This is a look at a Mac app which separates the men from the boys, the power Mac user from everybody else who merely points and clicks. This is the Mac app that makes the Mac a productive tool and the Mac user an efficient human being.
You know what hasn’t changed much since the Mac was launched way back in 1984? The Open… dialog box. Most apps use it to open files. Click File in the Menubar, select Open… and you get a pop up dialog box that traces its roots to the last century and hasn’t learned much since. Behold, the dialog box, 2016.
Why So Many Clicks?
One of the questions I ask myself when using a new application on my Mac is a very simple, ‘How many clicks does it take to do this or that?’ The few the number, the better. Even better if there are keyboard shortcuts along the way, because that single action– keyboard vs. mouse or trackpad– separates Mac men from Mac juveniles.
Enter Default Folder X, also known as DFX, a Mac utility which has been around since forever and a few months beyond; an integrated tool which brings Finder-like functionality to the Mac’s pop up dialog boxes.
What kind of functions? Where in the dialog box? Behold.
The normal dialog box remains but is surrounded by tools and options. Use it to find files, change file names, navigate wherever you want on your Mac; plus, duplicate, delete, rename files all from within the pop up dialog box and without having to move to the Finder.
Wait. What about the name ‘Default Folder?’ How does that fit in?
One of the great un-fixed functions of OS X has been its inability to remember which folder you use for which app or which file. Think about it. When you open a file the Open dialog box does not know which app or folder you want first. Everything is treated the same.
Default Folder lets you assign default folders to specific apps so an Open… dialog box always knows where to look and where to save files. That time saving alone is worth the price of admission.
Click the File menu in nearly any Mac app and select either the Save As… or the Open… items and you get the infamous pop up dialog box. But the standard dialog is one way. To open a file you have to navigate to it in the Finder because OS X doesn’t remember things too well. Default Folder does. Finder window locations can be saved with a click. All the information you need on a file or folder is a click. All from within the Mac’s pop up dialog box.
Default Folder even remembers the tags you use on which files. Need to open the same folder within the same app? No problem. DFX remembers. Need to preview a file before you open it but you’ve already opened the Open… dialog box? DFX previews files within the dialog box.
Just open the DFX preferences and set the default folder for the applications you use the most, and it remembers where they are– for both Save and Open. All the extra tools that ring the dialog box are icing on the digital cake.
Default Folder X is the must-have Mac utility that separates the Mac men from the Mac boys.