Giving folders priority in Finder (column view)?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by NewSc2, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 4, 2005
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    Orange County, CA
    #1
    When scrolling through column view, I have to scroll down the alphebatized list to see the folders. It gets kind of annoying when I have hundreds of files in a certain folder, and I'm trying to find a folder labeled M or something in the middle.

    Is there any way to make folders list at the top, and individual files continue below the folders?
     
  2. ultimateceej macrumors regular

    ultimateceej

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I know that in list view, you can sort by kind(type) if that helps.
     
  3. thuff13 macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #3
    Sorting by kind does work, but what if you still want the documents listed alphabetically? I like the way Windows (please don't shoot me) always lists the folders first and then you can choose to have the documents sorted alphabetically or by type.
     
  4. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #4
    I used to as well, but having everything alphabetical somehow makes more sense now. I know what you mean however, but I haven't seen a utility or setting to emulate this.
     
  5. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #5
    It can't be done in OSX, I think Pathfinder can do it, but then you have to use Pathfinder instead of Finder.

    I just press the letter I want it to jump to, and it gets me close.
     
  6. NewSc2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    yeah, basically I want it like Windows. Folders first alphabetized then files alphabetized. I know list view can sort it out but List view is a really inefficient way of browsing files. It's what I've been using, though.

    I would go around pushing the right key to get close to the folder, but sometimes I have no clue what the folder name would be.

    There's no way I can customize Finder in that way? I hate to say it, but I wish OSX had a more Windows Explorer type file navigator, a la folder navigation in the left bar, or something like that.
     
  7. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #7
    yeah. mac people are used to it, but for windows folk, it can seem lacking.

    the lack of a folder path or breadcrumb path is disturbing. the other day, I was working on organizing my external drive, which has backups of my data drives. Well, I had the same folder open on the internal, and the external, and I was messing with the wrong set of files.

    the 2 finder windows were identical, there was no way to tell which folder was on the internal or the external. plus, as a web designer, I have hundreds of folders called "images" or "css" or "includes", and when I am in a finder window of one of them, no way to tell where I am, since I prefer list or icon view, not column.

    I might try and use pathfinder permanently.
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8
    Press COMMAND and click on the folder name at the top of the Finder window to see where it's located.

    I guess this issue comes down to what you're used. If there's something you want to stick out in a big list of folders, then use the labels feature to colour it or rename it with a SPACE at the start (something Windows can't do) to get it sent to the top of your alphabetised list.

    It's slightly ironic that one would have trouble finding a folder amongst hundreds of other folders considering the sole purpose of a folder is to reduce the amount of files in a single area in the first place. If you have lots of folders with hundreds of files/folders inside, then perhaps you need to make more folders and further sort your items into these new folders.

    Also, I'd argue that both OSX and Windows (with Vista) are moving away from the traditional folder navigation techniques as instant search comes into play. It's going to take a while to get used to, but it should theoretically be faster in the long run. :)
     
  9. kostia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #9
    This works in any document window in pretty much any Mac application and becomes indispensable after a while. Highlighting and releasing the mouse on a folder in this breadcrumb trail opens that folder.

    You can also add a button to the toolbar of your Finder windows to do this, allowing you to get the same result with just a mouse click, not a key plus a mouse click. It's the one labeled "Path" in "Customize Toolbar."
     
  10. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #10
    Still, having the option like pathfinder/itunes/spotlight would be nice, as seen below in pathfinder.
     

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  11. chatoyer macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Te Wai Pounamu, New Zealand
    #11
    This exact issue drove me absolutely nuts when I switched (back) after a 10-year hiatus from Mac. So much so, I bought PathFinder and have never looked back.
     
  12. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #12
    how did you quit using finder and use pathfinder only? Do you just have to train yourself to use pathfinder isntead of finder, and then use pathfinder aliases for all your linked folders and documents?

    Every time I try using pathfinder, Finder always ends up appearing so much that I just give up.

    how did you do it?
     
  13. NewSc2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #13
    Well, my problem isn't locating where a file is at, but rather sorting out large numbers of files. Say if I had 300 mp3's in various folders and I wanted to sort them by genre, I'd have to open up "House" "Techno" "Minimal" etc., Finder windows to have good access to drag and drop them.

    Otherwise I'd be scrolling up and down my Genre folder (with about 30-40 genres) with mp3s dragging. In Windows it's pretty easy. I can scroll to my external folder and leave it open on the left bar, and drag files from the right side into it. I can expand or contract to make the left folder bar fit all the folders I'd need to view.
     
  14. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #14
    Well, here's a work around. Just name all your folders beginning with an underscore "_" and they will always be alphabetized at the top, and then listed alphabetically among themselves as well.

    CAUTION: only do this with regular user folders that you've created yourself, don't add an underscore to the system folder or any folders within it.
     
  15. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #15

    Dude, use iTunes. :D



    It can be a space if you don't like the look of an underscore. :)
     
  16. tomstanoch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #16
    Changed in 10.5?

    Does anyone know if this has changed in 10.5? This is my biggest pet peeves about OSX. I refuse to pay for Path Finder in order to get functionality that should be built into the OS already. I also don't want to have to put an underscore before the folder name because that would mess up all of my local web files that get synced w/ my remote web files.
     
  17. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

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    Dec 2, 2003
    #17
    Just click the Kind header in any finder window and your files will be sorted by kind, then secondarily alphabetized.
     
  18. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #18
    You're asking for trouble if you name a file with a leading (or trailing) space. I had an issue with my ReadyNAS where a folder would appear fine when connecting with AFP, but appeared with a garbled title when connecting with SMB (As we know, OS X does both). Furthermore, there were no files listed inside the garbled folder when there certainly were, and was verified by checking again with AFP.

    So it turns out there was an almost unnoticeable trailing space in the folder name, something that the SMB protocol considers illegal - However AFP (HFS, really) allows it. So if you put illegal characters and spaces in your file/folder names, just make sure you correct it before transferring or sharing it with the Windows world.
     
  19. kblessinggr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    #19
    Again some people don't seem to be reading...

    Yes you can click "by kind" but the problem is, if you have several "kinds" of files that start with letters before "F" you'll get a bunch of files, before you start seeing folders.

    What it should be (in my opinion at least), is like this

    Folders -> Alphabetically
    Then files-by-kind
    -> alphabetically within each group of files by kind

    so that folders always show up at top followed by the files below.

    Least the very option should be available, it is after all apple we're talking bout though.
     
  20. jplan2008 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #20
    Use sidebar

    I agree with Mad Jew that the future is using Spotlight to find files, so organization doesn't matter so much, and also having a big folder with lots of folders and also hundreds of files doesn't sound too efficient for the "old" hierarchical way, (and iTunes is better at organizing MP3's), but ... If I'm organizing files into different folders, I put the "target" folders in the Finder sidebar. So then you only need to deal with one window open at a time, and those same folders will always be in the sidebar. You just drag your files (or folders, or whatever) to the appropriate folder in the sidebar. Then when you're done, just drag the folder out of the sidebar and POOF ... you're done.

    (Also, BTW, in list view, if you sort by size, folders will be at top. But in column view it uses the real size of the folder and its contents)
     
  21. sp1keNARF macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #21
    it's possible, read this thread

    i've done this and it works great!
     
  22. kblessinggr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    #22
    Yea I did the same ( tho I went thru TextWrangler and edited the file directly). It works for the intended purpose (sort by Kind, and have Folder at top).
     
  23. kblessinggr macrumors member

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    #23
    Sounds like a typical Apple response "The way you want it is no good, learn to use it our way".
     
  24. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #24
    two things:

    If you're a web designer (or any kind of designer, really) you will have lots and lots of folders and files with the exact same names, and the most efficient and reliable way to segregate them is with descriptive folder names and hierarchical folder trees.

    For example:

    My company has 10,000+ products that are sold online at various vendors and through various distribution channels. We have product photos for these items that are formatted for specific purposes: web, thumbnail, print, the original "master" file, alternate images, etc. To maintain compatibility with the dozens of external databases that regularly pull from our networked resources, we need to maintain a consistent naming structure: UPC numbers are the files names, followed by the file type. Alternate shots get an additional "extension" between the file name and the file type extension.

    example:
    093849504938.jpg
    093849504938.gif
    093849504938.psd
    093849504938.pt01.jpg

    There are usually 3 different jpg versions of the main product image alone. They are divided courtesy of being in separate folders. These files are accessed by people using PCs and linux and mac OS and everything else you can imagine. We can't rely on metadata to easily search for upcs.

    In 10.4, I had 5 shortcuts to folders set up in my left-hand finder tray, each pointing to one of the common folders (full-res psd, 600pixel jpg, etc).

    When I needed to get a file, whether to place it in a document or to email it to someone, I would just search for the last 4-5 digits of the UPC and that would usually reduce the search results to 1 or, rarely, 2 items. In 10.5, they "fixed" this so that "filename" is no longer a default search parameter unless you type in the entire file name from the first character. (That's slightly off-topic, but it's completely broken now. Fix this Apple!)

    The point is: spotlight searches are a LONG way away from being the organizational cure-all that you're proclaiming them to be. If they were so great, then we could have a single folder. Consider that folder locations and filenames are just metadata anyway. How do you think Time Machine works? filenames and folder locations are metadata and when you click on a folder and then on a sub-folder, that's the "search" you're doing. It would be nice to have that next level of abstraction in theory, but in practice, file names and folder locations ARE the search you need to do to get the files you want if you already know what files you are after.

    If you're searching for a file and you don't know exactly what you need, just a general idea, then spotlight is great. styles.css searches in spotlight are generally useless, though. That's not going to change any time soon.

    I've had my mac pro at home for less than 2 weeks and I already have 650,000 files in 137,000 folders on my primary drive, and that's not where I store my media and work documents (one too many corrupt system directory trees in my OS X past to do that, thanks.)

    Thing 2:

    iTunes organizes your files into folders and sub-folders the same way a lot of people would do it on their own. Clearly Apple thinks there is some benefit to organizing files into folders.
     
  25. theLimit macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    #25
    Try Finder -> View -> Show Path Bar

    I agree that Folders at the top in Column view would be nice, but I've gotten used to typing the first few letters of what I'm looking for and using the arrow keys to navigate.
     

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