Mac Geek Monday – Finder Views

A nice thing about Mac Operating Systems is the ability to see your files organized by icon, file, column, or cover flow view in the Finder.  Each has it’s own unique features and times when you will want to switch to a different view to locate a file you need.

Column View

My personal favorite is Column View.  I tend to work with pictures and pdfs alot and would be lost without the good-size thumbnail previews, quick file size information and created and modified dates offered by this view.  If you find that you tend to have long file names that get truncated in this view, let your cursor arrow linger over the file name and within a few seconds, the entire file name will pop up.  If time is of the essence, you can also press the OPTION key when you arrow over the file name to have the full name immediately pop up.

Column View

Icon View

Icon view is the default view in Mac OS.  It is useful if you like to organize your file system like your desktop.  You can freely arrange and group files in the window pane, but this can get messy.  A quick clean up option is to go to VIEW on your Menu bar and click Clean Up to see them in a grid formation instead.


List View

List view is most similar to the Windows way of viewing files with file names, date modified, size and kind columns available in the default view.  You can click on the top header row to sort by that column.


Cover flow View

Cover flow view is new as of OS X 10.5-Leopard and provides a viewing of thumbnails of your files in a horizontal scrolling pattern which reminds me of old jukebox filing systems or album art in iTunes.


Image from

For more useful tips on getting the most out of your Finder Views, check out Macworld magazine’s March 16, 2009 Business Center blog by Kirk McElhearn.

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Written by Kelaine


Adult Services Librarian, Computer Confidence Training Instructor, Former Youth and Teen Services Librarian, Wikipedia Editor with a passion for gadgets and all things techie.

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One Response to “Mac Geek Monday – Finder Views”

  1. Beth Says:

    My favorite is the last one, cover flow!