Archive for the ‘Version 6’ Category

Default Folder X 6.0d21 preview release gets a rewrite of the Drag Zone

Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Version 6.0d21 of Default Folder X is available. This is a preview build of Default Folder X 6, containing new and rewritten features that will be released as part of version 6 of Default Folder X.

The latest addition to the DFX6 preview is a rewritten Drag Zone, the drag and drop “shelf” that sits on the left side of Open and Save dialogs. You can now select and multi-select items, drag them to reorder them, insert new items between existing ones, etc. Previews pop up if you hover the mouse over an item. Double-clicking an item will open it. Control-clicking on an item brings up a contextual menu with options to reveal the item in the Finder, open it in the file dialog, or remove it from the drag zone.

There are also a number of fixes for issues in the previous DFX6 build – if you’re curious about all of the changes, check out the Read Me file that accompanies the app when you download it. The Read Me also includes instructions for setting up other new features, such as the keyboard-centric quick entry window, syncing preferences via iCloud, running actions after saving a file and more.

Default Folder X 6.0d19 : Better drag-and-drop in the Finder

Thursday, December 29th, 2022

A new pre-release build of Default Folder X version 6 is available! Click here to download it. If you haven’t been following along, previous posts have covered new features like the wider filename edit box in Save dialogs, new Quick Entry window, and post-save actions.

In this build I’ve rewritten the drawer that Default Folder X (optionally) attaches to Finder windows. It now properly supports dragging to reorder items, selection and multi-selection of items in the drawer, dragging items into folders that you’ve added to the drawer, and more.

This makes the drawer much more helpful as a temporary “shelf” when moving items between folders, as well as a handy place to organize files and folders while you’re working with them. They’re easy to get to, even if they’re actually located in multiple different folders.

One of the challenges with the drawer was finding a way to make it scale as you add more items to it. It shrinks the icons as more are added, then as you mouse through them, spreads them apart so you can read their filenames.

I’ve been experimenting with this for quite a while, and I’d appreciate feedback on how it works for you in practice. Suggestions are more than welcome!

Default Folder X 6 progress

Monday, October 17th, 2022

After making intermittent progress on version 6 of Default Folder X for months, I’m hoping to get things moving faster so I can get the new features out to a wider audience soon. The new capabilities make Open and Save dialogs even faster and easier to use, as well as speeding access to recently used files and folders in the Finder.

Among the features I find most useful are a wider edit field in Save dialogs, so you can actually see and edit long filenames:

and a “quick entry” pop-up where you can type a few letters in the name of a folder or file you want to access:

I outlined the details of these features in a previous post.

In addition, the latest build synchronizes your preferences and history between multiple Macs, so you’ll have access to your favorite and recently used files and folders regardless of which Mac you’re using. The caveat here is that synced Macs must have their files and folders synchronized so that Default Folder X can find the items on both machines – if it can’t, those items will be grayed out in its menus.

DFX 6 also offers “post-save” actions that you can use to automatically handle files after saving them. Built-in actions include immediately opening a saved file, attaching it to an email, or running an AppleScript or Automator workflow on it.

If you’d like to give the new features a spin, you can download the latest development build here. While it’s not feature-complete, the features above are working well and are stable. Please see the Read Me file for details on enabling the new features, and if you’ve got suggestions, feedback or bug reports, send them to DefaultFolderX@stclairsoft.com

Default Folder X 6 development update

Friday, September 10th, 2021

While it’s been slow going, I’ve gotten a few new features put together in the ongoing development of version 6 of Default Folder X. I’m sharing two here because I’m very happy to have gotten them up and running, as I personally find them really useful.

Expanded Filename Editing Field

It seems like such a minor thing, but when you’re saving something like a web page that has a long name, it’s maddening that Save As dialogs have such a tiny edit box for the filename. The long name runs past the end of the edit field and you have to click and drag or use the arrow keys to get to the rest of it if you want to make any changes.

While it required way more juggling than I expected, Default Folder X 6 expands the filename field to a usable size.

Keyboard-based Access to Recent and Favorite Items

I’m personally a very keyboard-biased user. I’d rather use shortcuts and type than take my hand off the keyboard to click around with the mouse. As a result, Default Folder X has always had the ability to assign keyboard shortcuts to Favorites and to access recently used items. Up until now, however, that didn’t include just typing to select exactly what you wanted. In version 6, that’ll be an option:

I’ve used a “Sublime Text-style” selection method, where fuzzy matching gives you results that include file, folder and application names that contain the letters you’ve typed, even if there are some missing in between. It also favors capital letters and the first letters of words.

You’ll see that the top match in the image above when typing “roc” is “ReactiveObjC” because of the capitalized R, O and C in the correct order, with “ProcessController.m” further down the list even though it contains “roc” in lowercase. I’m still tweaking this, but I find the results pretty quick and intuitive when looking for something (though granted, the results lower down in the list tend to appear almost random until you look hard at them).

As a developer, the danger I see with this feature is that people will want me to reproduce all kinds of options from similar keyboard-based utilities like LaunchBar and Alfred and I’m not sure how far to go with that. This isn’t meant to replace those (I’m a long-time LaunchBar user myself), but some additional tweaks could be nice…

If you want to help test…

While these (and other) features are still in development and thus a bit rough around the edges, I’d welcome input if you’ve got some time to try them out and provide thoughtful feedback. Email DefaultFolderX@stclairsoft.com if you’re interested.