10 super useful Mac Finder tips

Short, sweet and useful -- here are 10 really useful Mac Finder tips you should know about.

Apple, Mac, OS X, macOS, Finder, tips
Daniel Masaoka

Short, sweet and useful — here are 10 helpful Mac Finder tips you can use to get the most from your Mac.

Open in work mode

Do you keep all your work in a specific folder? If so, do you get a little frustrated when Finder opens in default view? Change this in Finder>Preferences in the General pane, where you should set New Finder windows show to the folder you need to explore most often.

Add extra Finder tools

I think most Mac users know this, but in case you didn’t: Control-Click the Finder Title bar and select Customize Toolbar in the contextual menu that appears. Now you can add (and remove) a bunch of options from the Finder toolbar.  (I like to add a Path button to help me manage my way through my forests of files.)

More ways to find a file

Speaking of adding a Path button to help navigate through your file forest, here are a few more ways to find where a file is situated on your Mac:

  • Control-click the file name in the Finder title bar
  • Select Finder>View>Show Path Bar — you can click any folder in the path bar to get there

[Also read: 21 keyboard shortcuts Mac users need to know]

Find what you want

Searching for stuff but getting too many results? If you know what folder an item is hiding in, you can make life a little easier by selecting Finder Preferences>Advanced and choosing Search the Current Folder in the drop-down menu at the bottom of the window.

Read the file names

If you are working in a Finder window in Column view, you may not be able to read the file names completely. The easiest way to expand the column to do so is to tap the column divider at the bottom of the window. Or Option tap there to open them all to a legible size.

Add a toolbar shortcut

Still on the working folders tip, did you know you can add folders to your Favourites menu to the left of your Finder window by simply dropping them there? You did? Now try holding down the Command key while selecting, dragging, and dropping a folder on the Finder Toolbar: “boom” an instant (and pervasive) shortcut to get to that folder.

The fastest way to open a Library

Hidden by default there will be times you want to open the Library. The easiest way to do so? Press the Option key while you choose the View item in Finder menu bar, and you’ll see the Library option, which disappears when you aren’t pressing the Option key.

Fullscreen QuickView

QuickView is such an excellent tool for checking through for the right image in any folder. You can make it work in full-screen mode by pressing the Option key when you press Space to activate QuickLook.

Rename everything

Want to rename a whole bunch of files? Select them all (don’t forget you can select non-contiguous items by pressing Command as you select them), now Control click those items and you’ll be able to rename all of them, including giving them all a common name such as projectpicture 1, projectpicture2, etc.

3 window resizing tips

Taken from here.

  • Press Option while using the resize arrows, and you will be able to change the window size while keeping the center of the window static.
  • The window will scale as your resize it if you hold down Option + Shift.
  • Or hold the Shift key if you want the window to scale proportionally.

I hope these little Finder tips help you get more from your Mac.

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