The Finder has a remarkable list of capabilities that have been bolted onto the structure over decades of use. Today’s Finder may be among the best versions ever, but that was not always the case, and which explains a small cottage industry of Finder replacements and add-ons.
Finder By Me
Today’s Finder is the best ever on the Mac. Ever. Unless you want more features, in which case Path Finder is the Finder app for the rest of us.
There is much to like about Path Finder but it isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s familiar, yes, but has far more features perfect for the Mac geek, but not necessarily for the rest of us.
That Finder-based cottage industry has other Finder add-ons which bring just the right mixture of tools and features to the Finder itself. Like colored labels. That brings me to TotalFinder. This doesn’t just look familiar, it looks inviting.
While the feature list is long and extensive, the basics are what most of us want and need. Dual mode. Tabs. Cut & Paste. Colored Labels. Chrome-like tabs. And the popular Visor window. In fact, many of the 2018 macOS Sierra newer Finder features got their start on Total Finder.
Some Mac users like XtraFinder, another early Finder add-on innovator which has a few features the Mac’s Finder does not have, including Show Hidden Items, Terminal access, auto column width adjustments, and more.
Another Finder replacement of note, and a favorite, is Commander One, a dual-pane Finder replacement utility.
If you use many cloud services or sFTP connections, you’ll appreciate Commander One’s flexibility. It’s more Finder-like than the add-on utilities, but also has features Finder does not. The basic Finder functions are free and the Pro version adds more capability, especially the built-in file viewer, root access, hidden files, custom hotkeys, and advanced search via RegExp (regular expressions) support. Take that, Finder.
The key here is alternatives that spread across the gamut of capabilities and features– all free to try. One caveat I’ll add has to do with the add-on Finder tools. Whenever Apple makes a macOS update that has Finder fixes, those can break the add-ons until they get updated. Among the replacements available, my preference is Path Finder for the Mac geek in us, or Commander One for extra features at a competitive price.