Finder is an application that opens automatically when the computer is switched on, and remains open all the time.
It’s Finder’s windows that allow us to navigate and manage the contents of Macintosh HD, and other storage devices.
For example, we can use Finder to create folders, put files into folders, rename files and folders, and move or copy items to different locations.
Think of Finder as a filing system that uses folders, within which you can store files, and other folders.
Switching to Finder
On a Mac, you can have many applications open at the same time, and switch between them. But only one application will be ‘active’ at any one moment.
It’s not always obvious which application is currently ‘active’.
The currently active app is indicated in the menu bar, on the far left, next to the Apple menu.
To switch to Finder, click on your desktop ‘wallpaper’ (the grey area in the screenshot below), or click the Finder icon in the Dock.
What are Finder windows used for?
Finder windows have numerous uses. One such use is to navigate folders and disks, in order to find and open files, or applications.
We also use these windows to manage and organise our files.
How applications integrate with Finder’s filing system
New files need to be saved somewhere.
When saving a new document were presented with Finder’s filing-system. It’s the one and same hierarchy of folders as previously described (you may have to click that downward facing Caret button, indicated in the screenshot below, to reveal more options..).
Having created a new document of any type, we need to choose where to save it. The Documents folder, located inside your Home folder, is often an appropriate choice.