When renaming files in Finder, click on the file, press Enter to bring up the rename input box, then while holding down Option, press the right arrow key. This will bring you to the end of the filename, but before the dot extension. Similarly, Option and left arrow brings you to the beginning. Just a little hint that may save some time while renaming.
In response to a recent Mac Gem, there is an even easier way to export the path to the current folder from the Finder: You can click on the icon next to the finder window name and then drag and drop it to your favourite text editor, or even Terminal. This also works with files in the Finder window.
Let's say you're working on a Finder window which covers another window (not necessarily another Finder window) on which there is an information you need. What do you usually do? You use Exposť, Command-Tab, etc.
But there's another solution: if you're able to read very fast, you can triple-click (as quickly as possible) the title bar of the Finder window. It will minimize and then immediately unminimize. I don't know whether this is a bug or not, but it only works with Finder.
[robg adds: Somewhat obviously, this also only works if you've enabled Minimize when double clicking a window title bar in the Appearance System Preferences panel.]
I don't like the distraction that comes with having a lot of stuff on the desktop There are lots of apps out there to hide the desktop, but some of them consume about 40MB of memory just to hide the desktop. So here's my easy, free, and RAM-conserving solution:
In the Finder, create a new folder somewhere on your hard drive. Size it to fill the screen, set the view to Icons, set the View Options to use a background color of your choice, and hide the toolbar. Close the folder. Now, whenever you need the background hidden, just open your maximized folder.
[robg adds: I use either Backdrop or Desktop Cutain to hide the desktop -- they take anywhere from 10MB to 20MB of real RAM. I used to use the folder method, but found that I wanted the added features of the application solution (it's simpler to toggle between colors and images; set the level at which the hiding occurs; etc.). To me, that's worth the 15MB or so of real RAM it requires.]
The following Automator workflow will simplify compacting a sparse disk image. You need to occasionally compact sparse disk images, because while they will grow automatically as you add files, they won't shrink when you delete files. Open Automator in Applications Folder, and create this workflow:
Finder Library » Get Specified Finder Items Action
Finder Library » Filter Finder Items, and select Name Extension is equal to sparseimage.
Automator Library » Run Shell Script and select Pass input as arguments and replace the sample script with hdiutil compact $@.
Save as Plugin for Finder (name it Compact Sparse Disk Image). In the Finder, select a sparse disk image and ctrl-click, go to the Automator entry, and select Compact Sparse Disk Image. That's it!
Whenever I open TextEdit (rarely), I am dismayed to find out that when I save the file, it only gives me four choices: RTF, HTML, Word, and Word XML. But what happens when I don't care about the formatting, and all I want is plain old txt? For a while I found myself opening a blank text file on my desktop downloaded from a website and then doing File » Save As, or even opening up Terminal and typing in touch Desktop/file.txt.
Well, today I got off my lazy butt and wrote a script (two lines of code). I then put it into Automator and saved it as a plug-in in the Finder's contextual menu. Here's the script:
do shell script "touch ~/Desktop/file.txt"
do shell script "open ~/Desktop/file.txt"
What the script does is first create a file named file.txt and puts it on the desktop, then opens it in TextEdit. I suppose someone could save the script as an application and have it open on a keyboard shortcut through Butler or Quicksilver as well. Just copy the code into Script Editor or Automator in a Do Shell Script action.
[robg adds: There are third-party tools that make this process pretty simple, too. DocumentPalette and NuFile are two that come to mind.]
One detail that I'm actually missing from Windows is a Finder toolbar button to jump one folder up in the hierarchy, ie to the parent folder. So I came up with the following ugly but still functionally work-around. First create an AppleScript app with just this line of code:
tell application "Finder" to set target of window 1 to the container ¨
of target of window 1
Then save it as an application, and quit Script Editor. Now show the contents of the application package you just created by control-clicking on the folder and then choosing Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. Open the Contents folder and edit the info.plist file in your editor of choice. Adding the following will make the program faceless, so that it does not appear in the Dock when launched:
Finally create a nice icon (I made one in Photoshop that looks similar to the navigation buttons, as seen above right), paste it onto the app (in its Get Info window) and drag the app to the Finder toolbar. Done! It looks a little strange when the window is inactive (the icon gets dimmed, differently from the other buttons), but it does work.
This is so simple that maybe it isn't so obvious ... since the Desktop is often on the receiving end for so many images, downloads, and quick saves, that to clean it up I take the non-graphical approach.
Instead of trashing or dragging items from the desktop per se, I periodically open a Finder window and view the Desktop folder as a list that can, of course, be sorted by name, date, and so on. Try it; view your Desktop normally then switch to a list view. If your Desktop looks like mine, I guarantee you will find items you overlooked.
Looking for backgrounds for use in various media projects, or images for your desktop? Here is a simple way to make some great backgrounds or desktops. Open iTunes and play a random group of songs. Open Visualizer in window mode, and select the Grab utility or your favorite capture utility. With the Visualizer running, capture a window -- you could use the built-in Shift-Command-4 plus Space Bar, for instance.
Select the visualizer window and hold down the mouse button. Hold it down until you get just what you want onscreen, then let it go. It's all a matter of timing. If you're a Photoshop user, add some texture or other artistic effects, and raise your images to a new level.
[robg adds: You could also enter full-screen mode via Command-F and then use a full-screen capture (Shift-Command-3), which would probably be the best way to capture a desktop background. You might also want to press ? to read about the keys you can use to change the visualizer -- and don't forget, there are a few hidden keys as well. I seem to recall older versions of iTunes would set the full-screen resolution to 800x600 or lower when invoked, but when I tested it this morning, that's definitely no longer the case, at least on the Mac Pro.]
Hold Shift, and notice that the 'Force Quit...' menu item has changed to 'Force Quit [frontmost app name].'
Select 'Force Quit [frontmost app name]' to force quit the Application.
This method allows you to Force Quit (Relaunch) the Finder without opening the Force Quit application window or using the Finder's Dock menu.
[robg adds: Beyond relaunching the Finder, I can't think of many situations where this would be useful: typically if an application is stuck so badly that you wish to force quit it, it's not going to respond to menu clicks when it's the frontmost application.]