The Finder is the file browser and window manager for Macintosh computers. It serves the same function as Explorer on Windows computers, except it is not a web browser. Significant changes were made to the finder with the release of version 10.3 of the operating system.
There are only two Navigation Buttons in the OS X Finder; they consist of Back and Forward. They perform the same operations as they do in any Internet browser. Back takes you to the previous window you viewed. Forward takes you to the next window, assuming that you have used the Back button at least once. You may customize the toolbar by going to View -> Customize Toolbar on the finder menu bar.
Note: If at any point while using the Back and/or Forward buttons you change the view by any means other than these buttons you will destroy any memory of the pages that lie forward.
The sidebar is split into two sections. The top section contains all of the drives mounted on your computer, and the bottom section contains frequently used folders. To add a folder to the sidebar, navigate to that folder, then drag and drop the folder into the sidebar. To remove a folder from the sidebar, drag and drop it outside of the sidebar. The folder you have removed will disappear into a puff of smoke.
The Search Tool, also known as Spotlight, is where one would go in they were looking for a particular file on their computer. You simply need to type in the name, or part of the name and a search through the entire file system will be conducted. The search results will be displayed in the same Finder window, except divisions will appear. The search results will be organized by document type. The bottom line of the search results displays the path to locate the file. Spotlight will be discussed further in the New Features of Tiger section of this workshop.
Clicking on the action button drops down a menu with many commonly used tasks, such as getting info on a selected item, moving an item to the trash, or creating a new folder. The items in the action button menu will change depending on what item is selected.
There are different ways to view the file system. You will find that most of the choice is made simply by user preference. To further be able to set your preference, and show your personal style, the Macintosh OS includes a set of View Options the user can access by going to View -> Show View Options in the Finder. The options shown are dependant on the way that you are currently viewing the file system in the Finder Windows that is in the Foreground (Desktop Included); which include: icon size, text size, snapping, arranging, and preview options, and background options. You can switch between view modes by either clicking on the buttons labeled above, or by going to View and then choosing the appropriate view.
View as icons
This is the default view in the Finder. This is the view where the user has the most freedom regarding icon, text, and arrangement options. The Desktop (remember that it too is managed by the Finder, and is simply a Finder Window) is locked in this viewing mode.
view as list
In list view at the base level you see the folder that you last opened by double-clicking on it. The user can view further layers of the file system by clicking on the arrow to the left of the icon, and as the user does this they keep the past layers still visible which makes this view the excellent for moving/copying files around your file system.
View as columns
This is the newest and most interesting viewing mode in OS X. As you click on folders/files, preview information on that file/folder in presented in the next column to the right; this makes it very similar to the list view mode. What makes this viewing mode different is its ability to close all of the lower branches when a new folder in click on, thus the user is able to cut down on clutter.