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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Need File Manager like Directory Opus; also Backing up to External Drive question


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Aleese

 
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My question is about a file management system which works as well as Directory Opus (on my new mac). Opus has features which I like and need which I don't see on MAC file managers (yet). Also---I do not even know how to back up to external drive disc in finder or path finder or total finder (the various managers).

Features I use in Opus (on my PC)
1. Double (quadruple actually) panes (two different Drives, external and main computer drive) which have two panes each.
The first double pane has a tree or higher level and the second double pane has the files. The file names can be seen in entirety. The panes can be expanded (in Finder etc-the column lines are static)
2. Opus allows me to control what information I see when I look at my files. I also have on my file manager the document properties from Word that I want to see (comments, keywords).
I can back up/copy files very easily on Opus. There is a copy icon. I select what i want to back up and where it is to go--and this works so well.

I am trying out various MAC file managers--and I just hooked up an external drive with files and I am puzzled about how to even back up a word document to the external drive.

I just bought a mini mac so that I can use it with a few excellent software writing apps which PC doesn't offer.
I have thousands of Word documents and I need to be able to manage and get in and out of the various docs as I'm working. So the file manager is really important and helpful to my process. Thank you.

Aleese
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In Finder, on the Toolbar there should be a section labelled "View." One of the view opts ion looks like three columns. Select that and Finder goes into a column view with the furthest left column being all the Favorite places, the next column is the view of whatever is highlighted in the column to the left. Click on a folder there and the next column opens to the right showing what's in the folder you selected. You can repeat until you get to the bottom of the tree. To move a file from one folder to another in the same tree, just drag and drop. If you want to have two finder windows, on the top bar choose File and then New Finder Window and you can drag and drop between them.

In column view, when you get to documents, if there is a previewer for the file type, when you single click on the document you'll see the opening content of the file and information about when created, size, when edited, when last opened, etc. Don't know about comments because I don't use Word, sorry.

You can open as many Finder windows as you want. The Drag and drop method can be combined with other keys to perform copy/move functions. Here is a list from Apple, including how to use the keys in Finder.

You can use Finder to open any drive, any folder, anywhere on the machine, so if you want to open an external drive, if it's listed in Finder on the left-most column, simply click on it to open. If it's not, if there is an icon for the drive on the desktop, just double click that icon and Finder will open.

Just about everything, except perhaps the comments in the documents, is built into Finder.
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Aleese

 
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Thank you, Jake. It looks like it requires the user to 'build" the tree. In Opus--the tree is already there on the left as I need. I can look at all my folders and their lower levels (that is other folders and files beneath them on the left) and then the specific files and folders on right.

If I want to copy files to an external disk, I don't usually drag and drop.I select and then click the copy icon and it goes to back up (that's what I do now).
I think I'm confused when I see "copy to clipboard." I think --what clipboard. Where's my files?
In Windows Explorer, you can back click your mouse and it has "send to"


Finder in those columns only allows me to see a tiny narrow bit of my file's names. If I double click carefully (otherwise it opens the files)--it shows the whole name. But I want to sit back and look at the titles--to help me get overview. I don't want to have to double click each file to see its full name.

It will take me awhile to work this out. When I do (If I don't return the Mini Mac)--I'll post again about what I've learned.
Thank you, Jake, for your helpful response and also the links for the commands.

Aleese
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To see more, widen the column. Move your mouse to the right edge of the column, where there is a black line. When you are on the column, the mouse will change to a line with two arrows pointing left and right. When it does that, click and drag to the right to widen, left to narrow the column to whatever you want. If you use Word, it's just like widening a column in a table, or in Excel to widen a column.

To copy you can also right click once on the file and a menu opens up with Copy as one of the items. Click on Copy "filename" and the menu will disappear. Now move the mouse to where you want to copy the file and right click and a menu will appear with "Paste Item" as one item. Click that and the file will be copied to that location.

The "clipboard" is a way to refer to the fact that the operating system is holding information about a file you indicated you wanted to copy or move but haven't completed the transaction yet. The metaphor is that you've moved the item to a clipboard until you put it in the folder into which you wanted it to go. Your file is still where it was and will remain there until the transaction is completed. The one caution is that if you do cut and paste instead of copy and paste, but never paste, then when you close finder the cut will be finalized and the file moved to the trashcan, or deleted if you have that option set in Settings.

I don't know what a "back click" is so I can't address that comment. If you right click on a file or folder, the menu will include an option "Share" that if you open will offer email, message and airdrop.

I think most of what you want to do can be done, it's just a matter of forgetting all that Windows stuff and embracing the way OSX accomplishes the same things.
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Aleese

 
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Hi Jake,
I'm not able to widen the columns, for some reason. They widen a bit on the left. They are solid on the right. I use tables, so I know your point. Right now Total Finder extension is glued to my Finder (14 day trial, which I don't know how to remove)--but I don't think that would affect columns.

I have found out the following:
1. When I open second Finder window--one of windows is inactive. In Opus--both double panes (in the quadruple pane set up) work together. Even though one is the active double pane--I can copy back and forth (like being ambidextrous) . They're both "awake" in that sense.

2. In Finder and also in Pathfinder (another file manager I'm looking at)--the comments from Word file properties/documents are Not displayed. For me at least, this is a major issue as I can't tell which writing needs to be revised, is a rough draft, or any other meta data about the draft, which I actually need.
I use Opus but also in Windows Explorer comments from Word documents "properties" show up if you adjust the setting. Here I adjust the "comment" setting and see nothing.

3. I will continue my exploration and perhaps report back, especially if I have good news instead of just complaints. It might help someone else.

Thank you again, Jake

Aleese
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Aleese

 
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Ah the right edge (to widen the columns) is at the bottom--two tiny vertical lines. It was hiding at bottom and I didn't see it. That helps. (It would be cool to have it at the top, also.)
Aleese
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Aleese

 
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Just reporting. Finder is doing something which is extremely annoying. When I have it in column view and then press to see the files in the Folder it jumps, so that the view I had of the Folders disappears underneath the grey left column. I then need to move the slide at the button to align it.
It does this also when I go to the next column (further right) to see a sub folder/file. It's annoying because it gives me an extra step when I'm working--kind of messes up my view. It doesn't feel stable at all for the user to see his/her file layout. It does this even though there is plenty of room.

Aleesa
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That only happens for me when the folder depth is so big that the file is in a column very near the right edge of the Finder window. When you click on a document the columns move to the left to make room for the next, new column, in which the document is shown. If what you click on is a folder and there isn't room in the Finder window to show the contents, it moves the columns to the left to make room. Normally, if you are that deep into folders, the upper ones aren't as important. But if you want to see them open another Finder window and don't expand it from the base view, or beyond where it shows what you want. Also, you can turn on the path to show at the bottom of the Finder window. Under View, click "Show Path Bar" and the entire path to your file will show in a bar at the bottom of Finder. If you want to move a file to a folder in that path, just drag from it's location in the finder window to the folder name in the path bar and the file will be moved.
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Aleese

 
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I've got mostly "dummy test files and folders" with not too long names. I also noticed that when I switch views and then switch back--the original view with the columns elongated are short again. So all that work for nothing . In Directory Opus you set it up and it stays just as you like. It's called a default "lister."

I have a question about the Folder/Display when I have it in list views. When I click on a folder instead of showing the folder with the files indented underneath--it just goes to the files. To be able to see groups of folders and files in one view like that is incredibly helpful. I am not sure Finder can do this--though one file was indented--but I don't know how or why that happened. (Windows Explorer cannot do this, but Opus does.)
Thanks Jake for helping me with the details about using Finder. I've been looking at alternative file management for MAC--but haven't found a replacement which would work a bit better (with dual panes).
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That's how it works in List view. When OSX has an option to open the way you described it, there is usually a triangle beside the folder that you can "twist" by clicking to open it indented. Finder doesn't do that.

There is a utility in the Mac App Store called XCommander that looks like it may do some of what you want. I don't know if it works, or if it works well, and it's not free ($4.99).

EDIT: It didn't get good reviews, so it may not be worth the effort.
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You might read this thread if you haven't already.
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To get the columns widening to "stick" hold down 'option' while dragging the line.
In list view, to show the files underneath (inside each folder), click on the black triangle next to the name.

Craig Domingue - resident redneck.
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There are many file manager programs for OS X. Some good, some not. I use two which I like that you can try....

muCommander: Looks and feels like Norton Commander from DOS and Windows. Nice thing about this one is it's open source and free.

Path Finder: Not free ($39.95) but a very powerful file manager for OS X.

There are others which you can also try.
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Craig, the triangles don't show at the highest level of the home folder in finder, just in subfolders. At least, that's how I'm seeing it on my machine.
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Odd. Pic is of my home folder. Also has them at top level of drive.
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