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Change the default list-view column order Desktop
I use list view quite a bit. I'm mostly interested in the size and the date columns and turn the others off. I was really happy to find that I could drag the size column to be before the date column since it's more important to me. Unfortunately, it always reverts to the default column order on new windows or windows switched to list view. I wanted any folder that was asked to display in list view to retain my preferred order.

I could, of course, open a new window, set it to list view, move the columns, and close it again to set the "global default" for new windows to list view with my preferred column order. But I didn't want to use a list view global default; I just wanted any window that I switched to list view to come up with the proper column order.

Read the rest of the article for an explanation of how to make the Finder retain your preferred column order for any window you set to list view...

I decided to see if the finder preferences had any way of remedying this little problem and they did. If you edit the finder preferences, in your user's Library/Preferences folder, you can change the default order of the columns.

I use BBedit, but any text editor should work. Just open up the preferences and look for:
A few lines down from there will be a group of <dict> tags with five <key> properties in them.

Each set of properties refers to a column in the list view. All you need to do to change the order in the list view is to change the order they're listed in here. So I grabbed the whole <dict> to </dict> tag pair for the phys (physical size) column and pasted it right below the dnam (name) column properties. It's easier than it sounds and it should make more sense once you see it in the editor. Just remember to take the whole <dict> definition from <dict> to </dict>. The second key in the list (ColumnPropertyID) will tell you which column it is.

Just by moving that set of properties it permanently reordered my list view columns. Now the list view is even more useful than it was.

[Editor's note: greyerlynx and I had an email exchange over this hint. I had thought that the global-switch option or changing any one window would handle his problem, but they don't. This tip is useful if you, for example, have a main view that is column-view, but want to make sure that if you do open a list view window, the columns are in the order you wish them to be, even if it's a brand new folder. The only possible problem I see with this is that you'll have to recreate the edit if you ever trash your Finder prefs.]
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banish icon view?
Authored by: baba on Apr 20, '02 10:58:04AM

I've tried unsuccessfully to banish icon view everywhere but on the Desktop. I don't want to see it EVER -- only list or column -- but the global option doesn't stick with newly created folders.

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Thank you!
Authored by: kowe on Apr 20, '02 01:42:42PM

I've been looking for this fix for sometime--ever since the order in the Finder changed in whatever OS version...

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... and BIGGER icons too!
Authored by: EatingPie on Apr 21, '02 09:03:51AM


I never understood the limit to 16x16 and 32x32 pixel icons in list view. I still don't, but thanks to the above, I did a little more exploring and changed it to 64x64!

Got the very end of the "Nlsv" section, and you will see


(You may also see 16, but if you get this far, I think you're probably with me...)

Change that 32 to whatever size you want... Though I only "tested" 64, so take that 'whatever size you want' with a 16x16 grain of salt.


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StandardViewOptions ?
Authored by: billearl on Apr 21, '02 06:13:49PM

My doesn't have a StandardViewOptions section. I even created a new file by trashing the old one and rebooting. It does have a TrashOptions section which I assume is in similar format.

How do I force a StandardViewOptions section to be created in ?

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StandardViewOptions ?
Authored by: billearl on Apr 21, '02 07:17:06PM

Okay, I somehow managed to get it to create a StandardViewOptions section by playing with test folders and the Show View Options menu command, but not sure how to duplicate this.

A virgin (newly created) file does NOT have a StandardViewOptions section, so one must obviously be created before it can be modified. People will need to know how to do this.

I guess I can figure it out myself, but would appreciate input on this.

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Columns Only
Authored by: remaley on Apr 22, '02 03:12:27AM

Like BaBa, except for the desktop, I'd like all windows to open in column view. Is this possible to set? It doesn't seem to stick by choosing "global".

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Columns Only
Authored by: jdscam on Jun 22, '07 12:49:14AM

This is one of my major pet peeves about the finder. In the finder preferences you can click the button to "open new windows in column view". Is this put there as a joke? Just about every time I open a new window it is in anything but column view. Only after opening that window, setting it to columns and closing it, will it actually open in columns.

How can I actually get the finder to open a new window in columns, is there a special trick that I haven't found?

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Column Width?
Authored by: Chas on Apr 23, '02 12:15:22AM

Is there any way to set a minimum column width in List View by modifying this plist? I have that bug where the File Name field gets narrower and narrower as you use it. I like to read the long filenames and want to increase the default File Name width. I don't see any obvious line of attack. Ideas?

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a Fix
Authored by: macfreek57 on Aug 09, '02 08:36:41PM

it's kind of weird but there is a way to change all of this globally without the "hacking"described above
1. just for whatever reason, close all finder windows
2. click on the finder icon in the dock to create a new window
3. select "Show View Options" from the "View" menu (apple-J)
4. select "Global"
5. make whatever adjustments you need including scrollbar possitions
6. close the window

any window with the global setting will show up just like this
it's weird, lke i said, and i don't think it's in the (**crappy**) system help

another good option to have set is the finder preference "keep a window's view the same when opening other folders in the window"

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Change the default list-view column order
Authored by: kirbysdl on Dec 14, '03 09:11:49PM
Here are what the IDs mean. It's pretty obvious, but a list always helps! =)
  dnam name
  phys size
  kind kind
  modd date modified
  ascd date created
  labl label
  shvr version
  cmmt comments

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