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Customizing the Finder

From: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Essential Training

Video: Customizing the Finder

Now that you see how the Finder works and how windows work, let's see what we can do about customizing the look of the finder. One way to do that is to go up to Finder, choose Preferences and I know we've been here before, but we're going to go over it in more detail now, and configure the Finder Preferences. In the General tab, as I mentioned before, you can show or hide elements on the Desktop. You can also choose what new Finder windows will do. So, if I create a new Finder window currently that new Finder window will open up on my Home page. However, I can have it open up in Documents or I can choose Other and then navigate to a location that I'd like a new Finder window to open in to.

Customizing the Finder

Now that you see how the Finder works and how windows work, let's see what we can do about customizing the look of the finder. One way to do that is to go up to Finder, choose Preferences and I know we've been here before, but we're going to go over it in more detail now, and configure the Finder Preferences. In the General tab, as I mentioned before, you can show or hide elements on the Desktop. You can also choose what new Finder windows will do. So, if I create a new Finder window currently that new Finder window will open up on my Home page. However, I can have it open up in Documents or I can choose Other and then navigate to a location that I'd like a new Finder window to open in to.

I can also configure the Finder so that it always opens folders in a new window. This can create a lot of clutter on your Desktop, so be careful before turning that on. There's an option in Mac OS X called spring-loaded folders and I'll demonstrate how this works. I could take this document here, and I can drag up to the hard drive and I click, and I hold and you'll notice that the hard drive opens up. That happens because of something called the spring-loaded folder. I let go and then the document appears here where I left it. I'm going to take it back down to the Downloads folder now.

Within the Finder, you can also label files. For example, I can go over here and click the external hard drive icon. I can go into the File menu, and I can assign a label to this. I'm going to make it red so I know how important this is. If I decide I don't care for the label, I can change it to a different color or I can simply take the label away. One other thing I can do is I don't have to leave these colors here. I can say red equals important. That way when I'm looking at files in List view, I can see that it says important. These are files that I want to pay attention to.

I can configure the sidebar and decide what I want to appear in the sidebar. Currently the computer is not showing up in the sidebar. I can enable that and now it shows up. By default hard disks, external disks, iDisks, and removable media such as CDs, DVDs, and iPods show up there. I have my Shared options on. My places show up. I can decide, You know, I really don't want to see my Applications folder. I can turn that off or turn it back on. And then again in Search For, you have these options to look in the sidebar for All Images, All Movies, All Documents.

Depending on how you use your Macintosh you may want to turn this off. If there are other people that are using your Mac, you may not want them to be able to easily look through all your images. In that case turn this off. You don't want them looking at your movies? Turn that off. But by default they are turned on. And in the Advanced tab, as I explained before, you can turn on this option Show all file extensions and when you have a document that was created by a program such as Microsoft Word, you'll see the title of the document, followed by a period, then followed by a three letter extension in this case doc.

There's this option here, if you want to show warning before emptying the Trash. If you've put a bunch of stuff in the Trash over the last couple of weeks and you haven't emptied it, and you're not quite sure what's in there, you may choose Empty Trash. When you do that it will warn you, Are you sure you're empty this? Hmmm, maybe I'll look in there before I decide to do that. Once you do then you can say, Yes please go ahead, and you've confirmed that you want to do it. I showed you earlier that you could empty the Trash securely thereby erasing some data. You can have that as an option. Again, this means that if you have a third-party utility for recovering files you will not be able use that. Those files are gone. So it's safer to leave that off.

We can get out of there. In the View menu, you will find that there are even more options. They're called Show View Options. You can always open windows in a particular view. For example, I can always have a certain window open up in Icon view. I can change the icon size. 48 is pretty good, 48 x 48. But look, I can make it much, much bigger. This is going to take up a lot of room on your display so it's not a good idea to have huge icons but if you have a hard time seeing the icons that are there you can change the way they are displayed. You can also change the grid spacing. So move icons closer or farther apart. The text size for labels can be changed as well. The smaller the number the smaller the size of the font. You can arrange files as well. You can arrange them by Name, Date Modified, Date Created, Size, Kind or Label.

You also have the option to change the color of the currently open window. So for example I can change it to, we'll let's see. We'll click Color. Click here we'll make it this really interesting pink and this will apply this color to this window only. If I decide to go back to white I can do that. Now why would you want to change the background color? Well this is a very simple way to quickly identify folders that you're in. If you're in your Pictures folder for example, you could put a light gray background. You might be in your Movies folder and see a light yellow background. So as soon as you open the thing you understand, that's the folder I'm in.

Also in the View menu, you have another option to Show Path Bar. How helpful is this? Well we'll select it. Turn it on and at the bottom of the window you will see the path to the window that you have open. So if I dig down, I go into my Library folder, I go into my Application Support folder. You'll notice that the path increases because I'm digging farther down into the hierarchy. If I then double-click on an item that appears in the path, I immediately go to that part of the path.

You can also customize the sidebar. To do that we're going to Add and Remove items. So go up to the File menu and choose New Folder. Now we've created a new untitled folder. I can drag that over here to the Places area of the sidebar. Now if I want to open that folder, all I have to do is click it and I'm inside that folder. Later on if I decide I don't want that folder anymore, simple enough. I just drag it to the Desktop and it disappears. I can also rearrange items in the sidebar. So for example I can take Documents, move it to here above Applications. I can take All Documents here and move it down to the bottom of the sidebar.

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This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Essential Training
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Essential Training

80 video lessons · 31489 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 32s
    1. Welcome
      1m 32s
  2. 12m 54s
    1. Installing Leopard
      12m 54s
  3. 31m 23s
    1. Getting familiar with the Apple mouse and keyboard
      4m 38s
    2. Understanding the Mac desktop
      9m 37s
    3. Exploring the Apple menu
      6m 26s
    4. A tour of the Mac OS interface
      6m 25s
    5. Enabling Time Machine and running software updates
      4m 17s
  4. 33m 5s
    1. Getting familiar with the Finder
      6m 26s
    2. Windows and their elements
      6m 55s
    3. Customizing the Finder
      6m 36s
    4. Gathering file information
      4m 8s
    5. Working with contextual menus
      2m 33s
    6. Understanding the Open and Save dialogs
      2m 59s
    7. Using Help
      3m 28s
  5. 11m 41s
    1. Searching with Spotlight
      3m 36s
    2. Working with the Spotlight Search window
      2m 34s
    3. Using Spotlight with System Preferences
      3m 14s
    4. Creating Smart Folders
      2m 17s
  6. 12m 0s
    1. Moving and copying files
      3m 11s
    2. Spring-loaded folders and the Dock
      3m 7s
    3. Spaces
      5m 42s
  7. 12m 49s
    1. Introduction to the Dock
      2m 0s
    2. Creating Stacks
      3m 28s
    3. Configuring the Dock
      2m 18s
    4. Working with Trash and Eject
      5m 3s
  8. 42m 37s
    1. Configuring Personal System Preferences
      11m 39s
    2. Configuring Hardware System Preferences
      7m 13s
    3. Configuring Internet System Preferences
      6m 39s
    4. Configuring System System Preferences
      17m 6s
  9. 3m 51s
    1. Understanding printing options
      3m 51s
  10. 28m 4s
    1. Introduction to iLife '08
      2m 5s
    2. iPhoto
      4m 24s
    3. GarageBand
      5m 36s
    4. iWeb
      4m 10s
    5. iMovie
      7m 45s
    6. iDVD
      4m 4s
  11. 11m 6s
    1. Using TextEdit
      7m 25s
    2. Using the Dictionary
      3m 41s
  12. 16m 39s
    1. Working with images in Preview
      10m 7s
    2. Working with PDF files
      6m 32s
  13. 33m 25s
    1. Introduction to Safari
      5m 53s
    2. Working with the Address bar
      5m 21s
    3. Working with Bookmarks
      5m 7s
    4. Adding and reading RSS feeds
      3m 32s
    5. Saving web pages with Safari
      3m 11s
    6. Viewing PDFs
      3m 22s
    7. Configuring Safari Preferences
      4m 14s
    8. Creating Web Clips
      2m 45s
  14. 7m 56s
    1. Working with Dashboard widgets
      7m 56s
  15. 16m 13s
    1. Introduction to the Address Book
      7m 23s
    2. Address Book tips and tricks
      5m 30s
    3. Creating Smart Groups in the Address Book
      3m 20s
  16. 15m 9s
    1. Introduction to iCal
      7m 35s
    2. Working with multiple calendars
      2m 1s
    3. Sharing your calendars
      5m 33s
  17. 35m 26s
    1. Introduction to Mail
      2m 29s
    2. Creating an email account
      3m 18s
    3. Sending and receiving email
      5m 27s
    4. Personalizing Mail settings
      5m 14s
    5. Sorting email with Rules
      4m 17s
    6. Sorting email with Smart Mailboxes
      3m 3s
    7. Junk email
      5m 53s
    8. Working with To Dos, Notes, and RSS
      5m 45s
  18. 19m 36s
    1. Setting up an AIM account in iChat
      4m 55s
    2. Text, audio, and video chatting
      7m 41s
    3. Sharing files with iChat Theater
      7m 0s
  19. 39m 49s
    1. Introduction to iTunes
      7m 23s
    2. Playing and ripping an audio CD
      4m 35s
    3. Creating Playlists and Smart Playlists
      6m 44s
    4. Tagging files
      6m 46s
    5. Using the iTunes Music Store
      10m 22s
    6. Working with video in iTunes
      3m 59s
  20. 31m 16s
    1. Using Photo Booth
      6m 38s
    2. Using Front Row
      6m 26s
    3. Introduction to DVD Player
      5m 4s
    4. Using QuickTime Player
      5m 47s
    5. Using QuickTime Pro
      7m 21s
  21. 12m 44s
    1. Using Time Machine
      6m 24s
    2. Introduction to Disk Utility
      6m 20s
  22. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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