changing default settings in finder?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by slug420, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. slug420 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2007
    how can I change some of the default settings in finder? I hardly see any settings in the preferences menu

    Specifically I need to change the columns that appear with search results when I type something in the little search box in the top right of a finder window. Right now it shows name, kind and last opened. I want one column to show me the path to the file so i dont have to click on every single file to find out which instance it is, and other fields like size, date created and date modified would be useful.

    I also want to change it so that when I search for something it doesnt search for that string in the contents of a file by default. I have yet to use this feature and am always looking for a file whose NAME contains the string in question so I want to set that by default so i dont need to click on "file name" every time ot get rid of tons of irrelevant results.
  2. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    The path is always listed at the bottom of the Finder window.
    I don't have a clue about the second thing.
  3. slug420 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2007
    i know it is currently listed at the bottom but for me that is decidedly less convenient than having a column with the path (at least an abbreviated one).

    Here's an example. I have tons of live shows in mp3 format by this one artist. If I want to listen to a specific live example of one song I can search for the song name. I get 40+ search results all with the same or a very similar file name. I want to see the path of each of these mp3s at a glance so I can easily identify the "san francisco 1999 show". Windows explorer does this where you can add or remove a column for the path....
  4. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    Windows Explorer is a better way to do this style of search and file organization.
    It's much more flexible than the Finder in this regard.
    You are attempting to use OSX as though it were in some way based on MS Windows.
    You are looking for a button or checkbox that does not exist in OSX.

    There are similarities between the two systems, but many features of Windows Explorer have been implemented using entirely different methods and paradigms in OSX.
    ie: old-school complex folder hierarchies are not strictly necessary in OSX, and are actually quite limited in terms of flexibility and quick file access.

    One "Mac way" of solving this problem would be to tag your files for more efficient Spotlight searches, and use custom smart folders for organization, etc...
    You can simplify this process by creating batch workflows in Automator, and save them as Finder and/or Folder Action plugins for applying the result to multiple files at a time.
    (Such as tagging 100 songs from a concert, or 100 photos from a vacation)

    In your example using the MP3 files, you could tag the files with the "artist name", "live", and "1999".
    These files would be grouped together in a search including all of these criteria.
    The search can be saved to the sidebar as a smart folder.
    This is all front-end work that will save you time later.

    The beauty of adopting this new method of organization is that subsequent files tagged to match existing saved searches (smart folders), will automatically be included in those groups.
    Also, a single instance of a file can be included within many smart folders with various search criteria.
    ie: a single picture of a rose can be included in 3 smart folders: "flowers" "roses" and "nature".

    I realize you're looking for a push-button solution for the path issue; it doesn't exist AFAIK.
    Third-party software enhancements for the Finder can be found at versiontracker and macupdate; some of these add-ons might have what you're looking for.
  5. slug420 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2007
    thanks for the response....

    This seems akin to how gmail wants you to leave everything in one big folder and just label it all - sometimes with multiple labels - to keep track of it. Seems lazy to me and while I understand how this might be a cool feature to new(er) computer users not used to managing thousands of files in folders and drives it seems to me that apple and osx would be best served if they had some sort of "advanced" mode in osx where all of these "i used to do blah in windows" nuances are addressed. An abundance of checkboxes where all those little things people liked in windows can be added into osx. The use of smartfolders and tags sounds nice but a little frustrating when I have 25k songs that are already sorted into folders and organized and I need to go through now and relabel them...i imagine I could just tag them with the name of the folder they are in but c'mon redundancy is kind of the opposite of efficiency.

    I note that you mentioned using automater and workflows to make this process more efficient...I havent worked with them at all yet so I guess I will have to figure out what they are/how they work/what they can do....maybe once I understand that the whole tag/smart folder thing will make more sense.

    I hate when applications (or in this instance operating systems) build features out of their product, like the fact that you can manipulate what columns are viewable in normal finder view, but not in the search results...why not just carry that feature over to search results?

    If apple wants to implement a paradigm shift and show users a new, more intelligent, better way to do things I think they should go for it and make that the default but it would be (IMO) a much more capable OS if it offered "archaic" windows-like features and ways of doing things in some sort of "advanced mode" for the OS.

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