Navigating around your Mac comes in two flavors. The Finder, and dialog boxes in applications which take you to the Finder. In other words, files and folders on your Mac are accessible directly from the Finder, and through whatever Mac application or utility which opens a window when you save or open a file. Unless you know exactly where your files are, that in-application folder navigation can be painful for many Mac users. Enter Default Folder, a must have utility for busy Mac users.
Find Finder Folders
Your Mac has folders everywhere. Most of us keep our files organized in folders in the Documents folder. Spreadsheets go there, Word documents go here, photos and graphics go there and there.
When you go to save a file, whatever the kind, in a given application, what happens? A dialog box pops up—too small, if you ask me—and you can navigate through the Finder without really using the Finder.
The problem is that this pop up, in-application Finder navigation doesn’t do a good job of remembering where which files should go, treating everything the same. That means extra clicks, extra drill downs, extra navigating, just to store a Word file after you’ve stored an Excel file.
They don’t get stored in the same place so why does the in-application Finder always go to the same place? Default Folder gives you what Apple does not.
If you’ve ever saved a document in a place it wasn’t supposed to go, then you know the problem. The Finder can’t remember where files should go.
The Match Game
Default Folder attaches itself to your Mac’s pop up, in-application Finder windows—the ones you use to save or open a file from within an application. Not only do you get extra tools to use, like Favorites, but you can make changes to files on your Mac without using the Finder.
If you’re constantly saving things inside the same folder, Default Folder X can remember that folder for you. You can even set a different default folder for each application you use. That way, you’ll already be in the right folder when you’re working.
That feature alone is worth the price of admission. Default Folder can remember what goes where. If you’ve used a folder recently, then Default Folder can remember which folder, for which application, for which kind of files.
Mac OS X Leopard has a few spots that didn’t come with Jaguar, Panther, or Tiger before. QuickLook lets you see what’s inside a file without opening the file. But that’s in the Finder.
Using Default Folder your dialog box has other options, including Preview, Information, Tags, even Permissions. It’s like having the Finder’s options inside the Finder pop up window.
If you’re a tag or keyword Mac user, you know the drudgery of applying both to Mac files.
Default Folder X lets you add Spotlight keywords, OpenMeta tags, and Finder labels on the spot, while you’re still in the Save dialog. It even remembers keywords you’ve used before and automatically completes them as you type.
And that’s done without going to the Finder.
Default Folder X is one of a handful of Mac utilities that I’ve used for many years, going back to Mac Classic days. Once you’ve used it for a few days, especially if you’re a Mac user who opens and closes and saves lots of documents, you’ll wonder why Apple doesn’t have the same features in OS X.