Finder = The worst thing about OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by J Radical, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. J Radical macrumors regular

    J Radical

    Nov 20, 2006
    Finder is the most basic and fundamental expression of the GUI concept Apple pioneered so long ago. The idea that you can organize your files visually and intuitively know where to find them is central to using any OS. This makes how bad OS X's finder is so shocking.

    You can't organize your folders the way you want them, you can only choose one level of organisation: kind, size label etc. After that everything defaults to alphabetical. This doesn't sound like much, but it becomes incredibly fustrating when I want all my folders at the top of the window (obviously) but in an order of priority that isn't based on the first letter of the folder. I end up with a mess of folders that I need to drag and drop manually to make any sense of.

    This wouldn't be so bad if I only had to do so once, but oh no. Finder has the other amazing ability of not allowing you to maintain your own formatting regime. Daft horizontal scroll bars appear if you drag a file a teensy bit too far to the right, instead of intuitively placing the file at say, the bottom of the folder, or better just shift the files beside the one your dragging out of the way like in the dock.

    The resulting mess is usually one file hiding way to the left or right of the rest of the folder pointlessly, and if you try to restore order using the 'clean up' function it makes things 1000 times worse, and forces you to spend another ten minutes just to get things back to the less broken way they were before.

    I could go on, but suffice to say the finder drives me NUTS. This kind of basic basic basic file & folder management is done better in Windows XP, what the hell is Apple waiting for, PLEEEASE fix it in tiger before leopard. These are after all basically bugs that have existed for years, all the fancy spotlight stuff and wonderful colour coding of folders is worth nothing without proper object management.

  2. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    If you don't like it, then don't use it. I find graphical file browsing to be a pain in the ass, personally. I use the terminal.

    But, if you right-click in the Finder and go to Show View Options, there are a lot of organization options. Perhaps you should fully investigate the application before posting a rant with little base to rant about.

    If you right-click on the top of the columns, and go to Show View Options there are much more you can to the columns.

  3. grum macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2006
  4. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004

    I don't know. I'd have to disagree on a couple of points.

    1. Subfolders floating to the top of the pile is definitely a preference issue, not an obvious bug as you imply. Personally, I rather dislike that Windows floats them to the top. Not that one is right and the other is wrong. Perhaps what you're looking for (and what you should suggest to Apple rather than implying their Finder is broken) is a preference option.

    2. If Alphabetical is truly the burden you make it to be, then you may need to spend a little bit more time giving your folders and documents intuitive names.

    3. There's already a way to keep a group related folders together. Actually, there are a couple of ways:
    a) Put them together in a subfolder.
    b) Give the folders names that share the first few letters. For example:

    Just some thoughts.
  5. J Radical thread starter macrumors regular

    J Radical

    Nov 20, 2006
    I prefer organise things my own way, lists are no good for me. I have seen the options you showed before, but they are not available for the graphical browsing I was specifically talking about.

    A picture is worth 1000 words so:


    So annoying! Just happened while switching views. The other highly upsetting bug is when files land on top of each other and you can't read what's what.

    With spotlight I can sometimes just ignore the mess, but thats no substitute for proper filing.


    I accept that it's a matter of preference, but my preference is to give my folders names I'll understand and that make sense . I might be whinging, but I don't think I'm asking for much! I'm also using a trackpad, which just adds to the pain of having to fix things. I'm surprised I'm the only one who gets upset by this.
  6. erikamsterdam macrumors regular


    Apr 21, 2006
    Or download a little app called Xfolders
    The good old Norton Navigator interface with function keys and 2 sides. All folders on top where they should be and you can do everything with the keyboard to save yourself a sore arm.
  7. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004

    Ah - gotcha.

    If you're not at list view or column view, none of my recommendations help.

    What you're really looking for is similar to what Apple accomplished in iCal - where day view, week view, and month view each retain their own sizes. You need Finder to do the same thing when you switch from icon view to list view to column view, rather than it retaining the current window size as it switches.

    Makes sense. :)
  8. amnesiak macrumors member


    Oct 13, 2006
    err..why cant you just resize the finder window bigger so u can see all the folders without the scrollbar? and i think there is an option in the view options that u can choose to not have the folders sorted at all :confused:
  9. Jezza macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2005
    My main gripe about the Finder windows is that it breaks the most basic of all rules; at any given time I cannot see where I am (other than the name of the current folder), nor the complete path to the current folder, at a single glance. Sure, I can (and do) click on the path drop-down, but this is a real pain in the neck; I want to see the complete path, as a string, in an address bar. I don't care if this is too "Windows" in conception or functionality - my productivity and respect for the Finder will quadruple immediately upon implementation.

    I really hope that Apple has redeveloped the Finder in Leopard.

    Meanwhile, this xfolders app looks very interesting...


  10. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2002
    Planet Earth
    I Agree with J Radical

    Yes, the finder is sorely lacking in features, ability to customize views, etc, smoothness, polish, etc. Apple seems to usually prefer simplicity over function - this better change with Leopard! I don't think I have any more patience for this crap!

    There is a lot about Mac OS X that I love! AND there is a lot I would love to see changed/enhanced. I hope Leopard does NOT dissapoint! I don't want to wait another 2+ years.
  11. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    I agree. I think to go forwards, they really need to go backwards. NEXT showed the path with a chain of icons in a friendly, non-windowsy way.
  12. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    I'm with you and the OP when it comes to the Finder. For now, I've decided to use Path Finder for any kind of heavy duty file management.
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Wow I love finder and find it one of the best things about OSX.
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
  15. Jezza macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2005
    Hey, I like this!

    I could definitely get into this kind of GUI.

    I have not had the pleasure of playing with NEXT so I thank you for the link to the screen capture. And there I was thinking that the OS X Finder Column View had originated from a shareware utility called Greg's Browser [smacks forehead]

    Hope Leopard fixes the Finder good and proper.

  16. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2006
    I agree with you on that point. It would be nice to have a path visible and I would like to have a button to move one directory up. The foreward-backward-buttons offered by the finder are pretty much useless to me.

    Another really anoying thing is that if I drag a couple of files to a folder icon and then open the folder the files are often just placed all on top of each other or they are scattered far appart from each other covering an area equivalent to several times my screen size. The latter thing even happens occasionally to folder I didn't add new files to. Something like this just shouldn't happen.
  17. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    i thought ppl who get as many post count as you did would be a little more... mature.

    the OP addressed a very valid point, in which i agree, i find myself hoping more out of finder all the time.

    however your response is "go back to Windows"? are you saying Apple incapable of improving a product that if you want improvement you have to use another product? you are a shame for the mac community.
  18. TheBrazilianGuy macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2006
  19. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Well, the alphabetical sorting is something that every OS supports, and the easy way to override that is to add a special character to the beginning of your filename. I use this list of folders on one of my Windows machines (sorted in alphabetical order):

    _Current Week

    My biggest peeve with the Finder (at least in Panther) is that there's no way to specify how files and folders are sorted together. Windows groups all folders together, then files. The Finder treats folders like any other file and sorts them all interspersed. I personally like the Windows method much better.
  20. colocolo macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2002
    Santiago, Chile
    What he means by the alphabetical order issue is a valid point. I don't think it should be solved by adding special characters to your folders; it's simply that the Finder only remembers the last order criteria by which you sorted.

    ie, if I sort by size and then by date modified, I would expect the Finder to list all the files/folders first by date modified, and in case 2 were modified on the same day, then sort that sublist according to size.

    It's not much to ask, but that would be very cool :)

    PS: please, don't flame me or tell me if you don't like it just use X application and stop trolling; that is not the point. It's just something i wished the Finder had built in. I still use it every day happily.
  21. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You wake up on the wrong side of a hangover?
  22. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    I agree with you :)
  23. Manzana macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2004
    Orange County, CA
    i have the same finder woes.

    i fixed them with quicksilver. i programmed a keyboard shorcut for it so it pops up fast. then i just type the first letter or two of the folder i'm looking for and it's there. if i type "a" for example my apps folder appears and then i can use the arrow keys to immediately go into it. the software is intuitive so if you have various folders or apps that start with "a" it will remember which are most popular. so for example if i wanted adium i would type "ad" and if i did this action way more than apps folder, quicksilver wuold start showing adium on just typing "a"

    finder is not perfect and quicksilver is not perfect either but now i can't live without it!

    one thing i defenitely had to do was to let go of the notion of what a window navigator should be.
  24. Maynerd macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2007
    As a newbie Mac coming from the PC side I feel that Finder is really difficult to adjust to. I think there are some improvements that can be made. I agree with the concerns people have in here with finder and hope to see some improvements on the next mac os release.
  25. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i don't use the folder view in finder, i usually use the columns view. but there your folders are agian sorted by alphabeth and you can't change it. on top of that the column width by default is too small for many of my folder names.

    although i'm happy with the finder in general it's beyond me why they havn't adressed these issues yet. it would be easy and this thread shows that many people want improvements.

    i have the creeping suspicion that apple doesn't really support a hierarchical manual organisation of folders. they want you to just use spotlight and search for folders and content without you knowing where the files are located physically.
    i don't like that at all. i want to organize my stuff myself and i'm quite good about it.

    my 2 cents.

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