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Default Folder X 5.3: Full Mojave support, enhanced tracking of recent files, better Favorites organization

September 19th, 2018 by Jon

Default Folder X 5.3 is now officially out!

The big deal is, of course, full support for Mojave. That includes Dark Mode, Mojave’s new privacy controls, and the latest changes to the standard Open and Save dialogs. Default Folder X 5.3 should just work, though you will be prompted by Mojave to give it permission to control the Finder — that access is necessary to make Default Folder X’s ‘Finder-click’ feature work.

In addition, I’m excited to have found a way to improve Default Folder X’s tracking of recently-used files. In previous versions, Default Folder X relied largely on the ‘recent items’ tracking that’s built into macOS. That method had some significant limitations, mainly that it didn’t “see” files that were opened in apps that lack an ‘Open Recent’ menu item, like Safari and Firefox. Given how much stuff we upload to websites and open in web apps (like gmail) these days, that was a pretty big shortcoming. With Default Folder X 5.3, you’ll now find those files included in your Recent Files menu as they should be.

And on the how-many-times-has-this-been-requested front, you can now add separators to Default Folder X’s Favorites menu. That helps keep things visually organized so you can quickly get to the Favorite folder you’re after. To add a separator, open your Default Folder X preferences, click on the Folders tab, select Favorites, then click the ‘+’ button at the bottom. There’s now an option to create a separator. Once you’ve added one, just drag it up and down in the list to place it where you want.

There are also user interface improvements for the drawer that Default Folder X attaches to Finder windows, compatibility with iBooks and Newtek Lightwave, and a number of bug fixes and little tweaks.

There’s a list of changes along with download links on the Default Folder X Release page – go get your copy now!

Default Folder X 5.2.6b7 Public Beta

September 7th, 2018 by Jon

There’s a new public beta version of Default Folder X available – it’s Default Folder X 5.2.6b7.

You’ll want it if you’re running Mojave 18A384a or higher, as the new Mojave builds require “usage statements” built into applications as part of their privacy controls. Previous betas of Default Folder X didn’t have these, resulting in newer iterations of Mojave summarily killing it if it tries to access protected folders, like those containing your contacts or music.

This┬áDefault Folder X build also includes a bunch new dialogs to alert you when it hasn’t been given adequate access to things in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. The biggest stumbling block is access to Automation — giving DFX permission to use AppleScript to talk to the Finder, Path Finder, ForkLift and System Preferences. DFX uses AppleScript to get lists of open windows and navigate to folders and files in Finder / Path Finder / ForkLift, as well as opening System Preferences to the right preference pane so you can update necessary settings.

While there’s definitely a need for Mojave’s increased security, it’s a bit piecemeal at present. I’d love it if Apple would provide developers with some sort of API to help inform users in one shot of everything that an application needs access to, and to help them configure that access conveniently. As it stands right now, you’ll encounter multiple alerts as you use Default Folder X — they pop up in the middle of whatever you’re doing when Default Folder X first tries to touch something that’s protected. They’re not terrible, but they interrupt what you’re doing and, as such, aren’t presented at a time when you’re likely to devote your full attention to the security choice you’re being asked to make. So be prepared for a few alerts when you first start using Default Folder X in Mojave — it’s now the price we pay for additional security.

Oh, and on top of all the security shenanigans, Default Folder X 5.2.6b7 also tracks your recently used files much more effectively, even if the Recent Items system in macOS misses them. Something I’m happy to have finally sorted out!

Release notes and a download link are on the Default Folder X beta testing page.

ScreenCastsOnline: Open & Save shortcuts + Default Folder X

August 24th, 2018 by Jon

There’s a helpful video tutorial over at Don McAllister’s ScreenCastsOnline website that details some of the keyboard shortcuts that you can use in Open and Save As dialogs. The shortcuts are built into macOS, so there’s no need for extra software, but Don does go on to point out that there are many more helpful features in Default Folder X if you really want to supercharge your Open and Save As dialogs ­čÖé

You can see the entirety of keyboard shortcut segment without subscribing to SCO, but you’ll have to sign up for the 10-day free trial or buy a subscription to ScreenCastsOnline to watch it through to the end and see his discussion of Default Folder X. And if you go for the subscription or free trial, make sure to check out his full-length Default Folder X tutorial.

Default Folder X 5.2.6b6 fully supports Mojave

August 13th, 2018 by Jon


The latest public beta of Default Folder X, version 5.2.6b6, supports Dark Mode in Mojave and all changes up through the latest developer build (Mojave developer beta 7).

In addition, this beta release allows you to create separator lines in your Favorites menu to help keep it organized and easier to use. Just choose on “Add Separator Line” when you click the ‘+’ button in Default Folder X > Preferences > Folders > Favorites, then drag the separator to wherever you want it in your list of favorite folders.

5.2.6b6 also addresses a bug when relaunching the Finder, improves the behavior of DFX’s drawer in the Finder, and adds a compatibility fix for Newtek’s LightWave applications.

Get all the details and download your copy from the Default Folder X Beta Testing page.

AppleInsider agrees: Default Folder X is a must-have!

July 19th, 2018 by Jon

Default Folder X earned a spot in AppleInsider’s list of Top 5 Utilities that Every New Mac User Needs!

Thanks to the folks at AppleInsider, and we couldn’t agree more, especially with their picks of TextExpander, Hazel and Keyboard Maestro too!

App Tamer 2.4 hides idle apps, makes its CPU usage graph optional, and more!

July 18th, 2018 by Jon

App Tamer 2.4 is now available. It offers a new option to hide applications after they’ve been idle, and also lets you hide its CPU usage graph if you just want to see its lists of CPU-consuming processes. There are also fixes for several bugs, including one that could result in App Tamer not correctly slowing (or un-slowing) an app if you had the “Do not slow or stop apps if power is plugged in” option turned on.

As an additional note, App Tamer works with beta versions of Mojave, but it doesn’t yet support Dark Mode. However, you can switch App Tamer to its own dark appearance and that makes its main window match, at least.

A complete list of changes and a download link are on the App Tamer release page, or if you’re already running App Tamer, you can just choose “Check for Updates” from the menu in the lower right corner of its window.

Getting rid of the DropBox QuickLook plugin

July 17th, 2018 by Jon

I got an email from a customer yesterday telling me that Default Folder X had stopped displaying preview images of his new-format Microsoft Office documents. It still worked for the older formats like doc, xls and ppt files, but not docx, xlsx and pptx. Because Default Folder X uses QuickLook to generate the big previews it shows below file dialogs, we did a little poking around on his Mac to figure out what was going wrong with QuickLook.

It turns out that a new beta of DropBox (version┬á54.3.86) installs its own QuickLook generator plugin that overrides the system-supplied plugin for generating a number of file and image formats – including those MS Office files. OK, fine – just delete it, right? That worked until he restarted his Mac, then DropBox launched at login and promptly (and silently) reinstalled its QuickLook plugin again. I guess it knows what’s best for us, eh?

After a little thought, we arrived at this solution:

  1. Delete the DropBox QuickLook generator plugin
  2. Create an empty file at that location to prevent DropBox from reinstalling it

Fortunately, QuickLook is smart enough to realize that an empty file isn’t going to help it generate previews, and just defaults back to the other plugins it has. Problem solved!

The easiest way to do this is to open Terminal and execute these three commands:

rm -r ~/Library/QuickLook/DropboxQL.qlgenerator
touch ~/Library/QuickLook/DropboxQL.qlgenerator
qlmanage -r

A nice simple solution once you get it figured out. I imagine this is one of those problems that’s going to crop up for a lot of people, but isn’t quite obnoxious enough to get them to hunt down a solution. So there you go ­čÖé

You need Default Folder X 5.2.6b1 for Mojave developer b4 / public b3

July 17th, 2018 by Jon

Well, I had hopes that the file dialog implementation in Mojave wouldn’t change and you could just keep running┬áDefault Folder X 5.2.5 until I finished support for Dark Mode, but Apple had other plans.

Yesterday’s beta release of Mojave changed the file dialogs ever so slightly – just enough for Default Folder X 5.2.5 to say “that looks sorta like a file dialog, but not exactly” and refuse to put up its controls around Open and Save dialogs. So if you’re running the latest Mojave build, you’ll need to visit the Default Folder X beta testing page and download the latest beta build of Default Folder X.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but you know how it is – “moving target” and all that.

A quick plug for the Mac Geek Gab podcast

June 27th, 2018 by Jon

I’m not a huge podcast junkie – my listening tends to ebb and flow as demands on my time change. However, Mac Geek Gab is one that always entertains, has great tips and information for getting the most out of your Mac, and helps with the weird little issues that inevitably crop up. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re big fans of St. Clair Software’s products, too – it’s nice to hear my name in lights every once in a while ­čÖé

So, as I was reminded by Dave’s mention of Jettison in their 13th Anniversary episode a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been tuning in for years now and think some of St. Clair Software’s customers might really enjoy and benefit from the podcast. So there you are – go give them a listen, support their sponsors, and learn some new tips and tricks!

Default Folder X 5.2.5 adds Mojave support, sorting by date, manual default folders

June 18th, 2018 by Jon

For those of you who’ve been writing in – sometimes desperately – to ask for Default Folder X in the new Mojave beta, here you go. Version 5.2.5 enhances the Open and Save dialogs in Mojave beta 1, though I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a bit longer for Dark Mode support.

There are also some new, user-suggested features that are available in all supported versions of macOS:

1. Default Folder X’s hierarchical menus can now sort the contents of sub-folders by date, with the most recently accessed files and folders at the top. Until I tried this, I didn’t really think it’d be all that useful, but now I can’t turn it off! It gets me to the files and folders I want even faster. Pro tip: you can make sub-menus sort in the opposite order (name instead of date, or vice versa) by holding down the Control key while clicking to bring up one of Default Folder X’s menus.

2. You can create default folders that are only used when you choose them from the bottom of the Favorites menu. This essentially gives you an application-specific favorite folder that’s always invoked with the Command-U keyboard shortcut in Open and Save dialogs.

And finally, there are a number of bug fixes that address crashes and user interface issues. A complete list of changes, along with download links for various localized versions (English, Japanese, French, German and Danish) are available on the Default Folder X Release Page. Or if you’re running an older version of Default Folder X already, just choose “Check for Updates” from its menu in your menubar.

 

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