XtraFinder, by Tran Ky Nam Software, is a free program that dramatically enhances the overall usefulness of the OS X Finder. XtraFinder sports a 0.16 version release (as of this writing), but even in such an embryonic state, it packs a wallop. (Hat tip to Scott Yoshinaga, of the brilliant webcomic Nemu-Nemu, for making me aware of this program.)
XtraFinder is a super tiny app that installs itself within your menubar, and it does several neat things found in many of the paid Mac apps you may already use.
First and foremost, XtraFinder gives the Finder a tabbed user interface. (Note to Apple: this should be a built-in feature.)
As you may have noticed in the previous screenshot, you can replace the drab monochromatic sidebar icons with the colored variety, and also optionally view them with their label color. From a usability perspective, XtraFinder makes it much easier to find the sidebar folder you’re looking for.
With XtraFinder you can also customize the Finder’s text and background color. I’ve always favored white text on a darker background, and XtraFinder makes it easy to do that. Again, this is something I really wish the Finder would do out of the box.
XtraFinder also sports some window management prowess. Read on for more…
From its pulldown menu, you can quickly open two windows together as vertical stacks…
…or side by side. Both operations facilitate comparing and copying files and folders from one Finder location to another.
XtraFinder also expands upon the Path Bar (located at the bottom of each Finder window), by providing a contextual menu showing folders above and below your current location. You can easily traverse up and down to any folder hierarchy with only one click from the Path Bar itself. This is a huge time-saving feature for me.
The “Tabs” tab in XtraFinder’s preferences lets you customize its behavior and appearance. Custom keyboard shortcuts can also be assigned – which is great for power users.
The “Features” tab gives the user the ability to cut and paste folders and files. This section is pretty self-explanatory (see the image below), and you can see the settings I’ve chosen for my own usage.
The “Add items to Finder menu” tab gives the user the ability to add additional menu commands to the Finder menubar. Want to make a symbolic link quickly without firing up the Terminal? Simply check the “Make Symbolic Link” box and the command will appear in your Finder menu. And, should you prefer, XtraFinder once again gives users the ability to assign custom keyboard shortcuts for these commands.
XtraFinder is powerful app that takes the best elements from apps like TotalFinder, Divvy, ForkLift, and PathFinder and combines it into one cohesive package. The program does not interfere one bit with any of my other apps. It just works. And it’s free! I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far. So much so, that I’ve installed XtraFinder on both my Macs. If you’re frustrated by the Finder’s limitations, definitely give XtraFinder a try.
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