Love it or hate it, the Mac’s Finder is here to stay. For awhile. It’s obvious that managing files is not what Apple wants iPhone and iPad users to do, and with OS X Mountain Lion, they’re forcing on Mac users, too.
The Mac’s Finder is the app of choice as the last resort to find apps, find files, and manage both. The Finder’s heritage dates back to the mid 1980s, and though it’s picked up plenty of features since then, the Finder is anything but user friendly.
What can you do? Not much. It’s obvious that Apple wants to dumb down Mac usage and get everyone on board the iOS No File Management Express. For most of us experienced Mac users, the Finder does the job but could be improved.
Here are two ways to make the Finder a serious tool. One adds much needed features, and the other replaces the Finder.
TotalFinder: This isn’t really a total finder because the alternative does more, but TotalFinder brings six much needed functionality to the Mac’s Finder without replacing it.
- Tabbed Browsing: This alone is worth the price of admission. Multiple Finder windows available in tabs, just like Safari.
- Show System Files: The average Mac user has no need of this, but the rest of us do. It displays hidden files.
- Dual Mode: Side-by-side comparing and copying or moving is the best way. You can do it in the Finder with multiple windows, but TotalFinder blends them together.
- Visor: A system-wide TotalFinder window available from any Mac app (so powerful it’s disabled by default).
- Folders On Top: Why can’t the Mac’s Finder do this? Yes, it sorts, but folders and files are combined together within the sort. TotalFinder puts them on top.
- Cut & Paste: Built-in keyboard shortcuts to move files from here to there.
Here’s what TotalFinder looks like when installed on your Mac. It adds functions to the Mac’s Finder.
Nice, right? Just the most useful features that Mac users will love.
Wait. There’s more!
Path Finder: This is the Mac’s Finder on performance enhancing drubs. Path Finder a perfectly safe, highly capable replacement for the Finder.
Path Finder gives you bookmarks, tabs, dual pane windows, Cover Flow to view files, a built-in terminal window, an editor, and double the number of Toolbar tools.
Yet, it looks like the Mac’s Finder, so it’s familiar and easy to use.
If you need more than Apple gives you with the Finder, and you like TotalFinder’s extras, you’re likely to thrive using Path Finder.
I have a more detailed look at Path Finder in 20 Ways This Mac Super Finder Is Better Than The Mac’s Built-in Finder.