Using Finder in OS X Mountain Lion, Part 1

Chances are, you have lots of pictures, documents, movies and other files that you’d like to store on your Mac. If you used Migration Assistant during setup, those files may even be in place already. In order to find them, you’ll use Finder, the Mac equivalent of My Computer or Windows Explorer.

Finder is the default menu bar you’ll see at the top of your screen. You can also open Finder from the Dock. Look for the smiling puzzle piece and click on it.

Using Finder in Mountain Lion
Here’s what Finder looks like in the dock.

This will open a Finder window. You can open as many Finder windows as you like (this is useful if you need to copy or move files from one folder to another).

Views in Finder

There are four ways to view folders on your Mac, including icons, lists, columns and Cover Flow. Different views make sense for different file types, and you can change the view using the View options icons.

Using Finder in Mountain Lion
Here are all the different ways of navigating Finder.

Cover Flow View

This is great for looking through pictures or music albums when you need a slightly larger size than icon view gives you. You can also sort by clicking on the column headers.

Icon View

Icon view can help if you need to sort through several image files or applications. It gives you either a thumbnail of a picture or an application icon.

List View

List view, on the other hand, gives you more information about the file, including the date it was last modified. This is a great view for sorting. While you can sort in any view using the sort options button, in list view you can also sort files by clicking the column headers (“Name,” “Date Modified,” etc.).

Column View

Finally, column view is great when you need to see a file’s path. It shows the folder hierarchy a file is located in. Notice that Finder doesn’t include the Windows “go up one level” button – Column View is a good way to get the same results and navigate easily through your file structure.

About

Steve Horton has been working with computers for over 20 years. He's dedicated to helping people get the most out of their PCs, and likes playing cards and writing comics.

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