Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Renaming Favorites in Default Folder X

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Default Folder X lets you mark folders as favorites so you can get to them quickly.  Unfortunately, it displays those folders in its menus using their names – if you’ve got two identically named folders named “Images,” for instance, they both show up in Default Folder X’s menus as “Images” and it’s hard to tell them apart.

Because of this, I’ve gotten a few requests for the ability to change the names of Favorites without changing the name of the actual folders that they point to.  This feature is on my To-Do list, but in the meantime here’s a workaround to do it with the current version of Default Folder X:

  1. Open Default Folder X in System Preferences.
  2. Click on the Settings button.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab and turn on “Create aliases for Recent Folders and Favorites in your Library folder”.
  4. In the Finder, navigate to this folder: HOME/Library/Favorites.  Locate the aliases of the folders you want to rename.
  5. Rename the alias files using the Finder.  Default Folder X will then read those names and substitute them for the original folder names in its menus.

Getting to Recent Folders with the Keyboard in DFX

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Many people are familiar with the Option-down-arrow keyboard shortcut in Default Folder X. When you’re using an Open or Save dialog, it takes you straight to the last folder you used. (If you haven’t been using this, try it – it saves a TON of time).

What most people don’t know is that there’s a hidden setting in your Default Folder X preferences that will let you use the same keyboard combination in the Finder. Press Option-down-arrow and the most recent folder in your DFX Recent Folders menu will open up in a new window.

To enable this, open System Preferences and select Default Folder X. Hold down the Option key while you press the “Settings…” button and you’ll get this sheet of options:

Turn on the checkbox marked “HotkeysForRecentFolders” and click OK.  That’s all there is to it.

If you’re curious about all of the other “secret settings”, have a look at this blog post.

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 🙂

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).

New Default Folder X Screencast

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

I’ve added a new Overview screencast to the screencasts page.  I kept it focused on the efficiency side of Default Folder X, so it doesn’t highlight all of the features. I felt it was important to get the primary point across and not get lost in the details.

Screencast: Default Folder X Previews

Default Folder X Overview
(QuickTime video – 3:18)

I’m interested to hear your opinions – particularly whether the focus is right (getting to your files vs.  details like rebound, tagging, etc).

Enabling DFX’s new menu previews in file dialogs

Monday, July 13th, 2009

I’ve received a number of emails asking why the new file previews only work in Default Folder X’s system menu, and not in its menus in the Open and Save dialogs.  This is because Default Folder X normally doesn’t display files in its file dialog menus — those menus are used for navigating among folders.

You can, however, change this using a hidden setting.  Here’s how:

  1. Open System Preferences and select Default Folder X.
  2. Option-click on the “Settings” button.
  3. Turn on the “AlwaysShowFilesInMenus” checkbox.
  4. Click OK and quit System Preferences.
  5. The menus that Default Folder X places next to Open and Save dialogs should now show previews like this.

Note: With this setting turned on, Default Folder X will show all the files in each folder, regardless of whether the current application can open them or not.  If you select a file that the application can open, DFX will take you to the folder containing the file and select it in the file dialog.  If the application can’t open the file, you’ll be switched to the file’s folder, but nothing will be selected.

DFX Secret Settings

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Updated 3/29/2010 to include all of the latest settings.

So yeah – someone wrote to ask for a feature and I realized that there’s no documentation for the “secret settings” in Default Folder X.  Open System Preferences, click on Default Folder X, then hold down the option key and click on the Settings button.

Here’s the quick run-down:

  1. OpenFinderWindowsInColumnView:  Does what it says.  When DFX opens a folder for you in the Finder, the window will be in column view.
  2. OpenInFrontFinderWindow:  When DFX opens a folder in the Finder, it uses the frontmost Finder window instead of creating a new window.
  3. ReboundWhenChoosingFolders: Some apps use Open dialogs that allow you to select files or folders.  By default, DFX doesn’t do its “rebound” feature in these dialogs because it can cause the current folder to change if you’re using column view.  This switch makes it rebound anyway.
  4. MenusUseSmallFonts: For people with good eyes.
  5. HidePreviews: The OS X-supplied previews in column view in some apps (Photoshop) are really slow for large files.  This turns them off.
  6. HotkeysForRecentFolders: Option-up-arrow and option-down-arrow open windows in the Finder to show your  recently used folders.
  7. QuitWithoutConfirmation: Quitting DFX won’t bring up the “Are you sure?” alert.
  8. ShowHiddenFinderWindows: Makes Finder-click work even when the Finder is hidden.
  9. DisableContextualMenu: Turns off DFX’s contextual menus in Open and Save dialogs.
  10. ExportAndPrintToDocumentFolder: There’s a setting in DFX called “Make save dialogs automatically default to the current document’s folder.”  Normally it (intentionally) doesn’t work when you print to PDF files or export a file – this setting makes it work in Print to PDF and Export dialogs too.
  11. AlwaysShowFilesInMenus: Usually the menus that DFX displays next to file dialogs only show folders in them.  Turning on this option will make the menus display the files within those folders too.  Selecting a file will switch the file dialog to the folder that contains the file and select the file.
  12. OpenActiveFolderSet: Turn this on and DFX will open all Favorites in a folder set in the Finder whenever you change folder sets.
  13. ToolbarOnLeft: Displays the toolbar on the left side of Open and Save As dialogs instead of on the right.
  14. DisableOpenMetaUpgrade: Turn off the built-in code that upgrades old OpenMeta spotlight tags.  See the blog post about this.

So, there’s a few more little bits for Default Folder X.  Enjoy!