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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view Desktop
Note: This hint was lost when the site was hacked on April 23rd. I've reposted it, and the comment thread, as best as I could. --robg

In the Finder's list view, if you sort by Kind, folders are lumped together in the middle of the list. If you'd rather see all the folders at the beginning of the list, here's how to change the sort order. In the Finder, navigate to /System » Library » CoreServices » Finder.app » Contents » Resources » English.lproj (or the folder for your language). In that folder, open the InfoPlist.strings file in a pure text editor. Inside the file, find this section and entry:
/* General kind strings */
"Folder" = "Folder";
Leave the first line alone, but change the second to read:
"Folder" = " Folder";
Note that I have added only a single space before Folder. Save the file after making the change, and then restart OS X. To test your change, open a Finder window and view by Kind (either via View » Show View Options, or by pressing Command-2, then clicking on the Kind column header).

robg cautions: As noted in the comments, this hint will break OS X 10.5's code signing for the Finder. In theory, this will have some bad consequences, as you'll no longer be able to access the keychain when using the Finder. Proceed at your own risk; if you undo the edit, at least based on my testing, things will return to normal (code signing checks will pass).

[robg adds: This is an update to this much older hint, which required modifying a system-wide framework. Note that restarting isn't required; just restart the Finder via Terminal, Activity Monitor, or Option-click-and-hold its Dock icon.

If you want folders at the end of the list, instead of the beginning, you'll have to use one of a few special characters:
  • µ (mu): Option-M
  • π (pi): Option-P
  • Ω (omega): Option-Z
  •  (Apple): Shift-Option-K
I also did a bit of experimenting with the Edit » Special Characters palette. Most any Greek letter (European Scripts » Greek in the All Character view) will force a name to the end of the list, as will some Cyrillic characters. But that's about it; pretty much everything else I tested forced the names to the front of the list.]
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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view | 15 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: gcastaneda on Apr 24, '09 05:33:37AM

Thanks for the awesome hint!



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: tomarsyd on Apr 24, '09 05:34:40AM

Very handy hint, I see how that would work. Is it possible when sorted by "Name", to have folders listed first? (Obviously I'm a pc convert, i do miss this feature).



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: osxpounder on Apr 24, '09 05:39:01AM

Good question. I believe the closest you can get to that (having folders always at the top of a name-sorted list of files) is to put a space at the beginning of folder names. It's not totally reliable, because if you name any *file* with a leading space in its name, it sorts the same as the folders with spaces in front of their names.



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: palahala on Apr 24, '09 05:35:43AM
So how does this affect Apple's digital signature then and, for example, future software updates? Like:
codesign -v /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app


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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: robg on Apr 24, '09 05:51:35AM
Good catch -- sadly, this hint breaks code signing in the Finder. I think that then means that you can't access the keychain, which would affect connecting to servers, logging into wireless, etc. I'll stick a note in the main body of the hint, too.

I tested this hint, but then undid the change fairly quickly. If anyone is using this regularly, have you had any issues?

-rob.

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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: gcastaneda on Apr 24, '09 07:54:48AM

I haven't had any issues with keychain after implementing this hint: I have logged in to at least half a dozen wireless networks (4 of them with WEP) and my other Macs at home without even a hiccup. In my noobishness, I even tried to add another entry in the plist for " Alias" (yea, I wanted Aliases to appear before Folders) but it didn't work, so I left it with just " Folder".

I hope I am not missing an important point here, but if something goes out of whack, I'll be sure to post it here.



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: stevebr on Apr 24, '09 05:37:48AM
I also did a bit of experimenting with the Edit » Special Characters palette. Most any Greek letter (European Scripts » Greek in the All Character view) will force a name to the end of the list, as will some Cyrillic characters. But that's about it; pretty much everything else I tested forced the names to the front of the list.
That's a hint of its own right there. I've been looking for a way to force end-of-list sorting with something other than my usual "zzz" prefix for a while but never had the patience to run through the whole Unicode table. Thanks!

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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: osxpounder on May 06, '09 12:48:42PM

Yes, thanks for checking so many characters, and sharing your findings with us!

Sorting an item to the end of the list can be very helpful, too. It's good to know I can stick a Greek character in front of a filename or folder name, to force it to the end of a sorted list.

I think I'll use the Omega character. Seems fitting.



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: magnamous on May 05, '11 09:13:24PM

I used to have a text file somewhere with an explanation of some characters that would bump items to the beginning or the end of the list, and one of the end-of-list characters was invisible (at least in OS 9). Unfortunately, I can't find the file, so this is a nice replacement. Thanks!



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: Chas on Apr 24, '09 05:41:28AM

No, it is unnecessary to restart after this edit to Finder.app, it isn't even necessary to log out. Just quit the Finder. From the Finder, go to the menu Finder>Quit Finder. Or just click on the Desktop (to invoke the Finder) and hit Command-Q. Or Option-click and hold on the Finder icon in the Dock and select Relaunch.

Are you getting the impression that Apple left this feature almost EVERY place so you'd notice you can just Quit instead of rebooting? Please everybody, the Mac is not Windows and should never be rebooted unless absolutely necessary. Rebooting after minor changes is for Windoze lusers. My Mac hasn't been rebooted in months. MacOS X is Unix and is designed to allow modifications to system components without rebooting.



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: barefootguru on Apr 24, '09 05:42:39AM
Actually you have 3rd party hack installed (or have visited the command line?) which is giving you Quit options for the Finder--they don't come with a standard OS X install.

I always use AppleScript (tell app "Finder" to quit) because relaunching will lose any recent folder open/closes, etc.

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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: robg on Apr 24, '09 05:44:32AM
This really old hint explains how to add Quit to the Finder's menus; I don't know if it still works or not.

-rob.

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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: mark hunte on Apr 24, '09 11:57:02AM

It was not in mine.
But I added the key 'QuitMenuItem' as a child to the root in the plist file.
Set it to true. Relaunched and the Quit menu shows up.


---
mh



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: hamarkus on Apr 24, '09 08:25:03AM

That third-party hack could be for example the Preference Pane Secrets. But even without it, you could quit the Finder via the Activity Monitor (or via the command line, with killall Finder.



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10.5: Change folder sort order in the Finder's Kind view
Authored by: tmconnolly on Jul 23, '09 07:45:25PM

I found that Path Finder permits sorting by kind with folders at the top. So that provides a solution that doesn't interfere with code signatures.



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