Does Finder have UI prefs? Or a Finder alternate?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by typeadam, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. typeadam macrumors regular

    May 16, 2010
    Hey everyone, I'm new to Mac. Had one since January of this year and I love, love, love it!

    My question: Does Finder have customization options that are hidden somewhere or obscure and hard to find OR is there an alternative to Finder?

    I know I still have a lot to learn but I *thought* I figured out all the basics pretty well.
    What's plaguing me is Finder.
    I really have no right to complain since I've been an Apple user for a very short time but of all the things Apple did tremendously right, Finder is an epic fail compared to Windows Explorer.
    Here's some things I'm looking for which I hope I either overlooked in Finder's preferences or an add-on exists somewhere or an alternative "Finder." BTW, most of the "features" below I've grown very accustomed to since the days of Windows95 all the way to Windows7, so I'm sort of stuck in my ways... :D
    1. A 2-pane directory tree view - folder tree on the left, folder content on the right.
    2. An easier/quicker way of sorting/arranging folder content with more options (e.g. folder w/ images which you can arrange by dimension, arrange by any of the EXIF data, date taken, etc., or a music folder arranged by title, author, year, genre, or any other id3 data, etc... [yes, I use iTunes, this is just an example since sometimes I need actual access to my files])
    3. The ability to have different views in different folders (my image folders I always have a thumbnail view, but I don't need that in a folder w/ text files, a list view will be fine - but Finder seems to have a universal setting, not per folder)
    4. The ability to have different folder content arranged in different ways (my work folder arranged by date modified, documents folder alphabetically)
    4. Command+Tab through each individual open Finder window, not just the 1 Finder
    5. A better Cut/Copy/Paste or a Copy To / Move To option

    I know I'm leaving things off this list but they're either not very important or I just can't remember them since I only use my Windows machine very sparingly but the 5 above are the ones I can remember for now.

    Thank you for any help and I hope to enjoy my Mac for years and years to come!

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  3. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    PathFinder should be good for your other concerns (I don't care for it personally, because of exactly the features you're asking for), but I wanted to comment on this:

    Command-Tab cycles through applications, not windows. To cycle through the windows that are open in an application, use Command-~. This is a function of the application model that Mac OS X uses and can't be changed, so it's easier to just adapt in this way.

  4. typeadam thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2010
    Thank you for the suggestion and the tip. The Command-~ is really helpful! However at $40 for something that I've always taken for granted on my other (read: Windows) computers, I'll learn to live w/ Finder.. :D
    Thanks again and if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know!
  5. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    First of I will say take a look at TotalFinder. It is a $15 plugin for finder that gives you some of the stuff you mention below (along with Tabs in Finder)

    TotalFinder will give you the 2 pane type view. But it will not give you exactly what you are looking for.

    This I am not sure how to do.

    This can be done but you kind of have to change it yourself. First you have to change the window to the way you would like to to be and then go to View-> Show View Options. From there you can tick the box to make that current folder always show up the way it is currently set. This is something they changed from Leopard to Snow Leopard and annoys the hell out of me. You use to be able to change the way a folder looked and it would save those settings for you automagically. Apple has take the approach of "simplifying" things and making all Finder windows look "unified" by default.

    See the above comment. This should get you were you want to be.

    This one was already covered above and is the easiest way to do it.

    There are probably plugins that would switch this for you but i think you can hold down combinations of command, option, and control to do what you are talking about. I don't have my Mac near me know to see exactly what key combos they are but you should be able to look it up via a google search.
  6. typeadam thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2010
    Thanks! I will give it a shot.

    3 quick questions if I may:
    1. In Windows if I'm typing and need to go to the beginning or end of the line I can hit 'home' or 'end.' What is the equivalent on the Mac?
    2. In Windows I can hold Control+left or right arrows to skip ahead or back by words at a time instead of characters at a time. What is the equivalent on my Mac?
    3. On a Mac I can hold Command and select various files in a folder - the equivalent on a Windows machine is Control. However, on a Windows machine if I click a file, press and hold Shift, and click another file, it will select all the files in between as well. What is the equivalent on my Mac?

    Thanks to everyone again for their help. I really enjoy using the Mac and the seamless UI and smooth operation is what really makes me love this OS. I'm just trying to learn the Mac version of some shortcuts that I've grown to use daily on my Windows machine.
  7. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    1. Command + Left/Right arrows
    2. Option + Left/Right arrows
    3. In most cases, Command + Select additionally chooses only the file you select, and Shift + Select will include all the files in between. For some reason, in Finder, this only works in list view, rather than icon view.
  8. typeadam thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2010
  9. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    Oh, and one other Finder shortcut I find convenient, is that Command + Clicking on a folder will open that folder in a new Finder window.
  10. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    That's because there's another method in Icon View. The "Mac equivalent" is The Box. Click on a spot next to the left-uppermost icon you want to include, then click on a spot next to the right-lowermost icon (or vice versa). This makes The Box. Anything inside The Box, or any icon touched by the perimeter of it will be highlighted.
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Just wanted to add that, in addition to command-left/right arrow mentioned, in a single-line text box (such as editing a file name or a search field), you can just hit up or down arrow and it will go to the beginning or end of the line of text. The lack of this in Windows ALWAYS gets me.

    Note that this won't work in boxes that have an auto-dropdown, such as the Safari search field where it auto-suggests things (up and down arrow will, of course, move the selected line up and down in the auto-select box).

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