Love it or hate it, the Mac’s Finder is where we all go to meet up with files and folders. Compared to Finders of yesteryear Macs, today’s Finder is more powerful, more complex, yet retains a basic window where we can find almost everything on the Mac.
But despite the Sidebar, the Toolbar, and multiple ways to view folders and files, the Finder is archaic and cranky, and missing even the basics of modern Mac apps. If you pine for something better than the Finder, and Apple has yet to answer all those certified letters you sent to CEO Tim Cook, then you will love this super Finder app.
All The Tools (no kitchen sink)
We’ve long been a big fan and supporter of Path Finder, the Mac app that looks and feels like the Finder, but actually has brains and brawn.
The latest version does what the Finder does by at least 20 different ways.
Shortcuts? Path Finder has built-in keyboard shortcuts. Customize or add your own.
The Drop Stack feature lets you drag something and not drop it (well, actually drag and freeze) until you find a place for it.
Sorting? How many ways do I love, thee Path Finder sorting? Sort by folders, files, packages first. Got Tabs? Not if you’re a Finderaholic? Path Finder does tabs, which makes it the place to navigate to anywhere on the Mac.
At first glance, Path Finder looks pretty tame. In fact, it looks like the Mac’s Finder.
That’s not much to write home about.
A few clicks later and you have a Finder with a built-in hex editor, built-in search, options to filter files by name, extension, or kind.
Archives? Path Finder has archives, but not just the lame .zip in the Finder. There’s .zip, .Gzip, .dmg, .sit and others. There’s also a built-in text editor and image editor.
Suddenly, with a few clicks, the Finder becomes Path Finder, the Super Finder. Click to add pop out panes, right or left, each configurable.
Built-in to Path Finder are traditional Finder tools such as Quick Look and Cover Flow (click on the image above for a larger, pop up version with more detail).
The pop out panes give you other options, including Launchbar, iTunes playlists and a dozen other attributes. Each pane is configurable and opens and closes with a click.
Basic navigation is a breeze. Click on tabs to navigate or drop in specific Mac folders to the toolbar. Once click lets you drill down into your Mac’s folders with ease.
Even esoteric and geeky functions like file permissions (traditional Unix style), Git and Subversion commands, and Terminal are built-in.
One feature you’ll love is the ability to open two Finder panes in one window so you can view separate folders at the same time.
One function you’ll love is the built-in context sensitive menu. Right click on a file or folder in Path Finder and you get menu options you’ve never seen. And you can create and customize to match your work flow.
If you’re a Mac power user who disdains the limitations in the Finder, you’ll love what you get in Path Finder. Because Path Finder starts out looking like the Finder, it’s easy to begin learning all it can do without having to take a night class.
The learning curve isn’t steep but the number of functions and features goes well beyond expectations and far behind the Mac’s traditional Finder. It’s nicely done and highly functional but start slowly as the load of new features can be overwhelming.