Make Finder amazing with TotalFinder!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by karohan, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. karohan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #1
    I have always had plenty of complaints with Finder and I don't know if Apple is going to improve it in 10.7, but for the time being, I found a great program that makes Finder into something awesome! It was mentioned on this forum a couple times before but that was during its alpha/beta stages. Its official release is now out, so I figure I'd do a review now that TotalFinder is more mature and stable.

    So TotalFinder is now at version 1.1.1 and is actively updated with new features/bug fixes. It is not free, but you have a 14-day free trial to try out the software. The trial is fully featured but it'll have a small watermark on the Finder window. If you like it, it costs $15 or $30 for a three-user license (which would amount to $10 per person if you split it with three people). Here is the developer's website:
    http://totalfinder.binaryage.com/

    When you install it, you don't have to "run" any new programs or anything per se. It installs as an integrated extension to Finder, so all of the improvements will occur right on top of Finder! This is far more convenient than something like PathFinder, which is not integrated with Finder at all. You will also see a small Menu bar icon at the top right to access TotalFinder preferences/uninstall/update/restart it. If the icon annoys you, you can always hide it, don't worry.

    Features:
    Tabbed Browsing - TotalFinder finally brings what Finder should have had for a while now. You can use tabs to organize your file browsing:
    [​IMG]
    New tabs can be made via cmd + T. Also any folders you open in Finder will automatically generate a new tab in that Finder window. If you want separate windows for whatever reason, just drag that tab out of the window and it'll generate a new window. One minor issue I have noticed is that there is a little lag if you try to very rapidly create 6-7 tabs or so.

    Show System Files - I can't tell you how many times I would like to see some system files or hidden files on my computer (I used Linux before, where it was as easy as a keyboard shortcut to see hidden files). The only way I could do that was do a search with added preferences or run a terminal command. TotalFinder lets me view my system files (and toggle it on/off with a keyboard shortcut). If you're worried about too much clutter, the hidden files will be a lighter/more translucent shade.

    Folders on Top - It's a no-brainer that folders should be listed on top of a list, not interspersed between your mess of files. Nevertheless, if you don't like this feature, you can toggle it on/off as well.

    Visor - This is something that you'll learn to absolutely love as soon as you really understand what it is. This is what it looks like:
    [​IMG]
    You can click on the Finder dock icon or use a user configurable shortcut to initiate it. The "visor" is basically a Finder window that rolls up and down upon your command. It is really useful because afterword, there is very very little reason to have floating Finder windows anymore. Say you have a number of tabs open, opening/closing the Finder will not close out those tabs, they will still be there when you re-initiate the "visor". The visor will auto-disappear if you click elsewhere but you can pin the visor if you don't want it to disappear either.

    Dual Mode - In the following picture, you'll notice two tabs are fused to make a dual mode view. This is convenient if you need to drag files to another folder. You can toggle the view on/off with a keyboard shortcut. Even more conveniently, if you have two tabs you want to go to dual mode with, just double click on the left of those two tabs and they'll fuse.
    [​IMG]

    Cut/Paste - Losing cut/paste is really frustrating because you can't move files without dragging them. This is a pain because you have to then have both Finder windows open at the same time or use OS X's spring-loading feature, which still isn't as convenient as cut/paste. With TotalFinder, you get that functionality right in the standard context menu (or via cmd + x).

    Asepsis - If you are annoyed by all the .DS_store files on your computer, TotalFinder can install .kext that redirects all those .DS_store files to one centralized location but won't break anything either.

    This is what the preferences window looks like:
    [​IMG]
    It actually just creates a new tab in your Finder preferences. You can configure all your features and keyboard shortcuts here.

    Conclusions: This extension of Finder is a great program. I've been playing with it quite extensively for a while now and I haven't noticed any increased CPU usage by Finder or any sluggishness in doing any folder/file actions. Of course, it is perfectly acceptable to say that these are features that Finder should have come with already, but right now, this is the most convenient way to extend Finder's functionality. The only cons include that slightly sluggish behavior when initiating a large number of tabs simultaneously and while I have had 0 problems stability-wise, a few people have, so its important to try it out first. You can easily uninstall to revert back to the original Finder, so no worries either!
     
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
  3. miknos macrumors 6502a

    miknos

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #3
    Looks like advertising but it's a useful app.
     
  4. Riverrun macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    ~
  5. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #5
    I picked up Total Finder last week from the MU Promo page when it was about half off. I did a little research to find out that it was better that PathFinder and Forklift in that while it didn't include any FTP or similar functionality as well (which I didn't need or want), the best thing is that it is built onto the Finder, is controlled in the Finder prefs, and doesn't require you to run a separate app. You just open a Finder window and it is at work.

    The best thing is it give you multiple tabs and that you can join a pair of tabs to make it very easy to move files from one location to another. Glad I got it at a discount. While people have been clamoring for years that Apple would update Finder with much of this functionality, and given Safari it seems like a no brainer to add tabs, I doubt we will see any sort of Finder upgrade this major in 10.7 Lion.
     
  6. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #6
    I thought the Mac Applications forum section was an appropriate place to post good pieces of software, no?
    I'm not sure if its necessarily a "hack" per se, but I haven't noticed any sort of instability yet with Finder. The visor is really useful, though upon a little more usage, the one other thing I would like would be able to resize the visor window to only take up half the width of the screen as opposed to the full width.
     
  7. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a

    philosopherdog

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    #7
    It actually is a hack. If you want to totally remove it you must edit Finder's plist file. I'll put links at the bottom for those that need to totally remove it. The developer really should make the installation a total install. Anyhow, TF looks pretty cool. Personally I could live without most of the features because I think you can do things like set up a script and hotkeys in QS to jump to finder with a hotkey. This should be built into Finder. You can force folders to the top using a plist trick, and personally I find it pretty easy to open a second finder window using command n for moving files over. So other than visor I don't see the point of this hack. But even visor can be replaced using a script and a Quicksilver key assignment.

    http://getsatisfaction.com/binaryag...es_the_uninstaller_truly_uninstall_everything

    http://totalfinder.binaryage.com/uninstallation

     
  8. Keysmark macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #8
    Would you please explain this trick.

    Thanks
     
  9. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #9
    . . . or just putting a space at the beginning of the name.
     
  10. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a

    philosopherdog

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    #10
    Sure. The poster after you notes that you can of course pin any file or folder to the top by adding a symbol to the front of the file. But that's not what I meant. I meant that finder will always sort folders to the top. Here's a link to make it do this http://forum.notebookreview.com/apple-mac-os-x/208068-make-finder-sort-type-folders-top.html . You can also assign a shortcut key to open a new finder window using Quicksilver triggers http://hintsforums.macworld.com/archive/index.php/t-80671.html . The only other thing is to assign a shortcut key to Quicksilver triggers to jump back to an open finder window. I haven't figured that out yet. This would be similar to the visor feature. This plugin is pointless. It's just as easy to open a second finder window with command N and copy your files over instead of dual pane or bookmarks. I've noticed this hack does make Finder a bit jittery. Personally I think it's a bad idea to hack Finder unless you're just making a little change you understand to the plist file that you can easily reverse. So I just saved you $15 and a bunch of headaches.

     
  11. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #11
    I've been using Totalfinder as well. It's really good.
     
  12. philosopherdog, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010

    philosopherdog macrumors 6502a

    philosopherdog

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    #12
    Ok, to make a Visor like feature for Finder using Quicksilver is dead simple. Just add a custom trigger for finder and open, assign it a shortcut key and boom. You've got a shortcut key to jump back to finder from anywhere. Just hit alt tab once to jump back to the app you were just which hides finder unless it has enough space on the desktop to remain visible. So, there you go. TotalFinder for free using just Quicksilver and a Plist edit.

    Hey it is a cool app, but there are two problems: 1) it hacks Finder and can make it unstable. hacking finder is a bad idea, 2) it costs money. My solution has basically the same features, doesn't hack finder, and is free.

     
  13. dbales macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    #13
    This looks like a pretty cool app. Anyone found system instabilities since installing it. Sure, it "hacks" Finder, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there's crashes afterwards.
     
  14. flat five macrumors 601

    flat five

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    newyorkcity
    #14
    in the finder preferences, set visor to allow a FreeForm Window then you can make it any size you'd like.
     
  15. Avro macrumors regular

    Avro

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #15
    I like TotalFinder, but sometimes I need more than it can offer so I use Pathfinder as well.
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #16
    Just downloaded and installed this. I have to say, it looks pretty amazing! Tabs are something that are very welcome, no more dozens of Finder windows
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    I'm a pathfinder user myself and find this works well enough without hacking the finder.
     
  18. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    #18
    Just installed it, it's very nice, the tabs are a godsend and FINALLY cut and paste functionality!
     
  19. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #19
    It does have a built in uninstall. Is that suffieient?
     
  20. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #20
    Check out post #7, it is not. He has links as to how to completely remove it.

    By the way, for all the people that say you can do a lot of these things with QuickSilver, what do you suggest for Snow Leopard users? Quicksilver has been too buggy and slow for me. TotalFinder does make Finder take up more RAM than I would necessarily like, but I think that is something the developer will work on. If a more functional QuickSilver came out, I would totally be open to using it because I used to use Gnome Do in Linux, and it's pretty much the same.
     
  21. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #21
    Does not removing the plist info after uninstalling have negative consequences?
     
  22. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #22
    I haven't checked out the instructions too thoroughly, but typically, when you trash a .plist for a default program in OS X, it just regenerates a .plist with default settings. That way it's easier to trash the .plist than individually change each setting.
     
  23. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #23
    1.1.3 of Total Finder was released today. I just downloaded and installed it for the first time.

    Installation was simple. I went into the preferences and enabled "folders on top" and that was it.

    Tabbed finder is great as is dual mode where you have 2 finder windows next to each other which makes moving files much easier. All these features should be built into the finder to start but i'm glad that i found this thread and tried it out.
     
  24. eah2119 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    #24
    Looks great! But really not worth $!4. This should be the next finder update, rather than a 3rd party addition.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    It should be but, apple has been rather resistant to changing the finder. Its not changed dramatically since 10.0, other then tweaking/enhancing the sidebar. Heck, you could make a case that the Finder has not changed since classic OS9 and prior versions.
     

Share This Page