Below is a basic diagram of Macintosh HD’s contents, you can use a Finder window to move around this filing system of folders.
Generally, we use Finder windows to:
- Browse the contents of the folders stored within Macintosh HD
- Locate, manage and open files
- Move files or folders from one location to another
How to open a new Finder window
To open a new Finder window, choose File->New Finder Window from the menu bar.
Anatomy of a Finder window
The tool bar
The area along the top of a window, with its various buttons, is called the Tool Bar.
Close, minimise, and full screen buttons
In the far left corner of every window you’ll see the red, amber, and green buttons:
- Red: close
- Amber: minimise (to be retrieved from far right of the Dock )
- Green: full-screen mode
Back and Forward buttons
Back / Forward buttons work just like those in a web browser.
The View options allow items to be displayed in different ways:
Which view should I use: Icon, Column, List, or Gallery?
Although sticking to one view is perfectly fine, each has its strengths: Therefore, we might choose a view appropriate to the task at hand.
With List view selected, clicking on column headings will reorders items by Name, Date Last Opened, Kind, and more.
You can add or remove columns by choosing Show View Options..from the View menu in the menu bar.
Icon view will display ‘thumbnail’ sized previews, allowing you to see their contents. Icon view can work well for photos, for example.
From left to right, Column view displays the path to your current location.
The Sidebar provides shortcuts to frequently accessed folders, disks, and more. Note the Favourites section at the top. Later we’ll look at how to tailor the sidebar to your own preference.
There is a special ‘folder’ in the sidebar, it’s called Recents.
Selecting Recents will display files you’ve recently opened, bringing files from various locations into a single view. It’s not a real folder, no files actually live inside it. It’s just handy for quickly getting to files you’ve recently worked on. But don’t be deceived by it!
The name of the currently displayed folder is always indicated at the top of a Finder window.