Perhaps someday soon Apple will finally get around to enhancing the Finder with the features mentioned above, but until then you can have them now via three fantastic add-ons; Default Folder X, HyperDock, and TotalFinder.
Default Folder X
Perhaps one of the longest tenured Mac OS utilities on the market is Default Folder X. I’ve been using it since the Mac OS 8/9 days. Default Folder X enhances Open, Save and Place/Import/Export dialog boxes in a number of ways.
If you’re constantly saving things inside the same folder, Default Folder X can remember that folder for you. You can even set a different default folder for each application you use. You also have the ability to open or save to any Finder window with a single click; a feature I use often.
It also lets you get info on, rename, and delete existing files, putting the Finder’s power in every Open and Save dialog. Default Folder X remembers recently used folders, and assign keyboard shortcuts to them which are available not only in dialog boxes, but the Finder as well. And finally, you can add tags to your files, view file info and file previews (great for images), change permissions and view the Finder’s invisible files with a simple keystroke.
Default Folder X costs $34.95 and is worth every penny (there are numerous other features it brings that I didn’t even mention). It’s the first thing I install on any new Mac I buy. A demo is also available, and it runs on Mac OS X 10.4 and above.
I reviewed HyperDock not to long ago, and it’s been updated a few times since then. HyperDock brings window previews to your OS X Dock icons, just like Windows 7. Hovering your cursor over an icon reveals a preview bubble of open windows for that application. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Window previews for iCal display events scheduled for that day, and you’re offered a bit of control over your music when hovering over your iTunes icon.
If the features stopped there, I would have been disappointed. Thankfully they don’t. HyperDock also offers you a number of other features such as adding shortcuts to Finder windows and apps as well. While these are handy, they still aren’t the best features. HyperDock copies another Windows 7 feature in that it allows you to resize and dock a Finder window to the sides of the screen simply by moving the window to the screen edge. Nice! And if you don’t like having to travel down to the bottom right corner to resize a window, you don’t have to. Simply hold down a key combination and you can resize your window from ANYWHERE in the window. Oh, you can also move the window from anywhere (not just the title bar) with another key combo!
HyperDock is currently free, as it is still in beta, and runs on Mac OS X 10.6 only.
People have been asking for a tabbed Finder since tabs were introduced in web browsers years ago. BinaryAge has finally brought that capability to Mac users with TotalFinder, which I reviewed earlier this year. If tabbed Finder windows weren’t enough, TotalFinder offers you dual-paned Finder windows with a quick keystroke; placing a Finder window sidebar on each side for easy navigation.
TotalFinder also offers a screen-wide Finder window, called the Visor, that slides up from the bottom of the screen with a quick keystroke. In addition, you can view invisible files in the Finder, and have folders displayed at the top of a file list, both with a keystroke. Finally, you can rid yourself of those annoying .DS_Store files if you wish. In the works is also the ability to cut and paste in the Finder, Terminal integration with the Finder and Safari-style tabs.
TotalFinder runs on Mac OS X 10.6 only, and costs $15.00. A demo is available.