Mas­ter the Finder side­bar

Mac Format - - IMPROVE | MAC APPS -

1 Un­der­stand the ba­sics

Firstly, the side­bar can be hid­den. App in­stall win­dows of­ten hide the side­bar, for ex­am­ple. View > Hide/Show side­bar ( å+ç+S) tog­gles its visibility. Also, se­lect a side­bar item and it loads rel­e­vant items into the win­dow. So click Ap­pli­ca­tions to see your apps.

2 Show pre­de­fined items

Go to Finder > Pref­er­ences and choose Side­bar. You’ll see items grouped into Fa­vorites, Shared, De­vices and Tags. Check­ing an item adds it to Finder side­bars; de­s­e­lect an item and it will be re­moved. (Most items can be man­aged man­u­ally, though that’s a slower process.)

3 Add and re­move items

If you want quick ac­cess to a folder not shown in Finder’s pref­er­ences, se­lect it and use File > Add to Side­bar (≈+ ç+T), or just drag the folder into Fa­vorites. To re­move any item’s short­cut, drag it out­side the Finder side­bar or

≈- click it and se­lect ‘Re­move from Side­bar’.

4 Ac­cess a hid­den folder

Your user Li­brary folder is hid­den by de­fault, but can be added to Finder’s side­bar. Hold å and go to Go > Li­brary. En­sure the Finder path bar is vis­i­ble (View > Show Path Bar) and drag Li­brary to the Fa­vorites sec­tion of the side­bar. The folder is then just a click away.

5 Man­age the side­bar

Add too many items and the side­bar be­comes clut­tered and re­quires scrolling, so pri­ori­tise. Delete un­used items and click-drag to move key ones up. Cat­e­gories can be dragged via their ti­tles, or col­lapsed by click­ing the Hide but­ton (shown when the cur­sor’s over the ti­tle).

6 Save a search

In any Finder win­dow, press ç+F to load the search view – re­sults can be re­stricted to a folder or your en­tire Mac. De­fine re­sults cri­te­ria and click Save. In the sheet that ap­pears, check Add To Side­bar and click Save. Your dy­namic smart search ap­pears in the side­bar.

7 Use All My Files

All My Files is a smart search that groups your files, ini­tially by type and in re­verse chrono­log­i­cal or­der. The folder’s view and item ar­range­ment can be ad­justed via the tool­bar and it will re­mem­ber changes when re­opened. The same goes for other fold­ers in the side­bar.

8 Make ev­ery­thing big­ger

Side­bar items can be re­sized. In Sys­tem Pref­er­ences, click Gen­eral and set ‘Side­bar icon size’ to Large (this may af­fect other apps.) Third­party util­ity XtraFin­der (tranky­nam.com/ xtrafin­der) adds side­bar colour, via Ap­pear­ance > Show colour­ful icons in the side­bar.

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