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Changing the Default Sidebar Width in Finder

minisuds7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2012
87
9
The U.P. of Michigan
So I recently added the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder to my finder sidebar to add media more efficiently to my iTunes library. Being slightly OCD, I didn't like how the name was too long for the default sidebar width, so I searched the forums for a way to set this default width. This has been asked before a couple times it seems, but there was no solution. I decided to make an AppleScript to solve this issue, and it seems to have done the trick! So if you want to set the default sidebar width in Finder by the number of pixels wide it is, just do this:

1. Open the AppleScript Editor
2. Create a new AppleScript and copy this code into it:

tell application "Finder" to set the sidebar width of every Finder window to 223

Replace "223" with whatever width you desire.
3. Hit "Run," save it locally, and your Finder sidebars have a new default width!
 

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pixelpusher523

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2014
6
0
Sidebar width inside apps

I found another solution to this problem on the Apple support site. Worked like a charm.

The one that's killing me is the narrow sidebar in the Open dialogs (and others) from within applications. There is nothing I can do to change its width, even though I get a "resize" cursor when I try.

This is a big deal because for years I've been using a folder-naming convention that has codes first, then description, and it's the description I need to see.

Any ideas?

[I was also have trouble with the default widths of the columns. Name was much too wide. Solved that by holding down Ctrl and adding categories, which shoved the ones I care about to the the left. Phew!]
 
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minisuds7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2012
87
9
The U.P. of Michigan
I found another solution to this problem on the Apple support site. Worked like a charm.

The one that's killing me is the narrow sidebar in the Open dialogs (and others) from within applications. There is nothing I can do to change its width, even though I get a "resize" cursor when I try.

This is a big deal because for years I've been using a folder-naming convention that has codes first, then description, and it's the description I need to see.

Any ideas?

[I was also have trouble with the default widths of the columns. Name was much too wide. Solved that by holding down Ctrl and adding categories, which shoved the ones I care about to the the left. Phew!]

Nice find for that other method! As for your other question, I don't quite think I understand what you're asking... Maybe post a screenshot? Are you talking about something like when you're in Safari and you want to upload a file from your computer to a website and that finder "windowlet" from the top of the Safari window opens?
 
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pixelpusher523

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2014
6
0
Sidebar too narrow

Thanks for answering. Attached is a section of what my sidebar looks like when I try to open something from within an app. You can see how several items look pretty much the same because their names are cut off.

There doesn't seem to be any way to widen the sidebar from that box. All my folders contain many linked files, so changing their names would be a huge headache.

It's annoying because this didn't use to be a problem!
 

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minisuds7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2012
87
9
The U.P. of Michigan
Thanks for answering. Attached is a section of what my sidebar looks like when I try to open something from within an app. You can see how several items look pretty much the same because their names are cut off.

There doesn't seem to be any way to widen the sidebar from that box. All my folders contain many linked files, so changing their names would be a huge headache.

It's annoying because this didn't use to be a problem!

I see what you're talking about. I tried playing around in the AppleScript editor for a while but I had no luck. I feel like you'd have to dig into some settings in the terminal for this, if it's possible. Unfortunately my terminal prowess is of über-noob level (copying and pasting code :eek:), so I can't offer any advice in that camp... Sorry! Hopefully someone can come along and help you out.
 
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pixelpusher523

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2014
6
0
Thanks, minisuds7

I appreciate your looking into this!

I posted a query on the Apple community forums a few days ago, no luck.

Today I finally contacted Apple directly. The guy I chatted with told me there was no way to adjust the width, but I could change the size of the icons. Making them smaller gave me that extra 30 pixels on the right, just enough to see the first word or two of my description.

He says there's no way to change the width and suggested I send feedback to Apple. So that's that.

Again, thanks for taking the time to help out!
 
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minisuds7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2012
87
9
The U.P. of Michigan
Not a problem! Glad you figured out at least a partial solution. Who knows... Maybe we'll see a change in a future version of OS X inspired by your very own feedback! :p
 
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paddy0furniture

macrumors newbie
Nov 13, 2013
3
0
I appreciate your looking into this!

I posted a query on the Apple community forums a few days ago, no luck.

Today I finally contacted Apple directly. The guy I chatted with told me there was no way to adjust the width, but I could change the size of the icons. Making them smaller gave me that extra 30 pixels on the right, just enough to see the first word or two of my description.

He says there's no way to change the width and suggested I send feedback to Apple. So that's that.

I'm glad I'm not the only one. This problem has been driving me crazy for over a year now, and I'm determined to fix it once and for all.

Were you able to fix/find a workaround for this issue? I'll follow-up if I figure something out.
 
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pixelpusher523

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2014
6
0
Apple fixed it in Yosemite

I'm glad I'm not the only one. This problem has been driving me crazy for over a year now, and I'm determined to fix it once and for all.

Were you able to fix/find a workaround for this issue? I'll follow-up if I figure something out.

Yeah, one of the good things about Yosemite. Problem solved. But if you haven't upgraded, think twice, because Yosemite has screwed up some people's systems.

My understanding is that Apple is aware that they've been focusing too hard on creating new feature sets and that the next versions of iOS and OS X will be more like Snow Leopard, which cleaned up the problems with Leopard. We'll see.
 
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ricede

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2010
170
11
Inside
The guy I chatted with told me there was no way to adjust the width

If I place the cursor on the rightside line of the sidebar it turns into a small bar with an arrow pointing both left & right. I can then drag the sidecolumn to make it either larger or smaller. If I adjust the width on opening a new finder window & then immediately close the finder window - it remembers the width on reopening the finder window, even through a restart. As far as i know - this facility had been there since Snow Leopard ( or even before )

I have never needed an AppleScript or any other tweak to make this work. Maybe I'm not understanding your original post ? :confused:
 
Comment

pixelpusher523

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2014
6
0
If I place the cursor on the rightside line of the sidebar it turns into a small bar with an arrow pointing both left & right. I can then drag the sidecolumn to make it either larger or smaller. If I adjust the width on opening a new finder window & then immediately close the finder window - it remembers the width on reopening the finder window, even through a restart. As far as i know - this facility had been there since Snow Leopard ( or even before )

I have never needed an AppleScript or any other tweak to make this work. Maybe I'm not understanding your original post ? :confused:

It was broken in Mavericks (confirmed when I called Apple). Fixed in Yosemite.
 
Comment

11Al

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2015
11
0
So I recently added the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder to my finder sidebar to add media more efficiently to my iTunes library. Being slightly OCD, I didn't like how the name was too long for the default sidebar width, so I searched the forums for a way to set this default width. This has been asked before a couple times it seems, but there was no solution. I decided to make an AppleScript to solve this issue, and it seems to have done the trick! So if you want to set the default sidebar width in Finder by the number of pixels wide it is, just do this:

1. Open the AppleScript Editor
2. Create a new AppleScript and copy this code into it:

tell application "Finder" to set the sidebar width of every Finder window to 223

Replace "223" with whatever width you desire.
3. Hit "Run," save it locally, and your Finder sidebars have a new default width!
Simply but great solution :)
 
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