Reader Russell Drawdy is a switcher who misses an element of Windows. He writes:
I have never depended on Microsoft to provide a completely workable operating system, but rather depended on utilities to make the system work the way that I wanted it to. While Windows Explorer [stinks] as a file manager there are at least two utilities that more than make up for Explorer’s weakness (Explorer Plus and PD Explorer). I really do not like the Mac’s Finder for a file manager.
Is there a utility that acts like Explorer (a tree-type display that allows you to move, copy, delete, rename, etc)?
Although the author might huff, “What, all you want is a file manager that emulates Windows Explorer!? Pff… I gotcher Windows Explorer right here, buddy,” what you seek is Cocoatech’s $35 Path Finder.
Like Windows Explorer, it lets you view files in that tree-type fashion you prefer and while nestled in that tree you can manipulate your files seventeen ways to Sunday—rename, copy, move, compress, open (and Open With), burn to disc, even open in a tab (IOW, create a tab for a folder and then show the contents of that folder within that tabbed window).
But Path Finder does so much more. My colleague, Dan Frakes, covered an earlier version of Path Finder in his July 2004 Mac Gems column. That will give you a solid overview of the program’s capabilities. Since that column was written, Path Finder has gained a slew of new features, including StuffIt Engine integration (allowing you to compress and decompress StuffIt files), the tabs I mentioned earlier, and multiple ways to search (including Spotlight as well as a search function that works the way the old Command-F did—enter your search terms and only files that have those terms in the file name appear).
If you’re frustrated by the Finder, Path Finder is a solid alternate route.