Alter Finder Views

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The Mac OS X Finder allows you to make numerous changes to the look, feel, and behavior of Finder windows.  For example, you can adjust the size of the displayed icons and text.  The modification options shown to you by Mac OS X will depend on the Finder view you are currently using.  The examples shown in this guide have been performed on the Applications Folder.
Alter Icon View
The default icon size in Mac OS X Leopard and Mac OS X Tiger is 44 x 44.   To change this open a Finder window, change the view to Icon then do the following:
  1. Click View in the Finder Menu Bar
  2. Select "Show View Options" or press command-J on the keyboard
In this example, the Icon size has been modified to 48 x 48.

In Mac OS X, you'll see the window to the below.  The settings shown will depend on if they are the default or have been modified.  At the top you'll see an option to "Always open in icon view".  If selected, all Finder windows will open in Icon view regardless of how they were last used.

To change the icon size just drag the scroll bar to the right or left.  As you move it, you will see the icon sizes change in real time.  You can alter the spacing between the icons with the "Grid Spacing" scroll bar.

Use the drop-down to alter the size of the text below the icons or change the placement of the text from below the icon to the right of the icon.  You can even alter the background color of the Finder window or use a picture.

Play around with the various options as you customize the look and feel.

Alter List View
When you change the Finder view to List and activate "Show View Options", you'll notice that Mac OS X will alter the options as shown below.  You'll notice that you can change the size of the Icon that is to the left of the item.  There are numerous options to enable or disable certain items via check boxes.  The "Version" option is useful for the Applications Folder.

Alter Column View

The view options are limited in the column view.  Only three  check boxes are available; "Text size", "Show icons", and "Show preview column".  The preview column is especially useful when you want to preview photos, images, audio files, Quicktime clips, or anything that can be previewed.  It's a great time saver as you'll easily identify items before you open them.  You  can arrange in six different ways, the default is by "Name"

finder_alter_view_column_01.pngHere's a difference in the view when "Show preview column" is active and inactive.

Alter Cover Flow View
This new view was added in Mac OS X Leopard.  The preferences setting is nearly identical to the list view shown above with the only exception is the top check box states "Always open in Cover Flow view".  An example Cover Flow view is shown below:

  • April 30, 2009 - content revision, updated images for Mac OS X Leopard, added Cover Flow section
Created: 9:10 PM on Feb 15, 2007
By: switchtoamac