MacMost Now 276: Customizing the Finder Toolbar

You can customize the top of every Mac OS X Finder window adding useful buttons that perform common tasks. You can also add files, folders and applications to the toolbar.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 276: Customizing the Finder Toolbar.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's take a closer look at the finder toolbar. So the finder toolbar is one of those things that you might take for granted. It's at the top of every finder window, it's a bunch of buttons there. You can customize what goes in the finder toolbar, and add some interesting things. Let's go and take a closer look. So here's a typical finder window, and you can see those bunch of buttons at the very top. You've got your forward and backward buttons just like they do in web browser. You also could change the view, going icon view, this view, my favorite column view, or even cover flow. Then you've got some other things here that may or may not be on your toolbar, depends on how you customize it. One is a quick look, so, you can click that and get a quick look at whatever document that is selected. The same is when you hit spacebar. You also have this tools button here which allows you to hold a bunch of different things. Duplicates of the things you can do in the menus up here, but they're specific for this folder and they come in really handy. Now let's look on how you can customize and maximize your own stuffs up here. Now, the typical customization occur when you go to view, customize toolbar. Now you get a lot of different things here, including the buttons that are already there and you can drag and drop them around. So for instance, if I want to add a Burn Button, to burn the current finder folder to a CD or DVD, I can drag and drop that there. The same time, I can remove it by dragging them down, like that. So you can even add a button here to get to this customized screen. There's all sort of things. If you want to return to the defaults, you can drag this entire bar here at the bottom up to the top and will return you off to defaults. You can also choose, you can barely see it at the bottom, to show icon & text or icon only or text only, and over here is the small size for the icons. There's a variety of different things you can use here that could be useful, depending on how often you use these features, like connect shortcut, get info shortcut, create new folder shortcut, that kind of thing. So here's the finder toolbar with the works. Everything that I've added to it. I've got an eject button, a burn to optical media button, a customize button, which will bring the menu like that, new folder, delete, connect to another server, get info on the current file files select it and connect to your idisk.
Here we are back at the default. Now you can control click or right click on the top area outside the button to get a menu which will allow you to get some of the selections like icon & text, use small size, removing an item, or customizing the toolbar. So you don't have to go to the view customized toolbar anyway. So to remove an item, I can simply control click or right click on it and click remove item. That gets rid of it. Now you can also customize your toolbar by adding to it, like files and folders. Let me go and show you some examples, so, if you want to add a file, you drag it to the top and you wait approximately one or two seconds for the plus symbol to appear, and you drop it on there. Now you have instant access to this file. Now it might not seem very useful, but if you say you have a spreadsheet that keeps your budget or a text or document that have some text in it, and you're always accessing that file, it's handy to have it there and know that you could basically get to it from any finder window not just the finder window that contains that file. Now what makes more sense is using a folder note. So you can technically access folder, like this photos folder drag it, wait just two seconds and drop it there. And now anytime I want to go to Photos folder, I simply click there and go to it. In addition to that, I could easily drag any item into that folder. now the key is, if I drag the folder and hold it there like I'm talking, it creates a plus button, but if I drag it quickly and drop it goes instantly into the photos folder like that.
Now the third thing that you can add on the top of your toolbar is an applications. You can go to your applications folder, select an application you commonly need to access drag it over here and wait that second and drop it. Now, even when you're looking at another folder, and you don't want to go to your doc, you can basically use an application launcher and launch that application. So you can also write AppleScript if you are handy with that and then add them to your toolbar for actions. One useful thing that people find is there's an application that's called openterminalhere. And if you drag and drop that application in there, what it would do is it would recognize what folder you're in, and when you click on it, it will open up the terminal window, and instantly take you to that directory that you're in. So you can see right now, I'm in my documents folder, right to where I was when I click the openterminalhere. Now when you go to customize toolbar, there's some dividers that you can use. You could use a space, a flexible space, and a separator. So for instance, if you wanted to put a few things in here like eject, and burn, and then you wanted a separator like right there, and then you can go ahead and put like a space maybe, and then you can put the get info, and delete button. Flexible space, actually gives you more space and change its size depending on how much room is on the toolbar.
Here's a quicklook on how to customize your finder toolbar, play around it and give it a try. And if you've got a question on how to use your Mac or Iphone or other apple product, you could also email me your questions at and we'll often answer this at macanswers podcast, which is a short approximately one minute long, daily mac audio podcast. So you check that out as well. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig at MacMost Now.

Comments: One Response to “MacMost Now 276: Customizing the Finder Toolbar”

    7 years ago

    Thank you! I’ll watch this more than once ( I do several of these).

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