Finder Tips & Tricks - T.TT - 19 IDEAS

A topic of discussion recently came up in the office about macOS’s Finder – Apple’s file explorer – and while some team members in the office had their favorite, go-to shortcuts, there were a number of keyboard commands left forgotten. While it can be a little tricky learning each and every command, Finder can be a powerful tool in productivity when using the following simple tricks and tips:

1. Easy Duplicating of Files to a New Folder

While everyone loves good old copy paste, especially their corresponding shortcuts (cmd+c and cmd+v), there is an easier way to move files to a new location while retaining the original copy. To do this, simply press the option key, sometimes marked “alt” on third party keyboards, while moving files. To know you’ve got the right moves, you should key a green “+” icon while dragging the file,

2. Go Full Screen and Split Screen

This is one of my personal favorite productivity-boosting tricks. On all builds of macOS and older builds of OS X Yosemite and newer, you can trigger the finder window to go full-screen using the green maximize button in the upper left of the window. This gives the added benefit of more screen space and fewer distractions when doing your tasks in Finder. Couple this with a second Finder window in split-screen view, and you can easily move files to and fro to your heart’s delight.

3. Utilize Tabs

Like any modern web browser, Finder can also have tabs. This can be done with any Finder window but I like to use it personally with my split-screen windows from the previous tip. Similar to major internet browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox, simply press cmd+t and a new tab will appear. The benefit? Tabs can help prevent a sea of windows overhauling your screen and instead, leave you with a neat and organized single window. Files can also be easily moved and copied between tabs as well by dragging files over the tab title itself, waiting a moment to trigger it, and the finder switching to the new tab.

4. Batch Renaming Files

Ever need to rename a slew of pictures or other files with a specified suffix at the end? Avoid renaming each individual file with these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open a Finder window and highlight the multiple files you’d like the rename.
  2. Next, right-click on one of the selected Finder items and choose “rename X items” from the pop-up menu. (The X indicates the number of items you selected.)
  3. From this, a sheet will drop down with all of the renaming options that you can choose.
  4. Use the pop-up menu in the top left corner to select one of three renaming methods to fill in the appropriate information. See below image for reference.
  5. Lastly, click the “Rename” button.

5. Add More Functionality to Finder’s Top Bar

Would you like more buttons and commands at your fingertips so you don’t have to remember all of the shortcuts? Well, you’re in luck. The top bar of the Finder window can be easily customized to include many useful buttons that can aid your workflow. To do so, right-click the bar (not on a button), and you’ll get a dialog pop-up prompting you to select a number of options: icon and text, icon only, text only, and customize toolbar. When you click on customize toolbar, you’ll get a sheet dropping down with all the options you can drag on or off the top bar to customize it just the way you like.

6. Customize Your Finder’s Sidebar

To get the most out of your sidebar, why not make it your own? Few user know that you can customize what appears there and how it’s displayed. One easy way to customize the bar is to add a frequently accessed folder that can be opened immediately. Do so by simply dragging the folder over to the sidebar to add a shortcut to it. You can add other system folders and functions to the sidebar using the following steps:

  1. First, select a Finder window.
  2. Next, click on “Finder” in the top left of your screen in the system’s menu bar and select “Preferences” or use the shortcut “cmd+,”.
  3. By default, it will give you the sidebar options with checkbox corresponding to each item.
  4. Finally, click the box for the items you want to appear in the sidebar and those left unchecked will remain hidden.



19 IDEAS is a New York State Woman-Owned Business that believes in the power of integration. With specialties in design, development, marketing and PR, we fuse strategy together with creative solutions to discover the possibilities for our community and our clients.

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