Archive for the ‘Snow Leopard’ Category

Accessing Your Recent and Favorite Folders in LaunchBar

Friday, March 26th, 2010

LaunchBar is a great ‘mouse-free’ utility for instantly getting to files, folders, URLs, music, addresses, and just about anything else on your Mac.  Hit command-spacebar and start typing the first few letters of whatever you want – LaunchBar lists the choices that match and you just hit the return key to open or go to that item.  I use it all the time and recommend it to everyone I know.

There’s a really handy way of including your recent and favorite folders from Default Folder X in LaunchBar’s index. After doing this, you can instantly access those folders from the keyboard using LaunchBar.

To make Default Folder X favorites and recent folders available in LaunchBar do the following:

  1. In your Default Folder X preferences, click on the Advanced tab and turn on “Create aliases of Recent Folders and Favorites in your Library folder”.
  2. In LaunchBar, choose Show Index from the Index menu.  Click on the “Folder+” button in the toolbar to add a folder.
  3. Select the HOME/Library/Favorites/ folder.
  4. Once the folder is added, click on the Options tab for that folder and set Search Scope to “Search 1 Subfolder Level” and Search for “Folders”.
  5. Click on the Schedule tab and turn on the “Update automatically” checkbox.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for the folder HOME/Library/Recent Folders/
  7. Once you tell LaunchBar to reindex, you’ll have access to all of your Default Folder X favorite and recent folders.

Thanks to Gary Schelling for asking about this and jogging my brain 🙂

Default Folder X Updated to Version 4.3.2

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

It’s been a bit of a fight to get this release finished, but Default Folder X 4.3.2 is finally available! It fixes problems that have been reported when running with Snow Leopard (some my fault, some Snow Leopard’s fault).

If you’re a Default Folder X user, download a copy and install it. The update is free and will make everything work more smoothly, especially if you’re dealing with file servers or use column view a lot. Oh, and this version also watches the Recent Items list in your Apple Menu and remembers the folders for documents that OS X adds there. This makes sure that Default Folder X’s list of recent folders is never missing anything.

Full details and download links for the English, French, German and Danish installers are available now on the “What’s New” page for Default Folder X.

Move Items Contextual Menu for Snow Leopard

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Contextual menu plugins are dead in Snow Leopard, replaced by the revamped Services system.  A user recently contacted me because he wanted to replicate the “Move Items” contextual menu item he used to use in Leopard.  He had used Automator to create a service, but was having a few problems, namely that Default Folder X wasn’t available when he chose the destination folder.

This got me to open up Automator in Snow Leopard and take a crack at it myself.  In the process, I was reminded how cool Automator is 🙂  At any rate, here’s the automator script I put together:

So you’re obviously asking: Why go to the trouble of creating variables instead of just using the “Move Finder Items” action by itself?  I’m glad you asked!  The reason is that I want to bring up a file dialog to specify the folder where I want the items to go.  There’s not a clean way to have the “Move Finder Items” do that every time.  You can change its options to “Show this action when the workflow runs” but you still have to click on it every time you use it to ask it to show a file dialog.  If you use Default Folder X to enhance your Open dialogs, it’s faster to just have the dialog pop up and then go where you want to with DFX.

So in the image above, the workflow puts the current Finder selection into the “selection” variable.  Then it uses AppleScript to bring up a file dialog to ask for a folder, which it stores in the “path” variable.  And finally, it uses the Move Finder Items action to do the work.  Not too much more complicated, and it speeds up your workflow considerably if you’ve already got DFX installed so the Open dialogs are smart.

For you automator programmers, note that some of the actions shown in the workflow do not take inputs.  I did this by control-clicking on the action (“Get Value of Variable”, for example) and choosing “Ignore Input” from the contextual menu.  If you don’t do this, Automator will actually add the input from the previous step to the next one, which is definitely not what you want in this case.

Oh, and if you just want the automator workflow file so you can add it to your own system, you can download it here:

If you need more help with Automator and Services, Apple has some good information and tutorials here:

(Once you’ve gotten through the first few steps of the tutorial, you should be able to just replicate the picture above to make the Move Items service yourself).

Default Folder X 4.3.1 Fine-Tuned for Snow Leopard

Monday, September 14th, 2009

I just posted version 4.3.1 of Default Folder X.  It’s got fixes and improvements for users of Snow Leopard, Gmail, Final Cut Pro, and QuickTime.  It also makes Default Folder X’s contextual menus work in icon and column view in Open and Save dialogs (they were missing in Snow Leopard).

If you want the toolbar to be on the left side of the Open and Save dialog instead of the right, install version 4.3.1 and then Option-click on the “Settings” button in the preference pane and turn on “ToolbarOnLeft”.

There are also some UI fixes, including eliminating that annoying white box that would occasionally show up in the menubar where Default Folder X’s menu icon was supposed to be.

Thanks for everyone that reported problems and tested fixes for them.  If you have any issues or ideas, just email

Default Folder X 4.3 Is Available!

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Default Folder X 4.3 sports Snow Leopard compatibility and a number of other enhancements and fixes.  You can get it from the Default Folder X release page.

IMPORTANT: There’s a bug in older versions of Default Folder X that can cause crashes while you’re using the hierarchical path menu if you’re running Mac OS 10.6.  Make sure to install this update before you upgrade to Snow Leopard!

And now that we’ve got that dire warning out of the way, there are a couple of geeky little additions in this release that I’m partial to:

  • You can globally set a minimum file dialog size and column width. Use these commands in terminal to set the values:

    defaults write com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX minimumSize.width 800

    defaults write com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX minimumSize.height 600

    defaults write com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX minimumSize.columnWidth 250

    Change the numbers at the end of the commands to the sizes you want to use (in pixels).

  • You can list items in hierarchical menus chronologically rather than alphabetically by holding down the Control key.

Take a look at the release page for details about all of the changes.

Default Folder X on Snow Leopard: Build 4.2.2d7

Monday, July 27th, 2009

There are more compatibility fixes for Snow Leopard in this pre-release build.  Specifically:

  • Updated the Default Folder X preference pane to run in 64 bit mode.
  • Eliminated “auto malloc” errors in applications that use garbage-collected memory management.

You can grab a copy of the installer from:

Again, because of some of the fixes I’ve made since version 4.2.1, anyone running Snow Leopard should be running a pre-release build of Default Folder X 4.2.2.

If you encounter any issues with this build or have suggestions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at DefaultFolder (at)  Thanks!

DFX: Important Snow Leopard and DFPreviewServer fixes

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

I’ve put together a development build of Default Folder X that incorporates a couple of important fixes, plus some handy new tweaks.  If you’ve noticed a process called DFPreviewServer slowing down your machine or have experienced problems while running Snow Leopard, this build will fix those problems.

You can download the latest pre-release build of Default Folder X here:

If you are running Default Folder X on a seed build of Snow Leopard you should install this update NOW.

Changes include the following:

  • Default Folder X contains a workaround for a bug in OS X’s hierarchical menu system.  The old workaround functioned fine in 10.4 and 10.5, but intermittently causes the hierarchical path menu in Open and Save dialogs to hang or crash in Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard).  It’s been rewritten and now works correctly.
  • Fixed a bug in DFPreviewServer that could consume a lot of CPU time and memory. This occurred when previewing very large files (greater than 200 MB) that the system identifies as text files.
  • Added some user defaults so you can globally set a minimum file dialog size and column width.  Use these commands in Terminal to set the values:

    defaults write com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX minimumSize.width 800
    defaults write com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX minimumSize.height 600
    defaults write com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX minimumSize.columnWidth 250

    Change the numbers at the end of the commands to the sizes you want to use (in pixels).
  • Added a way to override the time before menu previews zoom to full size.  In Terminal, use this command to change the value (the default value is 1.5 seconds):

    defaults write com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX menuZoomDelay 1.5

    Change the “1.5” in the line above to the number of seconds you want for the delay.  Note that you need to turn Default Folder X off and back on again for this change to take effect.
  • Default Folder X’s “New Folder” command would not work in some applications when creating a folder within a folder that was reached by double-clicking on an alias. This has been fixed.
  • Corrected a problem with the “Make Save dialogs automatically default to the current document’s folder” setting that would cause DFX to default to the top level of your hard disk or your home folder in certain applications (including Address Book).