For folks that use Path Finder (an excellent Power User’s alternative to the Finder), you’ll be happy to know that Path Finder is now a fully supported alternative when you’re using Default Folder X. Anywhere that DFX integrates with the Finder, it will now use Path Finder if it’s running.
New in this release is the ability to add Default Folder X’s shortcut buttons to Path Finder’s toolbars. This lets you quickly pop up Default Folder X’s menus or slide out its drag-and-drop drawer by clicking a button in the toolbar.
Default Folder X also now “sees” all of the tabs in Path Finder’s windows. Every folder that you have in a Path Finder window will be shown in Default Folder X’s “Finder Windows” menu and highlighted by it’s Finder-click feature in Open and Save dialogs.
For those of you that _don’t_ use Path Finder, this release delivers a bunch of important bug fixes, so please don’t pass it up. Chief among them are fixes for the occasional disappearing cursor in Open and Save dialogs (finally), better reliability when switching between folders, and the elimination of a hang that could occur as Default Folder X was launching.
Download links and a full list of changes are available on the Default Folder X Release Page, or if you’re already running Default Folder X, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu to get the update.
In Big Sur 11.1, Apple introduced an annoying system bug that made Open and Save dialogs revert to a very small size every time you used them. To see anything in the dialog, you pretty much had to resize them. Every. Single. Time. Default Folder X 5.5.4 brought a fix for this – forcing the dialogs back to your preferred, larger size whenever they came up.
Fast forward to Big Sur 11.2, and Apple has fixed the bug so dialogs now stay larger once you resize them – yay! Well, mostly yay anyway. The sidebar still bounces back to its narrow, “I can’t read the names of my folders” width of about 100 pixels every second time you use an Open or Save dialog. <sigh>
So here’s Default Folder X 5.5.6. If you resize the sidebar in an Open or Save dialog, Default Folder X will make sure it bounces back to that size the next time you use the same file dialog.
In addition, this release expands support for HoudahSpot so that you now get the “Search in HoudahSpot” menu item in Default Folder X’s utility menu if you’re using the version of HoudahSpot included in the Setapp subscription service. It previously only worked with copies of HoudahSpot bought directly from Houdah Software.
And because someone asked for it, holding down the Option key while selecting a Folder Set from Default Folder X’s menu in your menu bar will open all of your Favorite folders in the Finder. So if you’ve got multiple Folder Sets for different projects or workflows, you can now instantly open all of those folders in the Finder when you’re starting work. (A few of you old-timers might remember that this was actually a feature in version 4 that didn’t make the jump to v5 – now it’s back!)
There are also a few bug fixes in version 5.5.6, as I’m still chasing after the elusive problem of the cursor sporadically disappearing on some Macs (but not others). Full release notes and download links are on the Default Folder X Release Page. Or just choose “Check for Updates” from Default Folder X’s menu if you’re already running it.
Version 5.5.5 of Default Folder X is now available for download. This maintenance release corrects a number of problems that have been reported recently:
Items in the drag zone and Finder drawer now expand to show longer file and folder names. By default, they’ll get marginally larger when necessary. You can, however, use the defaults command in Terminal to make them really big if you want. Just set maxDrawerContentWidth and maxDragZoneContentWidth to 200 or so.
Problems with the cursor disappearing in file dialogs on Big Sur have been corrected – because this didn’t get completely fixed in the last release 🙄.
Resolved a problem that could crash JetBrains apps like IntelliJ and GoLand. This was actually not a bug in Default Folder X, but a result of most Java apps not handling the macOS Accessibility API correctly (and hanging or crashing). Default Folder X now correctly detects that JetBrains apps are indeed written in Java and doesn’t add its enhancements to them.
Eliminated errors that were occurring when the Finder relaunched.
There’s also a fix to an unofficial feature: If you’ve got “Finder-click changes view mode” turned on in the hidden prefs window (Option-click on Preferences in DFX’s menu to get to it), clicking on a Finder window would sometimes set the wrong view mode. This was because Default Folder X would occasionally miss the fact that you’d changed the view mode of a Finder window. This has been fixed.
Download links for the new version and a less complete list of changes are on the Default Folder X Release Page. Or if you’re already running Default Folder X (thank you!), just select “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar.
Version 5.5.4 of Default Folder X, our utility for speeding your navigation in file dialogs and the Finder, is now available. It automatically restores the size of Open and Save dialogs that you’ve resized before, as well as ensuring that they’re at least large enough that the file list is visible. Yes, the system is supposed to handle those details for you, but Big Sur 11.1 doesn’t do it’s job there.
And yes, Default Folder X’s forced resizing is a “hack” – it looks ugly because the file dialog comes up, then resizes after it has appeared. But given the number of emails I’ve received about the dialogs being too small, I figure an ugly solution is better than no solution 🤷🏻♂️ Oh, and it restores the width of the left sidebar too.
In other news, this release also remedies a number of issues that people have reported over the last month. This includes Default Folder X failing to launch properly at startup, issues with Photoshop, Notability and NeoFinder, and problems with the cursor disappearing in Open and Save dialogs. I’ve also cleaned up some details in how DFX shows and hides its controls as you click around in a file dialog, so operation is now smoother and more coordinated.
Full release notes are on the Default Folder X release page, along with links to download the new version. Or if you’re already running an earlier revision of Default Folder X, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar.
Yes, the Open and Save dialogs keep appearing at their smallest possible sizes in Big Sur 11.1. It’s not just you, and it’s not something you’ve done wrong – it’s a bug in Big Sur.
The problem is worst in Save dialogs that offer additional options, like the one below from the “Save as PDF” menu when printing. You’re left with just 2.5 items showing in the list of files!
First, to resize one of these tiny file dialogs, just click on the bottom, right corner and drag the window to a larger size. Note that if you’re running Default Folder X, you need to grab the corner of the file dialog, not the corner of Default Folder X’s bezel around it.
Sadly, resizing the dialog so it’s larger only works on the current one. Every time you’re presented with an Open or Save dialog, it’ll be back to its uselessly small size again because Big Sur doesn’t remember the past size like it’s supposed to.
To work around this problem until Apple fixes it (hopefully in Big Sur 11.2), you can set Default Folder X to force dialogs back to the size you dragged them to. To do that, hold down the Option key and choose Preferences from Default Folder X’s menu in your menu bar. You’ll be presented with an “Additional Settings” window with a whole slew of options. Just turn on the “Remember file dialog sizes” checkbox and then click OK.
With this enabled, Default Folder X will resize every file dialog after it opens. It’s a bit ugly, as the dialog can only be resized after it shows up on screen (so you’ll see an almost comical “here you go… oh wait, let me make that bigger… ok, how’s that?” dance) but it gets the job done. And that ugliness is why the checkbox isn’t part of DFX’s regular preferences – it’s only meant to be used when things have really gone sideways and you have no other choice. Like in Big Sur 11.1 🙄
Note that the current Default Folder X release doesn’t resize the sidebar after it fixes the dialog size (cuz macOS was supposed to take care of that, too). You can grab this pre-release build of Default Folder X 5.5.4, which takes care of the sidebar as well:
So a cool new feature introduced in Default Folder X 5.5 wasn’t so cool for some folks. While it’s really handy to have the Recent Files menu show files that are synced from other devices via iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc, there are situations where it just gets in the way.
For example, if you share Dropbox folders with a bunch of coworkers, every time one of them changes a file, it shows up in your Recent Files menu. And the file’s enclosing folder is added to the Recent Folders menu. Pretty soon, your menus are full of everyone else’s files, many of which you may not even care about.
So yeah – it’s a great feature if you’re just using a cloud service for your own stuff. But if you’re collaborating with a team, maybe not. So in Default Folder X 5.5.3 you can turn the feature off – right here:
On the other hand, if you like the feature and leave it turned on, this new release handles iCloud files and folders more intelligently. It ignores changes some apps make to hidden files that you’re not supposed to see, and also makes sure that changes in iCloud Documents and Desktop folders show up as they should.
There are also several bug fixes, one of which is very important for Big Sur users. It corrects a problem that could cause Open and Save As dialogs to stall and just sit there – sometimes for quite a while. Make sure you update to 5.5.3 to avoid this!
Version 5.5.2 of Default Folder X is available. It works on Apple’s recent macOS 11.1 Big Sur beta release.
Amusingly, the biggest problem on macOS 11.1 was the new version numbering scheme that Apple is using for Big Sur. Default Folder X checks the OS version and had always assumed that if the minor revision number (the ’15’ in 10.15.7, for example) changed, it was a major new OS release, because that’s the way it’s always been in the past. Big releases like going from Mojave (10.14) to Catalina (10.15) generally require significant testing and development to ensure compatibility, so it just disables itself and waits for me to finish a compatibility update.
So when Apple went from Big Sur 11.0.1 to Big Sur 11.1 beta (with a version number change that surprised a lot of us developers), Default Folder X said “Oh no, it’s a major OS release! I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just be safe and do nothing” and refused to even look at the Open and Save dialogs. So yeah, redoing the OS-version-checking logic and making a minor functional tweak was all that was actually necessary to get things working on 11.1.
In the process of testing Default Folder X on the Big Sur 11.1 beta, I did find a bug that could potentially cause file dialogs to lock up for what seems like an eternity (potentially as much as 2 minutes), so that’s also fixed in 5.5.2. Because of that, you should update if you’re running Big Sur, even if you’re not using 11.1.
TL;DR: There was a bug in Default Folder X 5.5 that resulted in it failing to launch correctly. Version 5.5.1 delivers a fix. If you’ve been affected and are having trouble updating to version 5.5.1, read on.
What Happened: First, my apologies. Default Folder X 5.5 introduced a new feature that tracks changes to files and folders synced via the cloud. Part of the startup process is to look at your current cloud settings to determine which folders need to be watched. In the case of Google Drive File Stream, Default Folder X didn’t properly read old settings files, resulting in the launch process being disrupted and leaving it running, but with no user interface (no icon in the menu bar, no toolbar in Open and Save dialogs, etc). This also breaks the auto-update mechanism, so you have to update to version 5.5.1 manually.
So yeah, big oops. In retrospect, I should have coded that even more defensively than I did so that the error would have been caught. I’m sorry.
How to Fix It: If you’ve been bitten by this bug, you have to manually download and install Default Folder X 5.5.1. Ostensibly, that’s not hard – just download 5.5.1 5.5.3 from this link:
Once the download completes, double-click on the .dmg file and drag the Default Folder X app to your Applications folder.
Now here’s the rub: If you ran the old, broken version 5.5, you may get an error message saying that you can’t replace it.
It’s still invisibly running, but there’s no clear way to quit it. The regular macOS “Force Quit” procedure – accessed by pressing Command-Option-Esc on your keyboard – won’t show Default Folder X even though it’s running. Here’s what to do instead:
1. Run Activity Monitor. It’s located in /Applications/Utilities.
2. Use the search field in Activity Monitor’s toolbar to locate Default Folder X in the process list.
3. Click on the (x) icon in Activity Monitor’s toolbar.
4. Choose Force Quit when prompted.
Now you’ll be able to drag the new copy of Default Folder X 5.5.3 to your Applications folder. Once it’s there, just open your Applications folder and double-click Default Folder X to launch it.
Version 5.5 of Default Folder X is finally done and available for download. It’s a universal application that runs natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon powered Macs, fully supports macOS 11.0 Big Sur and includes a number of benefits for users of older macOS versions as well.
One new feature is nearly invisible, but can be super convenient. Default Folder X now keeps track of changes in shared folders that are synced from the cloud. If something gets synced to your Dropbox or OneDrive folder, the changes will appear immediately in Default Folder X’s Recent Files and Recent Folders menus. So if your coworker updates a document in a shared Dropbox folder and then accosts you on Slack to review it, you can just select it straight from your Recent Files menu. I’ve tried to be an equal-opportunity cloud supporter: This feature works with iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box Sync.
Along with updating Default Folder X’s internals to work with Big Sur’s Finder and Open / Save dialogs, this release also updates its look to fit in with Big Sur’s iOS-ish look and feel. As you may have seen in the beta releases, Default Folder X has a new app icon and new toolbar icons all around. It’s not an enormous change, but it does integrate more smoothly with Big Sur.
There’s also smarter handling of Finder windows when you have more than one “Finder” running (meaning you’re also using Path Finder or ForkLift), some additional “hidden preferences” (see the release notes – the documentation’s being updated now, so doesn’t show them yet) and some important bug fixes.
A new public beta version of Default Folder X is available, updating support for Big Sur so DFX works with the macOS 11.0.1 beta that Apple released today.
Version 5.5b5 also refines the toolbar icons that Default Folder X displays next to all of your Open and Save dialogs (screenshot over there ➜) and polishes up its preferences window in preparation for a final release (this image ⬇︎).
I’ve also addressed a few issues that people have reported, including getting the front-to-back order of Finder windows correct when you’re running alternate Finder apps like Path Finder or ForkLift. And the menu and drawer buttons that Default Folder X puts in your Finder toolbars will no longer keep jumping back to their default positions after you’ve carefully reordered them exactly the way you like.
Things are looking very good for a final release soon, so if you’ve been a slacker about reporting a bug in a beta version of Default Folder X, hurry up and let me know about it! You can reach me on Twitter @stclairsoft or via email at DefaultFolderX@stclairsoft.com.
You can download Default Folder X 5.5b5 from the Beta Testing Page, where you’ll also find a list of all the changes made since version 5.4.6. Note that you don’t need Big Sur to run the beta – it supports macOS 10.11 or higher, and provides fixes and enhancements there too. You just won’t get the nifty outline icons that Big Sur folks see – what a loss!