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Default Folder X
Description

Default Folder X's toolbar

One the right side of every Open and Save dialog, Default Folder X puts a convenient toolbar. This toolbar has five pop-up menus: a utilities menu, a computer menu, favorite folders, recent folders, and open Finder windows.

Utility. The utility menu has lots of power. With it, you can get info on, rename, and delete files, just like in the Finder. You can also assign a default folder for every application to open to, or assign a different folder to each application.

Computer. The computer menu reveals the contents of your hard drive and external disks. It also has shortcuts to your Home folder and your Desktop.

Favorites. When you first start Default Folder X, it will automatically synchronize with the folders in your library's favorites. After that, you'll be able to add and remove favorites with this menu.

Recent folders. Default Folder X tracks your recent folders—up to 100. This menu can show you those folders either by date or name, and you can cycle through them with a keyboard shortcut.

Finder windows. Default Folder X knows what folders are open on your desktop, and lists your open Finder windows in this menu. Save to them or jump to their contents.

Using pop-up menus

Default Folder X uses pop-up menus to help you browse your folders. When you select a pop-up menu from Default Folder X's toolbar, a list of menu items pops up. The items in the menu that are folders are hierarchical, meaning that they'll show you the contents of the folder as you hover over them. This allows you to drill down into your file system without having to click. You can simply drag your mouse to get to the files you want. Default Folder X puts pop-up menus in three places: the location menu of every Open and Save dialog, the Default Folder X toolbar, and Mac OS X's menu bar.

Browsing the location menu

At the top of every Open and Save dialog, there is a menu. Normally in Mac OS X, this menu is crowded with special places in your file system, recent folders, and your location. With Default Folder X, you can use the location menu to reveal the path of the folder you're in. When you click on it, each folder that contains the folder you're currently in is listed, all the way back to your hard drive. Each of these folders works as a pop-up menu, so you can browse the folders "next to" as well as inside your current folder.

Tagging files

With Mac OS X's Spotlight feature, you can instantly find files and folders based on keywords. Default Folder X puts a Spotlight window below every Save dialog so you can add custom tags to files as you save them. Select "OpenMeta Tags" from the menu there, type in the tags that will help you categorize your file, then click "Save" as usual.

To find a tag such as "vacation" with Spotlight or to create a Smart Folder in the Finder, use "tag: vacation" as your search. You'll instantly see all of the files with that tag. For even more flexibility in managing and searching for tags, check out the growing number of OpenMeta-compatible tagging applications.

Enabling (or disabling) the menu bar or Dock icon

If you would like to use Default Folder X's pop-up menus when an Open and Save dialog is not open, you can. Default Folder X has a menu bar icon with the same menus. To turn it on

  • Open System Preference and select the Default Folder X preference pane
  • Click the "Settings" button on the right side of Default Folder X's pane
  • Under "Put Default Folder X's icon and system wide menu," check (or uncheck) "On the right side of the menu bar" and "In the Dock"
  • Click "Ok" when you are done and close System Preferences

Now you can jump to whatever folder you want with Default Folder X's menu bar icon. Default Folder X's Dock icon can be very useful, but due to a limitation in Mac OS X, it's menus are not hierarchical.

Customizing Default Folder X

Default folders

Whenever you use an Open and Save dialog, Mac OS X chooses to open to a particular folder. Default Folder X gives you several ways to customize this behavior. One of them is to assign a default folder to begin with every time. You can also select different default folders for individual applications.

To set a default folder:

  • Open System Preferences and select the Default Folder X preference pane
  • In the pane, make sure the "Default Folders" tab is highlighted
  • Click the "All Other Applications" button at the bottom of the pane
  • A new entry should appear in the list, [All Other Applications]. Select this and click the "Change Default Folder" button
  • When the dialog descends, navigate to the folder you'd like to make the default and select "Open." The folder you've chosen will now be the default folder for all applications.

To add more default folders for different applications, simply use the "Add" button and repeat the steps above with one addition: you will need to choose an application after you select the "Add" button.

Favorite Folders

Your favorite folders appear in all of Default Folder X's menus, and you can assign keyboard shortcuts to all of them. You can use these keyboard shortcuts to jump to your favorites in all Open and Save dialogs.

To set a favorite from Default Folder X's preferences:

  • Open System Preferences and select the Default Folder X preference pane
  • In the pane, make sure the "Favorite Folders" tab is highlighted
  • Click the "Add Folder" button at the bottom of the pane
  • When the dialog descends, chose which folder you'd like to set as a favorite and select "Open"

Your new favorite should appear in Default Folder X's favorite's list. If you'd like to assign a keyboard shortcut at the same time:

  • In Default Folder X's preference pane, under "Favorite Folders" select "Set Hotkey"
  • When the dialog descends, it will prompt you to hit the key combination you'd like to assign. After selecting a combination, click "OK"

Mac OS X may already use some keyboard shortcuts. When you're assigning your own shortcuts, it's a good idea to use two modifier keys, such as shift and control, to try and avoid conflicts. You may wish to test keyboard shortcuts in the Finder or other applications to make sure they won't conflict with an application's existing shortcuts.

More Settings

Default Folder X is highly customizable. Its settings can control how menus work and what behavior you can expect. The settings are divided into Menus, Open & Save, Options, and Advanced.

Recent menu. If you want to increase the number of recent folders that Default Folder X remembers:

  • Open System Preferences and select the Default Folder X preference pane
  • Click the "Settings" button on the right side of Default Folder X's pane
  • In the dialog that descends, make sure that the "Menus" tab is highlighted
  • You should see a pull down menu that says "Display the last 10 recently used folders"
  • Using the number's pull down menu, change the number of recent folders to whatever you'd like. You can also use the radio buttons below this menu to determine whether you'd like folders in this menu arranged by date or name.
  • When you're finished, select "OK" at the bottom of the dialog

Finder behavior. If you'd like to change how Default Folder X interacts with the Finder:

  • Open System Preferences and select the Default Folder X preference pane
  • Click the "Settings" button on the right side of Default Folder X's pane
  • In the dialog that descends, make sure that the "Open & Save" tab is highlighted
  • Make sure that "Enable Finder-click (choose a folder by clicking on its Finder window)" is checked
  • Select whether or not you'd like to use the control or command key to select a Finder window (leaving both boxes blank will mean that a plain click will work)
  • Decide whether you'd like your Finder windows highlighted or named as you pass over them with the mouse
  • When you're finished, select "OK" at the bottom of the dialog

Hopefully, Default Folder X comes tailored to your every need. If it isn't, simply adjust the settings to match how you work.

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Reviews and Comments
As a long-term Mac user, i have installed demo software beyond count. Yours is one of the few that I've seen the worth in investing in.
- Daniel Kennish
It's one of those programs that I wonder how I lived without for so long. Before I was constantly clicking through directories every time I wanted to open, save or attach a file. Now I do almost everything in just a few clicks.
- Ethan Annis
System Requirements
Intel Mac running Mac OS 10.6.8 or higher

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