Path Finder for Power Users
I will admit straight up that article is not an exhaustive review of the powerful Path Finder 8, a classic alternative to the Apple Finder. There’s tons features that I don’t cover. But I do highlight many of the features not found in Apple’s Finder, and a few other features that Mac power users will want to use.
I used Path Finder several years ago but I soon abandoned it because it didn’t seem to fit my needs back them. But that’s certainly not the case any today.
The latest version Path Finder does so much more than Apple’s Finder that I actually look forward to using the application for various purposes that I highlight below.
If you work at your computer throughout the day, you owe it to yourself to use Path Finder 8.
Path Finder: 30-Day free download • Full License: $40
1. Clickable Path Bar
In Path Finder you can click and switch to folders in the Finder path, whereas with the Apple Finder you can only view the path of folders.
2. Favorites Bar
In addition to the Custom tool bar available in both the Apple Finder and Path Finder, Path Finder allows for Favorites Bar, similar to how you have favorites folder in the side bar. Also, know that Path Finder has over a dozen more Custom items (Move to Trash, Covert Image, Tab Sits, Sort, Erase, Rename) for its toolbar than does Apple’s Finder.
3. Custom Contextual Menu Items
In Path Finder, you can add and remove over a few dozen contextual menu items, which include buttons for moving or copying a selected file to another folder, renaming or deleting a selected file, and much more. There’s even an item for triggering a screenshot.
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4. Built-in Image and Text Application
With Path Finder, you don’t have to open image and text files in a separate applications. Path Finder has its own built-applications with nearly enough features to get the job done. Notice in the above gif, the Image app allows you to quickly resize an image file. Resizing in the Apple Finder would take several clicks.
5. Application Launcher and Terminal
Path Finder includes a built-in Application Launcher and a Terminal, for those advance Mac commands.
Pro Tip: BetterTouchTool
I trigger many of the of the features in Path Finder using BetterTouchTool. For instance, I use a Four Finger Tap on my desktop to open a Path Finder window. I do a TipTap Left (2 Fingers Fix) to close a window. To delete a file, I use a 3 Finger Click, and do a Quick Look, I do a 3 Finger Tip which triggers the Command+Y shortcut in Path Finder.
7. Preference Settings
Path Finder preferences provides for lots of customization. 1. You can set Path Finder as the default browser which other applications will recognize. 2. You can set all text, Word, and Image documents to open in the respective built-in applications, or you can select other applications for those purposes. 3. There’s a nifty option that automatically opens a file when you do a single-click directly on the file’s icon. In other words, the single click performs a double-click’s file and opens it.
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Hi. Love your site! Is Pathfinder an alternative to Default Foldwr X? Which would you recommend to a noob? Thanks again.
Hey Danny, I actually use both. Default Folder X is useful for setting default Finder folders for individual applications, and also for navigating to designated favorite folders. Let me know if you try Path Finder and what you find useful about it.
I’ve used Pathfinder for years. Apart from brutally slow performance with my network attached Drobo server, it worked well and I loved the dual panel browsing. However, due to a handful of issues with the latest version, (most notably that it would not remember favourites in the sidebar) I was forced to look for an alternative. I settled on Forklift 3. It is fast, stable and has a very clean design. Forklift does not have a Drop Stack or the ability to synchronize two folders, but I’ve learned to adapt using other utilities. (Default Folder X is a gem, I’ve used it forever)
Thanks, Bill, for sharing. I have noticed that the sidebar sometimes goes back to the default settings. I hope that’s a bug issue they will fix. I’ll definitely check out Forklift 3. Also, I think Folder X is supposed to integrate with Pathfinder, but I’ve been able to figure out how.