I’ve got five basic Finder tricks that most of my Mac-using friends don’t know about, but let me start with the bonus of #6 first. If Finder gets you down, and you need more power, add A Funner, Better Finder Replacement to your Mac. Otherwise, stick around, here are a few ways to improve your Finder experience.
Find Me Some Sugar
One could argue that iPhone and iPad are so popular because users don’t have to muck around with files or folders. That’s by design, of course. The Mac’s Finder isn’t an easy app to master.
First on my list the Finder’s Sidebar. Apple took away all the colored icons and I mourned for a month. Yet, Sidebar functionality remains. Click on the Finder menu, select Preferences and look at all you can add to the Sidebar.
Second is Quick Look, the Finder’s way to let you see what’s in a file without actually opening the file in an application. Select a single file in the Finder and press the Space Bar.
The Finder pops up the file on the screen so you can see it; contents included. Now, select five or six files (photos are a good example) and press the Option-Space Bar. Your Mac’s screen becomes a slideshow of the file’s contents. Press the Esc key to go back.
Third on the list is something relatively new for the Finder. Renaming files and folders. In the old days– last year– renaming files was a tedious, time-consuming process. It still is, but it’s easier.
Select four or five files in the Finder, right-click and select Rename Items from the context menu. Then, one-by-one, rename the files. It’s not Fast and Furious, but it’s faster.
Fourth on my list is an option that gets surprisingly little love from the average Mac user. Customizing the Finder’s Toolbar. In the Finder, select the View menu, then select Customize Toolbar. The pop-down window tells the tale. Options!
It’s drag and drop from there on, folks. Drag various tools and options to the Toolbar and re-arrange them as you prefer. It’s easy and makes for a more productive use of the Finder. Here’s an add-on trick. Drag Folders and apps from the Finder to the Toolbar, too. Instant launcher.
Finally, #5 on my list is only partially Finder related. The Finder has options. Rather, optional functionality that can be added through other apps. At the high end is a Finder replacement app that does far more than the default Finder; the aforementioned Path Finder.
For those struggling within a tight budget, there’s the free XtraFinder which ads a few more useful features, including tabs and dual panes, folders on top, and colorful icons in the sidebar.
If you have a little extra cash and want more Finder capability but can’t handle the Path Finder price tag, there’s TotalFinder, which also brings back colored labels, folders on top, tabs (but like Chrome instead of Safari), dual pane mode and much more.
There you have it. A few ways to improve your Mac’s Finder experience.