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#31763 - 11/13/14 10:39 AM Fiddling with windows/better navigation
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
While I was helping my sister w/her laptop, I couldn't find a way to remove a certain item from the sidebar. I noticed how often I had to move windows, enlarge them, shrink them, change views.

For years I have tried to find the best way to navigate the OS to suit my purposes, to arrange my windows, folders, and files as efficiently as possible. Is there a solution or a method you use to keep from having constantly to shrink or enlarge windows to accomodate what you are looking for? Do you use a program that makes file navigation easier? Can I set up my sister's desktop to be easier to use, and less likely for her to move files (or find them) where they don't belong?

She lacks my sense of order—you should see her bedroom—though I admit that even the "simple and elegant" Mac OS can be needlessly complex. No problem with finding and running applications. It's all the other stuff. She is too often flummoxed by "How did this get here?" "How do I remove it?" "What does this do?" "Where's my file?" And often: "How do I organize all these photos and folders?"

An example from my daily use: double-clicking on the vertical lines in column view (at the bottom) to expand the column, thus revealing the entire filename or a certain file nested within folders. Expand, narrow, expand, narrow. Now one column is too wide, the other too narrow. I change it. Then later I have to change it back. Fiddle, fiddle. Wait, was that it?

Not surprisingly, I use List view most of the time, but my sister seems to prefer Column view, perhaps to see all her pictures.


Edited by deniro (11/13/14 11:18 AM)
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iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
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#31793 - 11/16/14 06:45 PM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: deniro]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
I believe you can remove a folder from the sidebar by right clicking the mouse and deleting it.

I use the column view and used to enlarge the width of the column next to a list of pictures to get a bigger preview. One little trick I just learned in the column view is to right click on the mouse on a picture and go down to "Quick Look." Then if you just use the up and down arrows, you can preview your pics continuously at a large size.

When she saves something, she should click on the arrow to the right of the save window so she can see the sidebar and put things in their proper place and not just save to the default place. One other thing I do is set the browser to "ask me" when downloading a file where to put it instead of everything ending up in the downloads file. I'm also not sure if she understands that folders spring open when you hold things over them rather than just drop them in, so she can drag a file to a folder, wait for that folder to open and then decide where to put something.

I don't know if anyone but me still uses paper folders with papers filed in them, but if she gets that, she should be able to understand the Hierarchical File System.

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#31794 - 11/16/14 11:16 PM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: slolerner]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: slolerner
One little trick I just learned in the column view is to right click on the mouse on a picture and go down to "Quick Look." Then if you just use the up and down arrows, you can preview your pics continuously at a large size.


And just to make that trick even faster, when you click on a file, you don't even have to right click the mouse to bring up Quick Look. Hitting the spacebar will do it too.
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#31795 - 11/17/14 12:13 AM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I, too, use column view, and rather than playing with column widths when I need to see a truncated name I hit command-2 and switch to list view for a moment.
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In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#31801 - 11/17/14 09:06 PM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: artie505]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
It just hit me, the Macs come with the hard drive not showing up on the desktop. I always go under Finder Prefs and put the hard drive(s) on the desktop. Double clicking on the drive icon and seeing the contents that way may help her. Also, I have Expose in Prefs set so the lower left corner shows just the desktop. It gets all the open windows out of the way if there is something on the desktop you need to find. It's useful.

She may not understand that all the folders she works with are in her user folder so if you bring up the Hard Drive and show her the User folder and that the sidebar folders are all in there, she may get a better understanding of how it all works.


Edited by slolerner (11/17/14 09:10 PM)
Edit Reason: more

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#31805 - 11/18/14 04:20 AM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: slolerner]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: slolerner
She may not understand that all the folders she works with are in her user folder so if you bring up the Hard Drive and show her the User folder and that the sidebar folders are all in there, she may get a better understanding of how it all works.
If she is using 10.7 or higher, ~/Library will not be visible. How to Reveal Your Library Folder in Lion or Mountain Lion should help. I don't know if everything there applies to Maverick or Yosemite.
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OS 10.14.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#31810 - 11/18/14 06:43 AM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
It just hit me, the Macs come with the hard drive not showing up on the desktop.

FIRST thing I tend to do on a computer I'm going to be using
- show all items on desktop
- sort by name
- enable display of hidden files
- turn off extension change warning
- turn off empty trash warning

MOST folders
- list view
- sidebar on
- status bar on
- toolbar on
- sort by name
- calculate all sizes
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#31811 - 11/18/14 08:00 AM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: jchuzi]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Originally Posted By: jchuzi
If she is using 10.7 or higher, ~/Library will not be visible. How to Reveal Your Library Folder in Lion or Mountain Lion should help. I don't know if everything there applies to Maverick or Yosemite.

In Mavericks and above, ~/Library can be made visible by opening a Finder window to the user's Home folder, selecting the View menu -> Show View Options command (⌘-J), and checking the Show Library Folder checkbox.
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#31813 - 11/18/14 08:10 AM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: dkmarsh]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Virtual, I respectfully differ with showing invisible files or turning off the trash warning for a newbie.

Why would she need access to the Library Folder in her User Folder? I meant just to show her the Pictures, Documents, etc. folders and how others can be nested.

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#31815 - 11/18/14 09:52 AM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: slolerner]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Why would she need access to the Library Folder in her User Folder? I meant just to show her the Pictures, Documents, etc. folders and how others can be nested.
Even though she's a newbie, she may want to learn troubleshooting techniques in the near future. For example, she may want to trash a bad plist in ~/Library/Preferences. I find that access to my User Library is essential.
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OS 10.14.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#31824 - 11/19/14 01:45 PM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Virtual, I respectfully differ with showing invisible files or turning off the trash warning for a newbie.


I didn't suggest anyone do it, I was just running through my personal preferences for setting up a new account for myself.
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#31829 - 11/19/14 06:24 PM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
There are a number of file manager applications in the App Store, all intended to help organize or at least manage file storage. Given your sister's lack of discipline in keeping things organized one of those apps might be just what she is looking for. I have looked at several of them, but I would hesitate to recommend any one of them because each seems to target a particular way of organizing or disorganizing and you need to find one your sister can live with.

The best suggestion I can make is to go to the App Store and search on file manager or file management and then spend some time with your sister looking at the various offerings to find one that appeals to her. You will find some that work hard to create order out of chaos and others that don't give a care where the files are and focus on being able to perform complex searches to find what the user is looking for. One of the latter types might be just what the doctor ordered for your sister. She could dump everything into one undivided Documents folder and use to tool to find what she wants. (Caution) this type of tool often relies on file tags to narrow the search and it takes at least some discipline to create the tags along with the file.

Another possibility might be a database such as Evernote to store and organize the files. That still requires some user discipline, but the GUI might create a visual picture your sister can relate to.
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#31830 - 11/20/14 08:47 AM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: Virtual1]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I don't see the benefit of always calculating folder sizes. I have this turned off to speed up the Finder.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#31833 - 11/20/14 01:00 PM Re: Fiddling with windows/better navigation [Re: deniro]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: deniro
I don't see the benefit of always calculating folder sizes. I have this turned off to speed up the Finder.


It doesn't really speed up the finder exactly, although the finder can run in the background awhile to calculate the sizes if the folder structure is large.

The average user may not find much use in this though, but those of us in the service and support arena frequently need to know the size of subfolders in a directory.
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Moderator:  alternaut, dkmarsh, joemikeb