Archive for November 23rd, 2016

by Tom Nelson

The Finder has been with us since the first days of the Macintosh, providing a simple interface to the Mac’s file system. Back in those early days, the Finder was pretty basic, and used most of its resources just to produce a hierarchical view into your files.

That hierarchical view was an illusion, as the original Macintosh File System (MFS) was a flat system, storing all your files at the same root level on a floppy or hard drive.

When Apple moved to the Hierarchical File System (HFS) in 1985, the Finder also received a huge makeover, incorporating many of the basic concepts we now take for granted on the Mac.

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

The Finder Toolbar

When OS X was first released, the Finder gained a handy toolbar located across the top of the Mac’s Finder window. The Finder toolbar is usually populated with a collection of useful tools, such as the forward and back arrows, view buttons for changing how the Finder window displays data, and other goodies.

You probably know that you can customize the Finder toolbar by adding tools from a palette of options. But you may not know that you can also easily customize the Finder toolbar with items that aren’t included in the built-in palette. With drag-and-drop simplicity, you can add applications, files, and folders to the toolbar, and give yourself easy access to your most commonly used programs, folders, and files.

I like a tidy Finder window, so I don’t recommend going overboard and turning the Finder toolbar into a mini Dock. But you can add an application or two without cluttering things up. I frequently use TextEdit for jotting down quick notes, so I added it to the toolbar. I also added iTunes, so I can quickly launch my favorite tunes from any Finder window.

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