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#13943 - 01/26/11 08:28 AM Clicked on a question mark, and WOW!
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
I've been using these Macs (various generations of) and operating system (various generations of) for years, and am very comfortable with them. I should be, I installed them and trained everyone else here.

I'm also very comfortable with the office network - same reason - I installed it.

But today, I found a question mark in a new place, just sitting there, calmly, asitwere. (At the top of the Finder window.)

Hmm, I thought, that's a new one. I wonder what that does. So I clicked on it, being fearless.

WOW! Blooming blimey heck! I didn't know THAT!

no, it was not a help screen, it was way, way, better.

It took me STRAIGHT TO a folder, four levels down, on another Mac on the network, which I had not even mounted/network connected to, yet, that day. It was instant. More instant than saying "Snap!" Usually connecting to that Mac and going 4 levels down takes a while. Well, only a few seconds but longer than instantaneous.

I don't know how that question mark got there, nor how to put it there on all the other Macs, which would be good because it's so splendidly wonderfully time-saving. I presume everyone else already knows about this? It wouldn't surprise me.

Thanks

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#13944 - 01/26/11 08:53 AM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: Bensheim]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Aliases to network shares can reattach to share points on unmounted drives easily. As for the question mark, maybe it lost track of the icon?
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#13945 - 01/26/11 01:40 PM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: Bensheim]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
I don't know how that question mark got there, nor how to put it there on all the other Macs, which would be good because it's so splendidly wonderfully time-saving. I presume everyone else already knows about this? It wouldn't surprise me.

The area at the top of a Finder window, above the content area, can be thought of as two lines.

The top line, the title bar, contains the traffic-light buttons, the window title with its proxy icon, and a lozenge for switching back to pre-OSX window layout.

The second line is called the toolbar. The toolbar can be shown/hidden using the View->Show/Hide Toolbar menu command, and is highly customizable. By default it contains Back, View, Quick Look, Action, and Search items. You can add/delete/rearrange items using the View->Customize Toolbar... menu command, and change its appearance by command-clicking the lozenge in the title bar.

From your description, I'm guessing that the toolbar is where you saw your question mark, but you didn't get it there using Customize Toolbar. There's another way to add items to the toolbar. Just drag an icon for a file or folder over the toolbar, and hover there for a few seconds. The cursor will acquire a green "+" badge, and you can drop the icon into the toolbar. Used this way, the toolbar acts like an in-window dock, or as a sidebar equivalent.

As always, when dragging icons to somewhere, be careful not to drag one from the sidebar (left side of a Finder window) or the Dock. Dragging icons from either of those places simply makes it disappear in a puff of smoke.

One place you can drag from is the proxy icon, immediately in front of the window title in the title bar. You can put the current folder for any window into the toolbar by just dragging the proxy icon down a few pixels (and maybe left or right to position it where you want it). That's probably what you did, and can do again.

To remove any item from the toolbar, command-drag it off. Command-drag within the toolbar can be used to rearrange items.

Here's a tip: if you have multiple boot volumes, always put your boot volume in the toolbar. That way, you always have immediate feedback about which volume you're currently booted from. (Sometimes it's easy to lose track while you're booting back and forth doing maintenance.)

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#13951 - 01/26/11 03:18 PM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: ganbustein]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Quote:
Here's a tip: if you have multiple boot volumes, always put your boot volume in the toolbar. That way, you always have immediate feedback about which volume you're currently booted from. (Sometimes it's easy to lose track while you're booting back and forth doing maintenance.)

I lost track many times before finding out about Finder > View > Show Path Bar. (Was that a Leopard feature or just something I've never known about since...?)

Alternatively, when it's feasible, I use different desktops for different volumes.

Am I missing something, or does your tip only work if you use custom icons?
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#13957 - 01/27/11 03:24 PM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: artie505]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
I lost track many times before finding out about Finder > View > Show Path Bar. (Was that a Leopard feature or just something I've never known about since...?)

I think that was added with Leopard...but the ability to view the current folder's path (in the form of a drop-down menu) by command-clicking on the folder name in the title bar has existed since long before OS X.

I'm not sure if ganbustein was assuming custom icons, but note that you can set the toolbar to display Icons & Text or Text Only, either of which will provide the immediate feedback referred to. (Beyond that, you can hover over a generic HD icon, whose name will eventually appear as a tool tip; or option-hover, which will reveal the name immediately.)
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#13958 - 01/27/11 11:12 PM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks.

The object of this exercise is immediate visual input, so the Path Bar and icon approaches are co-number 1s (since I now know you can pref your icon for text).

I really prefer to use a different desktop for each volume, but thats a nuisance sometimes, i.e. changing back and forth when cloning.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#13962 - 01/29/11 07:20 AM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: ganbustein]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Thank you all for your replies which are much appreciated.

This is always a good place to come to find out why something abstruse has happened on one's good ol' Macs.

I can understand what happened now, and I'm not surprised as I had severe eyesight problems and couple of weeks ago and things were being dragged around (it seems) while I was trying to do my job. In this case it was a happy accident!

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#13964 - 01/30/11 07:30 PM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: dkmarsh]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh
I think that was added with Leopard...but the ability to view the current folder's path (in the form of a drop-down menu) by command-clicking on the folder name in the title bar has existed since long before OS X.

I'm not sure if ganbustein was assuming custom icons, but note that you can set the toolbar to display ...

Finding the path to the current folder wasn't the problem. The problem was knowing the current boot volume. I can be looking at a folder on my "normal boot" volume, and suddenly be unsure whether I remembered to boot off my "maintenance & repair" volume. As in, I intended to, but maybe skipped that step. I suppose I could open a new window and navigate it to my home folder using command-shift-H, then look at the path, but that's a lot of extra work. The way I have Finder configured, a new folder opens on "the computer" (same as command-shift-C), which lists all the volumes without telling me which I booted from.

I set the toolbar to text only, in the smallest permitted size, and configure every user account to put the boot volume and the home folder as the first two items in it. Much more economical of screen space.

I see no need for the path bar, because the path has always (since System 7) been available with a command-click on the proxy icon, for Finder windows just like for ordinary document windows. No need for extra screen space for that.

I have too many desktops to remember which desktop picture goes with which user. When I need to know which volume I'm booted from, it's because I'm doing some sort of admin task, and all the desktop picture tells me is "I must not be logged in as the normal non-admin user, because that's not the picture I see every day". But there's an admin user on each boot disk, and I log in as admin too rarely to remember which picture goes with which boot volume.

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#13965 - 01/30/11 11:00 PM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: ganbustein]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: ganbustein
I see no need for the path bar, because the path has always (since System 7) been available with a command-click on the proxy icon, for Finder windows just like for ordinary document windows. No need for extra screen space for that.

I'm quite partial to Path Bar myself. It lets us move items up the hierarchy with virtually zero effort. We can select something and easily drop it into the parent, or grandparent, etc.

I just wish Path Bar had more features (à la PopupFolder and/or Now Menus and/or Action Menus and/or FinderPop). We should be able to get a menu to drop down from any of the breadcrumbs (folder icons) along the Path Bar —without holding any command key. And... those menus should allow us to navigate down into (and/or across) to wherever those folders lead (i.e., via submenus... which is something else that the current titlebar-popup scheme lacks). I dig OSX, but more of the 3rd-party hacks from OS9 should have been incorporated (by now anyway).

One example that did make it is: that same titlebar-popup trick (with the limitation already stipulated) also exists in **document** windows... even the browser window you're viewing right now! That feature existed in OS9 only as a 3rd-party hack.


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#13966 - 01/31/11 03:03 AM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: ganbustein]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
I suppose I could open a new window and navigate it to my home folder using command-shift-H, then look at the path, but that's a lot of extra work.

One could also compile this two-line AppleScript script, the invocation of which from a key-combo trigger wouldn't involve much work:

Code:
tell application "Finder" to set thisDisk to startup disk
display dialog "booted from \"" & name of thisDisk & "\""
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#13967 - 01/31/11 04:31 AM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: dkmarsh]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Or do the following on each volume:

Create a new TextEdit document in Rich Text format, set the font size to 144, and type the first two letters of the volume name (or other two-letter abbreviation). Save the document to the volume's root directory, under a name which begins with an underscore (or otherwise lifts the file to the top of the alphabetical hierarchy).

Now add the volume to the Dock. Configure it to Sort by Name and Display as Stack. You should see a text document icon with the two-letter abbreviation at the top of the stack—thus providing access to boot volume identification even in the absence of any open Finder windows.

(Of course, the work to implement this trick is not inconsiderable.)
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#13969 - 01/31/11 12:07 PM Re: Clicked on a question mark, and WOW! [Re: dkmarsh]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Invoking a hot key to invoke an AppleScript that uses display dialog to tell me my boot volume is not only a fancy way of opening another window, but even worse, it squanders a precious hot key. (Besides, without a third-party utility, you can't assign hot keys to items in the Script menu.)

Putting something in the Dock wastes space that is even more precious than Toolbar space. My Dock is reserved for things I use all the time.

As it is, the (four-letter) name of the startup volume takes little room on a part of the Finder windows that I can't hide anyway and have little other use for.

It's important to point out, though, that telling me which volume I booted from is only a side effect of its real purpose, which is to let me quickly focus a Finder window to the top level. Clicking on this item in the toolbar puts that window in column view (because I've configured it that / always opens in column view) with all the volumes listed in the left-most column. Since I didn't use the sidebar, this is how I navigate to places that aren't near the current location. (This behavior depends on the sidebar being hidden. It it's visible, you don't see the column containing volumes, presumably because they're already listed in the sidebar.)

The fact that the toolbar item also gives me the name of the boot volume with zero additional effort is a pleasant side effect.

I started doing this under Jaguar. Leopard wouldn't let me hide the sidebar, so I learned to live with it. Snow Leopard will once again let me hide the sidebar, but I've kinda gotten used to it now, and besides the screen on this machine is wider and I don't begrudge the space so much anymore.

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