Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Using tabs to organize the Finder window, part of Mac OS X Mavericks Essential Training.
In this movie, we're going to talk about a feature in Finder called tabs, which is a great tool to use to keep Finder organized, especially when you would otherwise have multiple windows open. But you can't really understand what tabs are until you understand why you might need them. If you've ever used tabs in a web browser like Safari or Chrome, then you'll see that tabs and Finder work almost exactly the same. So first, you can see that I have three Finder Windows open. One is open to My Documents folder, one is open to a folder inside My Documents called Explore California Brochures, and the other is opened to My Pictures folder.
I have these three windows open, because I want to move files between them. I could select a few pictures here in My Pictures folder. And I could move them over to this folder, the Explore California Brochures. I might have a file here in documents that I want to copy over here I can do that as well. It's pretty easy, but you can see it can get pretty messy and it can get frustrating to have this many windows open at the same time, especially when they overlap and you've got to click on one to bring it to the top and it's still blocking another one.
This gets old real quick. So let''s try this a different way using tabs, and I'll start by closing all three of these windows, and then I'll open up a new finder window, and I'll start by going to documents. Now I want to open up my Explore California Brochures, and usually I'd want this in another window, but instead I'm going to open in another tab. And the way you do this is select the file. And you can go to your Actions menu, and you can hit Open and New Tab. And now you can see I have these two tabs, I can click here to go back to the documents and click here to go back to Explore California Travel Brochure.
What's really nice is you can see I can have two different views, this one is in the Column View. I can switch it, for example, to maybe the Icon View. And over here I'm in the List View. I could switch it to the Cover Flow View if I wanted to. And I'll switch this one back to column, and this one back to icon, and I'll keep going with that. So when I did this, I opened up a tab based on a folder that was currently visible inside of Finder. Another thing I could do is go to the File Menu and hit New Tab. This way I get a fresh new tab, and then I can navigate to the folder that I want, and now I have got the pictures folder.
Maybe I will switch this over to the column view. Now, I have three tabs showing the same locations that I had opened in three separate Windows a moment ago, and it is much easier to keep organized. Let's say I want to move a file. Let's go back to the Travel Brochures folder. And I want to move these folders back to Pictures. Well, I could select both of these files, and I can just drag them onto this tab. Wait for a moment. That tab becomes active, and I can just drop them in here. I could also grab a file. In this case I'll do the Home Recipes files.
And I can just drag it, and drop it on top of the tab without waiting for it to flip over. So now when I go back to Documents, you can see that file, Home Recipes, is right here. And remember if I wanted to copy a file from one folder to another, that's pretty easy. I could select a file, hold the Option Key, drag it on top of the tab that I want. Drop it. It's still here in the Pictures folder but a copy of it has been placed in the Travel Brochures folder. So works like moving or coping files through any other place in Finder, and if I want to change the order of these tabs it's really easy to do.
I can just click and hold on one of these tabs, drag it left and right, and now the Travel Brochures tab is all the way on the right and things have reordered. What's also really cool is if I later decide I want these as separate windows, I can grab one of these tabs, click and hold on it and drag down. And it becomes a separate window so that when I let go, now I've got a separate window. I could also grab the Pictures tab here, and I can drag it to tear it off and move it over to this other window. Drop it, and it becomes a separate tab inside of this window.
So you can even move tabs from one window to another. And of 'course if you want one of these tabs gone, you can always just place your mouse on the tab and you see this little X appears. If you click that X, that tab is closed. So I'm going to close this window, and let's look one more time at creating new tabs. Because before I selected a folder, and I hid the Actions menu and I did Open in New Tab. I'll go ahead and close this. And of course another way to do this is with the right-click or the secondary-click menu.
I could right-click on this folder, and there's an option here to Open in New Tab. There's also a nice keyboard shortcut to create a new tab if I go to the file menu. You can see New Tab has the keyboard shortcut Cmd+T, so if I hold the command key, and press T, that will create a new tab. And again, I can close these tabs by either hitting the X, or there's a keyboard shortcut Cmd+W, to close that tab. Cmd+W is the same keyboard shortcut to close a window. So if you've got multiple tabs, Cmd+W will close a tab.
But if you only have one single window with no tabs in it, Cmd+W will close the whole window. Now this isn't the last you've seen of tabs. When we get into browsing the web with Safari, you'll see tabs again. It's a fairly new interface component, and we're seeing it in more and more applications. I find them to be very useful. And I find them to be a great addition to Finder.
- Installing and running Mavericks for the first time
- Connecting to the Internet
- Browsing through folders in the Finder
- Launching and managing applications
- Saving and searching for files
- Setting up iCloud and Apple ID accounts
- Browsing the web with Safari
- Using Mail, Calendar, and Contacts
- Messaging with iChat and Facetime
- Installing apps
- Sharing files and printer over a local network
- Backing up your Mac