15 Tips For Using Column View In the Mac Finder

If you use Column View in the Finder to organize your files, here are some useful tips. There are many ways to resize or "right size" columns. You can navigate and even move files with the keyboard. There are also some preferences you can set.

Comments: 14 Responses to “15 Tips For Using Column View In the Mac Finder”

    Robert Boswell
    1 year ago

    Does NOT work with Catalina 10.15.6.
    Cursor does NOT change over column lines.
    Column lines are double with shading, NOT single as shown in video

    1 year ago

    Robert: It sounds like you have System Preferences, General, Show Scroll Bars set to “Always.” Switch it back to “Automatically.”

    Bernard Remacle
    1 year ago

    When I press Option+Command+P in Column View, the Finder Preferences window pops up. If I select it from the View menu it controls the visibility of the Path Bar.
    However, sometimes the Option+Command+P combination shows/hides the Parth Bar in Finder.
    Why this erratic shortcut behaviour?

    1 year ago

    Bernard: I can’t think of why Option+Command+P would show Preferences. That’s Command+,

    Bernard Remacle
    1 year ago

    I cannot figure it out. Where on the Mac could I see a list of keyboard shortcuts and their mappings?

    1 year ago

    Bernard: There is no central list because they change depending on the app you are using. So in the Finder, they may be one thing, and in Pages they may be another. If you look in the menu bar you can see a pretty complete list be going through the menus.

    paul hershfield
    1 year ago

    When I attempt tp “place” a file or image in Illustrator or InDesign, the column view will not show in alphabetical order. I can find no wy to fix this. Any ideas?

    1 year ago

    Paul: Perhaps you have grouping turned on.

    Polly Smith-Blackwell
    7 months ago

    When I go to “Save As” and my column of files come up, my Column View items are not arranged alphabetically by name, but rather by Date Created. I have tried changing every setting I can think of to “Sort by Name,” but I can’t seem to get my columns back to Sorted by Name when I go to “Save As.” Somewhere along the way I must have changed a preference but can’t seem to get back to my original setting of Sort/Arrange alphabetically by name.

    Polly Smith-Blackwell
    7 months ago

    I should mention that in normal view, my Column files are alphabetical. It’s only when I go to “Save As” in an application does the file arrangement change to Date Created.

    7 months ago

    Polly: At the top of the Save As dialog, there is a button for grouping. What is that set to?

    Alan MacDuffie
    6 months ago

    Very helpful and well done presentation, even for someone who fancies himself well-versed in Finder. I stumbled on it looking for an answer to a related topic that I can never seem to get answered: can Finder be instructed to autosize columns by default, or at least stay the same inside a Finder window? I move around quite a bit in Finder and have to constantly repeat the trick to autosize the columns. Thank you!

    6 months ago

    Alan: No, there’s no autosize. My guess is that they have tested it, but it is very disorienting in practice to have the columns change size automatically.

    Paul J. Martinez
    5 months ago

    Thanks for the confirmation that there’s no autosize option. +1 for Dwarf Fortress!

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