TotalFinder brings Tabs to your native Finder!

by Milind Alvares

TotalFinder brings Tabs to your native Finder!

by Milind Alvares on January 12, 2010

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[tweetmeme]Just last week I wrote a piece on Finder, and up came a few niggles here and there. Then today twitter turned up what appears to be the hack of the year (so far at least). TotalFinder adds tabs to your regular ol’ Finder, and then some!

Okay so what exactly is this goop you’re trying to sell me?

First things first. This is an alpha hack created by someone who’s still ‘new to Cocoa’. So if you’re planning on using this on a production machine—don’t. What Antonin Hildebrand, has done, is cleverly scooped out the tab UIs from the Chrome browser, and slipped them into some kind of Finder vortex. And it works! I was a little hesitant at first, considering it’s still version 0.6, and sports ALPHA in capitals. But the install went through smoothly, and after a reboot, the changes were evident.

TotalFinder changes how you interact with Finder by stripping it of its ‘regular window’ status. It slides out from the bottom on hitting the shortcut like a HUD, with just a close button in the toolbar. Create new windows, and they just get added to the tab bar. Click away, and they just slide out of view. The TotalFinder preferences also allow you to further improve the Finder by removing .DStore files, show hidden files, and make Folders show up at the top of any list. That’s going to please a lot of switchers! Hildebrand has a bunch of more ideas to put through, including a major UI change in the form of dual pane browsing. And considering there’s going to be monetary incentive at the end of this alpha/beta, it’s going to be something to look forward to.

Should you install TotalFinder? Depends on how adventurous you are. In the few hours that I’ve been using it, my system hasn’t come down to a halt, but there is some weirdness to the way one interacts with the Finder. The fact that it instantly hides on deselection makes it harder to interact from other apps. It sometimes doesn’t show up on clicking the dock icon, there’s tearing here and there, and who knows what’s going to happen in future. I’m sure most of you have already clicked the link and gone through with the hack—congrats!

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