Getting familiar with the Finder

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Getting familiar with the Finder

You've got a good lay of the land now, and now we're going to look a little bit into the Finder menus to look at the important things that you'll be able to do within the Finder. Take our mouse, go up to Finder and just in case you're interested, you can choose About Finder. There it is. This is about the Finder. We're using Finder version 10.5. Why is this important? Well for the Finder, it's not very important. However, when you're in other applications the application name will show in this position, right next to the Apple icon. Every so often you may want to know about that application, in order to find out its version number, for example. So good command to know about whatever the foremost application is. The next command down is another important one and this is Preferences. Every application will have some kind of Preferences command and it will always be under the application menu name. So if you're in Photoshop, you look under Photoshop, there you'll find the Preferences command. When you go to Finder preferences, you'll find that you have the option to show certain things on your Desktop. If you like a really clean Desktop with nothing on it, you can deselect hard drives, gone. External disks, well there goes my Time Machine disk. No CD, no don't want that either, fine. But I like to see what I've got on my Desktop so I leave these things connected.

In the Advanced, you have the option to Show file extensions. This is off by default, if you're coming from the Windows side of the world, you'll often see a Word document, for example, that's called say My work and then it has a dot and then it says doc. The Mac does not require file extensions to be visible. You don't have to know that this is a doc file. You don't have to know that it's a certain kind of Excel file. All you need to know is that it's just a file. You can turn that on if you like. I prefer to leave it off.

Now in the File menu, we looked at this very briefly, here's a chance to make a New Finder Window or a New Folder. You're going to be making new folders a lot of the time, so keep in mind that this is here. The keyboard command for this, because eventually you're going to start using keyboard commands, is Shift+Cmd+N. For a new Finder window, it's Cmd+N. Here we've produced a new Finder window. This gives us the opportunity to see what windows look like. Let's open the Documents folder and see what's in there. We are looking at a bunch of documents inside Documents folder. There are four views here.

The first is Icon view, this is the default view. Using this view, you can see the icons of the files that are in here. How helpful is this? Eh, kind of because it gives you some idea of what the document looks like. In Leopard, you can actually see what the real contents of the first page the document looks like in Icon view. However, you can't see a lot of files, so it's not the most efficient way to view your files. The next option is List view. This gives you simply the names of your documents, the dates they were modified, the size and the kind. You can look at them in a long list. You can see far more documents this way then you could in Icon view. Then there's Column view.

Column view shows you the hierarchy. So for example I've got documents here and now I go down to the next level and that shows me my documents that happen to be in the Documents folder. Very easy way to move in and out and through the Mac's interface. A lot of people like Columns view, but there's a new one and this is the fourth view, and this is called Cover Flow view, and Cover Flow view places your filenames in a list at the bottom of the window, but at the top of the window you actually get a chance to preview a big icon of your document so you can tell what it is. So we click this arrow here and we're just flipping through our documents.

This way we can see our images, we can see what are movie files, we can see text files for example. But check this out, this is one of the coolest things about this. Let's take this image file for example. Let's say it's kind of small. Is this the one I really want? I've got this selected, I press the spacebar, and this produces a new feature called Quick Look. This gives me the opportunity to preview whatever that document is without actually having to open it. I'll close it here by clicking the little x. So if I have a movie file for example, I can see that movie by bringing it forward in Cover Flow. I can either click this little play icon or again press spacebar and the movie plays.

To close it, I just click the little x and it's closed. Now you can do this with any number of kinds of documents. Here I've got a pages publication. There it is easy enough. Again, another video file, bring it forward. It's just that easy and the advantage here is that there's no need if you're not sure what a document is, to open the thing up, open up its host application. This provides a very easy way to preview a file without opening its host application.

OK so now you've had an opportunity to preview some of your documents. But suppose there's something in there that you don't care for. Well as I go back through here there's some kind and here whose shadow is just mucking up my beautiful images, and I don't want it there anymore. So I click it. I drag it over to the Trash, and it's gone. Now I can empty the Trash by going to the Finder and choosing Empty Trash. When I do that, up pops this dialog box saying, Are you really sure you want to do it, because when you empty the Trash it's really, really gone. Now, normally I would click OK to get rid of it. However I want to show you one other way to empty the Trash. You do that by going down to the Trash icon, clicking and holding on it, and notice the Empty Trash command appears here.

OK, there's one more way to empty the Trash. Go up to the Finder menu and you can choose Secure Empty Trash. What happens here is that when you delete that file it is really, really gone. It means that no utility, no third party utility for recovering files will be able to find it. It will erase the part of the hard drive that contained that file. We don't want to do it now. What we really want to do is just empty the Trash. So back up here to Empty Trash, select it, let go of the mouse.

Yes I do want to get rid of it. OK, and the file is gone.

Getting familiar with the Finder
Video duration: 6m 26s 7h 9m Beginner


Getting familiar with the Finder provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Christopher Breen as part of the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Essential Training

Mac OS X
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