Mac 101: Diving into menus, part 3

The next four commands change depending on their current state. If a command reads 'Show' something, and you select it to show whatever that thing is, the command will change to Hide so that you can later hide that thing.

Show Path Bar: Curious about where an item is located in the Finder’s hierarchy? Choose this command and select a file or folder. At the bottom of a Finder window you’ll see the path to it, such as Macintosh HD > Users > Chris > Documents > My Document. You can click on any item in the path bar to move to that directory.

The toolbar customization palette

Show Status Bar: The Status Bar appears below the Path Bar (if you’ve made the Path Bar visible) and details the number of items in a window and the amount of free storage space on the active drive. If you select one or more items, the number of selected items appears here as well—'2 of 12 Selected', '156.53 GB Available', for example.

Hide Sidebar: Is the active window too fat? (Or is the sidebar too distracting in a particular window?) You can hide it with this command.

Hide Toolbar: The toolbar is the area at the top of a Finder window that contains the Arrow, View, Action, Arrange, and Share buttons. Choose this command, and they disappear.

Customize Toolbar: As helpful as the buttons in the toolbar are, you’re welcome to change what appears there. You can do so by invoking this command. In the sheet that appears, you’ll find not only the existing buttons but others as well. To add a button to the toolbar, just drag it to where you want it. Additionally, while this sheet is visible, you can rearrange icons in the toolbar by dragging them to a new position. (If you’d like to rearrange the icons when the sheet isn’t visible, just hold down the Command key and drag the icons.)

One additional toolbar tip: You can add almost anything to the toolbar. For example, if you’d like a handy shortcut to the Special Stuff folder you’ve created, simply drag it into the toolbar. Now, with a single click in any Finder window, you’re there. (Of course, you could just as easily add this folder to the sidebar for the same kind of functionality.) To remove items from the toolbar, hold down the Command key and drag them to the desktop; the icon will disappear, but you won’t delete the original item on your drive.

View options

Show View Options: You choose this command to reveal view options for the active item. If no windows are active in the Finder, this command will show you the view options for the desktop. With a window active, you’ll see the options for that window.

For the desktop view, you can change the size of the desktop icons as well as the size of the invisible grid. The larger the grid, the farther apart icons will be. You can change the size of the text that appears in file and folder labels, as well as the position of those labels. Also, you’ll find the option to show an item’s info—the number of items a folder contains, the resolution of an image file, or the amount of storage a file consumes. You can choose whether thumbnail icons display previews of the file’s contents or appear as generic icons, too. Finally, you can choose how to sort your files here as well.

With a window active, the contents of the view options window changes, depending on the view you’ve chosen. In Icon view you find many of the options you’d see when looking at the desktop’s view options. In List and Cover Flow views, you can choose which column headers will appear in the window. And in Column view you find not only the Arrange By and Sort By pop-up menus available in other view option windows, but also Show Icons, Show Icon Preview, and Show Preview Column entries.

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