Count me as a Finder fan. Despite all the hoopla and noise through the years, no one has come up with a better or more usable metaphor or method to find files on your Mac than the venerable Finder. That said, nothing improves without change, and Apple is the first to make changes to beloved apps. The Finder got a healthy dose of change with Mac OS X Lion. But two other apps make it even better.
Two Finder Apps: Lite & Heavy
One of the more recent additions to Finder app tweaking is TotalFinder, which isn’t really total anything, but does bring some much needed improvements at a basic level.
Tabs. Safari has them. Other apps have tabs. The Finder does not. Unless you use TotalFinder, which lifts the ugly tabs from Google’s Chrome browser. They work. But you know they’re not designed by Apple.
Total Finder also has a Dual Mode so you can display two Finder windows, side-by-side. That’s a great way to drag and drop files from one folder to another folder that might be buried.
A few other features are handy, including an option to view System files and folders (which Apple usually hides). There’s also sorting options in list view which puts folders on top, they way nature intended.
If TotalFinder isn’t a total revamp of the Finder, what is? Path Finder. This isn’t a Finder add on. It’s a complete replacement for the Finder. In other words, with Path Finder you’ll have an app similar and familiar to Finder, but you won’t need to use Finder.
There’s the dual pane browser (like TotalFinder), tabs and bookmarks which make it easy to click and drill into a folder at multiple levels, custom sorting options, and a bunch of built-in tools.
Yes, you can Archive files and folders on your Mac, but Path Finder builds in the ancient Stuffit Engine. Keyboard shortcuts can be customized, used as an app launcher, an editor, and a terminal app.
I’m just getting started.
Path Finder has a completely familiar look, because it looks like the Finder, but it’s loaded with tools and tweaks, options and features– to the point where it can be overwhelming. If the Finder is your friend, and you’re satisfied with it, don’t bother with TotalFinder or Path Finder. But if you’re ready for more, Path Finder gives the most for the money.