagvigate through all your folders :eek:

    omg your so right... things like navigating with your keyboard in finder are so complex.


    I honestly dont see why people diss finder so much, I think finder is great, it has SOO many hidden features and tricks. It's fast (especially in leopard) it works well for the most part. Quick look in leopard is AMAZING, when i first heard of the featue I thought "thats dumb, i never forget what file is what" but now that I have it, I use it all the time, ismply cause it's faster then opening preview, or text edit.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    #9
    Switching from Windows myself a couple of years ago, I was a bit lost in Finder in the beginning.

    But I really came to like it. QuickLook, the Sidebar, Inspector window (selection based Info window), Smart Folder.

    In my opinion Finder is superior to Windows Explorer. Now I feel really lost, when I have to use a Win box. I mean, having your most used files and folder is just great.

    /Rupert
     
  10. macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #10
    you must be using windows XP.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    #11
    yes, I WAS using XP. Glad it's over :) Mac OS X all the way!
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    chagla

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    #12
    omg, i'm still right!

    first tell me this, i have two hard disks on my mac pro. how do i alternate between them in finder WITHOUT using mouse? not only the disks, you can not browse through any items on the first column of finder where it lists the devices, places, etc. (unless i'm doing sth wrong, i'm on mac pro, leopard and a MAC keyboard)

    yah, i have fiddled with finder a bit and made it show the "path" ICON. of course i need to click on it (translate - mouse usage) to see it. i'm one of those rare breeds that likes to go 10 or 20 folders deep inside my system to hide indecent stills and motion images.

    on explorer, all i have do is type a "\" to get back to root from anywhere, at any time. no clicking necessary. all i need to enter is the drive letter if i want to switch to my 2nd, 3rd or 4th hard disk.

    can i make finder display one folder certain way (just icons), and another differently (like with every details of files in that folder) ? i can't believe the TAB key is made unusable in finder! you see my unacquainted friend, i am experiencing both explorere and finder so i do see the difference. my guess is you've never been on explorer because if you were, u'd have better understanding of my comments or what i'm trying to accomplish in finder.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    tbohlsennswssrg

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    Chatswood, Sydney, NSW, Australia
    #13
    IIRC, Command+1 = "Icon" View
    Command+2 = "List" View
    Command+3 = "Column" View
    Command+4 = "Cover Flow" View (Only for Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard")

    I'm assuming your using Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard"
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    #14
    Hi,

    have you tried, using the Go to Folder … (from the Go menu) command?

    To change to a directory in, say Macintosh HD, enter /Mac and press tab. This will auto complete it to /Macintosh HD/ continue typing the directory name and press tab again to auto complete and so on.

    This works from everywhere and you can use it for as any partition.

    Type ~ as the first letter to start in your home directory.

    Hope this is helpful to you.
    /Rupert
     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #15
    Example 1: Where is format?

    OK so I will begin relating the troubles I am having.

    First off is I plugged in a firewire 800 drive and it instantly showed up (awesome), but it is NTFS so I want to reformat it. It seems Finder does not have a Format option when I click the drive so I have to delve into Utilities and choose disk? (on a PC I could right click and select format)
     
  16. Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #16
    Disk Utilities is the way to go, and from there Erase.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    chagla

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    #17
    yah, if you want to use the same drive on multiple platform, don't use mac formatting. format to FAT system .
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    #18
    Even though I really love my new Mac, I'm missing a lot of things from Windows. One of them is the explorer, for some reasons. I mean, MacOS is far better than Windows, and I'm really happy I switched, but here are two complaints:

    1. I really like the fact that in Windows, if you single-click a file, you can see its size at the bottom of the screen. No right-clicking. In Mac, even though you can ctrl + click and select "Show info", when you have to do this hundreds of times, it gets nuts.

    2. What if I want to know the size of many files altogether? Sure you can see the size of the folder, but what if it's not the whole folder?? In Windows it was pretty straight forward, you just select the files you want and right-click and then "Properties" and it shows you the sum of the sizes. That's cool and I use it a lot. In MacOS, if I do that, I get separate info windows, one per each file.

    So, MacOS, in many ways (almost all ;)) far better than Windows, but still we need Apple to come up with something better.

    One thing I noticed in favor of Apple is this... Finder has never stopped working (like explorer does sometimes), but one day I needed to shut it down because it was consuming a lot of resources, for some reason. Anyway, I went to :apple: then Force Quit and shut it down. It closed and everything else continued working perfectly. In Windows, when explorer crashes and you need to ctrl + alt + del and close it, it's better to restart the whole machine. First, because it's gonna take a while to do it, the whole system will remain affected (a lot of functionalities will be disabled) or the whole system will crash... Anyway, good points for Apple here. There's no need for the system to crash just because one program did.
     
  19. Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #19
    Well I have Get Info in my Finder toolbar, so that makes both of these easier.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    #20
    That doesn't solve either of my problems. I still have to select the file and click the button. I wanted to be able to see the size at the bottom bar.

    For my second problem, it has the same effect. If I select multiple files and click Get Info, it opens several info windows, one per file, instead of one, to modify or view the files' properties altogether (in a sigle info window).
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    #21
    Ohhh and there's something else I liked from Windows. If you open a folder and the computer detects the type of the files in it, it shows info depending on the type. Like this:

    If you open a folder with MP3's, explorer can show you info related to the music, like artist, album, bit rate, size, etc.

    In Finder, it only shows you the name of the file. You can get some more info, but it doesn't have to do with the music. Instead it gives you Last Modification, Size, etc. Same thing for images and videos and other stuff...

    Of course I use iTunes to know all that info, but I like being able to do it in my file explorer. It's useful sometimes.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #22
    I didn't see anyone mention it, but why dont you enable right clicking? It's in system preferences under keyboard/mouse.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    #23
    In answer to point #1, Finder shows file information in List, Column, and Cover Flow views, but not in Icon view. List and Column view also work extremely well with pure keyboard navigation.
    I mainly use Column view and the arrow keys to quickly traverse folders. Command+Up Arrow will take you up a level in the directory tree even if you haven't been there previously, unlike pressing Left Arrow to go backward.
    Also, with Finder active, Shift + Command + H opens your Home directory, Shift + Command + D opens Desktop, Shift + Command +A opens Applications.

    For #2, to get the info of multiple files, hold Control when you do a Get Info to Get Summary Info. Or use the keyboard shortcut Control + Command + I if you don't want to Control + Click / Right Click.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    #24
    You can switch you Finder to List view (command-2) and see the size for each item (without clicking at all).

    I use list and column view (command-3) to toggle different views and see information quickly.

    As you control-click a bunch of files, hold down the alt key. You see that some of the menu items will change. Including Get Info, which will change to Show Inspector. This is even better as the properties window in Windows, since it will reflect the current selection of Finder.
    So if you bring the Inspector on a list of files, as you select different files the Inspector is automatically updated.


    The stuff is all there, just need to find out how. In my opinion Finder is more usable as Windows Explorer. Plus, as you pointed out, it doesn't crash the entire system when you have to force quit it. Huge plus!


    Hope this was helpful.

    /Rupert
     
  25. Guest

    BlakTornado

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    Washington, OH
    #25
    The only thing I miss from Windows Explorer is the "Up one level" button, thing. That's all. The "Path" button is ok but it's just not as useful.

    One thing I certainly don't miss is the crashing, slowness and general hardness to use. Spotlight FTW, I must say.

    I prefer Finder but I miss one or two things from Windows Explorer.

    But one thing people forget is that Windows and Macintosh are completely different operating systems, each with different targets and goals. When switching, there are bound to be things you miss or are glad to be rid of. You can't blame Apple for not offering every tiny detail the opposition offered. If it's causing you so much grief, you can always switch back - and assuming you're on a modern Intel Mac, you can just use bootcamp so you haven't wasted money on your hardware. Some people... sheeeeessh.
     

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