Finder=FAIL. Why?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by reubs, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. reubs macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    I was looking through the "Snow Leopard sucks" thread, and I ran across some of the conversation about Finder and why it's so terrible.

    I'm not proficient in file managers by any means, but I'm wondering what it is that makes folks loathe Finder so much. Is it something that Path Finder offers, and might that be a reason Apple doesn't address it? In other words, why spend time and effort on something that a third-party has already worked hard on?

    Thoughts? Ideas?
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    I tried PathFinder, but left it as I found it inadequate. Not everyone agrees that Finder is a failure. A number of people just want more and they'll always want more.
  3. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    finder is not a fail. however, cut and paste is missing, thumbnails of pics aren't always there, in windows i can edit names in any open or save dialogue, a better search function would be great, file/folder sorting like windows would be great. batch change of filenames can be done in automator but would be good in finder. the whole thing about display extension is strange. so there is room for improvement.
  4. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    You can never please all of the people all of the time.

    Even though I generally dislike this practice, that whole, "Snow Leopard Sucks", thread is one of the reason I like Apple's "forced" upgrade policy. In a year or so, I'm hoping they will all have to get SL in order to use some certain app/feature whether they want to or not.

    Crying about an unreleased product is what babies do.

    While there are some things I dislike about the Finder, mainly how it copies files/folders when compared to Vista (even XP), it still is the base for my most favorite OS so I have to deal with it or move on.

    You can right click to copy and right click to paste an item or folder currently.
  5. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    I posted in the "SL sucks" thread before I saw this one.

    Apple's Finder sucks because Windows explorer leaves it in the dust but few will admit it. Most of us mac users come from a windows background and we want some of the functionality of windows not because we hate change, we are simply accustomed to a more efficient file management system and miss certain things because they make sense (like cutting/pasting files).

    Apple has some mysterious philosophy I can't quite figure out. They insist on "dumbing-down" certain things like we're all stupid. That may have worked in 1984 (and indeed may have even been necessary) but come on...
  6. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    That's kind of stating the "obvious" isn't it?

    What if you want to "move" an item? You have to go back, find the original and delete it. And don't tell me about dragging it either... just make cut/paste work on files and be done with it.
  7. adamk77 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008
    I've been trying to get used to the Finder ever since I started using the MBP. I thought that if I give it enough time, I would get acclimated to whatever philosophy it is and the "Mac" way of doing things. I figured it would take time for me to adjust to Finder because I've spent all my life on Windows.

    But it's one of the few things on a Mac that I must admit is worse than Windows. I still prefer Windows explorer.
  8. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Not obvious for me- although I don't use a mouse very often- I do occasionally use control click which seems to do the same thing- but I don't copy files much either.

    Apple still needs to dumb down things a bit for those non-power users who struggle to do much besides copy and past...and are dumfounded by the undo command:rolleyes:, but Apple needs much more flexibility, customization, and sophistication for those that want it. The best of both worlds.
  9. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Yeeeeeaaaahhhh..... I kinda read that as "copy/paste".......... didn't even notice "cut" until a minute after I read your comment..... one of those mornings for me :D
  10. nout72 macrumors regular


    Dec 27, 2007
    The Netherlands
    Finder is perfect for me, just enough options.
    I don't like handy feature rich finder replacement progs like Pathfinder.
    How great and handy it seems at first, the possibilities ultimately are too much, and work counterproductive.
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Should almost be a given that any paid App Apple revised and released after an OS upgrade will only support the newest OS. Sort of business as usual for Apple.

    Likely won't be a year, most likely quite soon as the next App gets booted out the door. Get there excited to buy it only to find out it requires the new OS.
  12. Cinder6 macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2009
    It's funny, I find Finder vastly superior to Windows Explorer, with the exception of a lack of keyboard file moving. In particular, column view is something I have a real hard time living without. And networking has been monstrously easier than with Windows, particularly XP <-> Vista.

    I'm curious as to what features Explorer has that people feel like Finder is missing.
  13. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    I don't like Finder much. It's file sorting in list view is just plain moronic. I like the Windows way that has folders first followed by files. it just makes more sense than having folders and files mixed in alphabetical order. The "kind" sorting method is a poor alternative. The lack of cut/paste is annoying and makes it slower to move files around. Finder's inability to merge folders (it can only replace them) is stupid too. Explorer's tree view is also generally faster to navigate. I dislike the way Finder likes to make Open/Save dialogs way too small for my 30" 2560x1600 display, though that same happens in XP and Vista but not in Win7. Hopefully fixed in Snow Leopard.

    Not that I'm a big fan of Explorer either. In Windows 7 it's pretty good, but it's annoying in both XP and Vista. I used to use Directory Opus in Windows, it's got every feature you can think of and is super customizable. I hope they release a Windows 7 compatible version soon. I'm planning to install it on my work computer (XP) as soon as I return from vacation.

    I bought Path Finder for OSX because it does everything better than Finder. The Drop Stack is a pretty good tool for moving stuff around and I also like the dual pane view for that. Basically it takes what's good in Finder and fixes most of the bad things. If only it could be used to replace every finder dialog.
  14. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Then what does this say about their opinion of their user base?
  15. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    I've never used Path Finder, so maybe I'm missing something, but isn't the Drop Stack essentially just a folder you use for temporary placement of files? Why can't you just create a folder called "Temp" or whatever you want and place it in the sidebar and/or dock?
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  17. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    Fixed that for you :D
  18. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Finder is a relic from the old Mac OS design, with focus on simplicity. Some of my criticisms:
    • .DS_Store: Finder insists on littering every folders with this pesky file (which describes view settings).
    • Difficult to move/copy files from one directory to another: although spring loaded folder makes it a lot easier, it just isn't designed with this operation in mind.
    • Cannot customize columns in details view.
    • Frequently freezes when connected network drive.
    • I am not advocating tabs, but there's gotta be a better way to manage multiple finder windows.
  19. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2006
    Port Pirie, South Australia
    Just to see if it would work I just threw together a Cut/Paste method using OMCEdit and Shortcuts. It did and I'd be happy to share.
  20. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    Because it has serious design and implementation weaknesses. Ars has good critiques going back to the pre-release beta from 2000.
  21. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    There's good and bad. I love spring loaded folders (and can't fathom how they haven't shown up in Windows - I can't tell you how often I try to move something at work, and hold it above a folder, waiting for it to pop open for a second before I catch myself, and only then have to cut and paste, or open a second explorer window to drag and drop...), I love the easy networking (when it works proper), I love the sort by kind for my desktop, just lots of little things I don't think about on a day-to-day basis, because they just work; and they work well with my work flow.

    It's very (very) rare when I'm working at my mac, and I run into something I can't do quickly on the mac that I can on my work laptop - actually, I really can't think of any off hand. Also, because of a work-necessitated deep folder structure on my windows machine, lately I've been finding myself having to copy folders (and their contents) to the desktop if I want to be able to open them! (file path + file name = greater than what some magical value in windows allows) - talk about annoying.

    So you take the good with the bad. There are valid complaints against the Finder, but I'm still happy with it.
  22. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    I suppose you could, but the way Drop Stack works is that when you drop something in it, the actual file is not moved anywhere. This keeps you from throwing files around folders. You can also easily move all files in the drop stack or just some of them. The Drop Stack simply hangs around in the file browser window until you get to the folder where you want to put the files. Really handy when working with multiple hard drives.

    The thing with file browsers is that even the most basic ones can be used to perform the same tasks as the more complex ones but the complex ones often have a way to do them that is simply easier and faster.

    I've got to say that I've never got along with tabs in a file browser though. Path Finder and Directory Opus offer them but I never got into using them even though I use tabs all the time in every web browser.
  23. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    Speaking as a long time Windows user (still use it daily at work) I can honestly say that I don't have an issue with Finder.

    When I had a Mac years ago (OS 9) I eventually gave up and went back to Windows but now I've totally switched to Macs at home.

    Sure it works differently and very occasionally I have check myself after using a Windows machine all day but that's all.
  24. rwilliams macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    I just installed Path Finder yesterday, and I already wonder how I went so long without it. It owns Finder in every way possible. Well worth the $40.
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I am very pleased with Mac OS X and only wish I had switched from Windows many years ago. However, like anything, Mac OS X does have room for improvement. One example is Finder. Here are a few of the limitations in Finder, compared to Windows Explorer.

    • Only 8 columns of information are available in Finder:
      Name, Date Modified, Date Created, Size, Kind, Version, Comments, Label​
    • Only 3 columns of information are available in search results:
      Name, Kind, Last Opened (this is only available in search results, not when browsing)​
    • That means, if you search for audio files with a bitrate greater than 192 kbps, you don't get a column showing the bitrate, so you can't quickly identify what they are or sort them. Same goes for pictures of a certain size or many other types of useful searches.
    • There is no File Path column available, which would make it easier to sort by where files are located. This would be useful if you had photos or music files scattered in many folders and you wanted to move them all to one folder.
    • You can't search for something in Finder, then change the search location without re-typing the search.

    By contrast, in Windows Explorer:
    • There are dozens of columns of useful data available.
    • All columns of data are available in both browsing and search modes. All data is searchable and sortable.
    • File Path column is available and sortable.
    • Changing search location, terms or other criteria is much simpler and doesn't require starting over with a new search.

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