On a Mac, the Finder lets you locate, sort and organize files. It also provides access to external drives and directories.
It’s very similar to Windows Explorer on a PC.
If you’d like more information on the Finder, check out – Core Mac Concepts – Cleaning Up & Using The Finder Sidebar
In this post, we’re going to look at the 4 different ways the Finder can display information.
Click the Finder icon in the dock. It’s generally on the far left side.
A Finder window appears. If you don’t see a Finder window, go to the File Menu and choose New Finder Window.
On the Finder toolbar, you’ll see a group of 4 View buttons.
These 4 control how you View files and folders:
- Icon View – Good for displaying information that you recognize visually, e.g.; album covers, comic books, graphic files.
- List View – Each file or folder is listed by Name, Date Modified, Size and Kind. You can add several other data columns – See View options below. Useful for locating files when you have limited information on what you’re looking for.
- Column View – Shows files and folders in hierarchical view. Generally the fastest way to navigate to a file when you know it’s location.
- Coverflow – Useful when you want to browse through images.
Even More Options To Tweak
In any of these 4 Views, a right click or Control click, inside the Finder’s main viewing window will bring up a menu.
Choose the last option, Show View Options.
This will open the View Options Menu. Each of the 4 Views has it’s own menu options that let you change a wide range of settings.
One Last Thing
In the Finder, go to the View Menu and choose Show Path Bar.
The Path Bar appears at the bottom of the Finder window and displays the path to any file or folder that is selected.
This is very handy if you use more than one drive, or have folders with similar names.
Once you know how to use these buttons, you’ll find it a lot easier to locate files.
If you have questions, please use the Comments section below.
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