Think about the advantage of using tabs in Mac apps. All Mac browsers have tabs which means we can keep open a number of windows at one time. What about the Mac’s Finder?
To keep open multiple locations in the Finder requires multiple Finder windows. Windows mean clutter. Tabs mean efficiency. Would it not be a good feature marriage to put tabs in the Mac’s Finder? Here are two easy ways.
No Matter What—Tabs Are Expensive
Apple doesn’t charge us extra to use tabs in Safari. Ditto for Firefox, Chrome, Opera et al. In fact, tabs are the normal way of life for Mac and Windows browser users. Not so normal is getting tabs to show up in your Finder.
There are two easy and somewhat expensive ways to put tabs in your Mac’s Finder.
The first is a nifty utility (currently free) that simply adds tabs to the Finder so you can open multiple Finder windows for each tab, so each window functions like a tab in Safari.
TotalFinder—If you’ve seen the difference between tabs in Safari vs. Google’s Chrome browser, then you’ve already seen the tabs from TotalFinder.
Install TotalFinder and your Mac’s Finder will have Google Chrome-like tabs at the top (not below the toolbar as in Safari). They look like Chrome tabs. They function like Chrome tabs. But they’re Finder tabs.
Your Mac’s Finder looks the same except for the row of tabs on top.
That’s it. Now you can open multiple Finder windows and have them displayed as tabs instead of a bunch of cluttered windows floating around.
You still get your choice of icon view, column view, cover flow and list view. You also get a bunch of additional features which show up in Finder Preferences.
TotalFinder can remove those pesky .DS_Store files (invisible files found in most Mac folders) and works on multiple Spaces screens and comes with activation hotkeys.
What’s the problem? TotalFinder is free, right? And the problem is? It’s free for now, before version 1.0, then TotalFinder comes with a price tag that seems a little steep when comparing a one-trick-pony that only works on Snow Leopard with a multi-trick horsepower tool.
Path Finder—To get really geeky with your Mac’s Finder the best way is to replace it with Path Finder. Yes, it costs more, but it does more. Much more. It’s a muscle bound, performance enhanced steroid using Finder.
Path Finder has tabs. And bookmarks. And lists. And tools.
And filtering and sorting. And a built-in editor and terminal and temporary stacks and multiple windows within a Path Finder window.
There’s also Quick Look, an app launcher, a size browser, Stuffit integration, customizable menu keyboard shortcuts and much more. If your Mac’s Finder is lacking, Path Finder is not. It’s the Mac power user’s point and click file browser and management app.
Path Finder’s price tag is more than double TotalFinder, but TotalFinder isn’t really total anything except tabs. It’s nice. But it’s just tabs. Path Finder is feature laden. Both are free to try out.