Finder Window Views

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Finder Windows give you flexibility in how they present items to you.  For example, you can view items by Icon, List, Column, or in Cover Flow (a new view that debuted with Mac OS X Leopard).
One of the easiest ways to alter or switch between views would be by clicking on the View buttons in the Finder Toolbar.  You could also use the Finder Menu Bar or keyboard shortcuts to change the view of an active Finder window:

  1. Click View in the Finder Menu Bar
  2. Then choose either "as Icons", "as List", "as Columns", or "as Cover Flow"
finder_view_change_menu_01.pngA much quicker way to change the view would be to simultaneously press the shortcut keys indicated next to each view type.  Note that the default view following the setup of a new Mac or new account on your Mac is the Icon view.
as Icons (Icon View)
All items are represented by a small icon with the name of the item beneath the icon.  Double-click on an icon to either open the item or folder.

as List (List View)
All items are represented by a smaller icon with the name of the item to the right of the icon.  Additional information is also provided as shown.  Double-click on an icon to either open the item or folder.  You can sort items in this view.

as Columns (Column View)
The presentation of the items is very similar to the List View but without the additional information.  Note however when you click on an icon, you can see get further details about the Name, the kind of item, the amount of space it occupies on disk, the date it was created, the date and time it was last modifies, and the date and time it was last opened (used).  You can also click on the "More info" button to the additional details, what Mac OS X calls "Info" about the item.  The clicking behavior is different for the Column View, a single click will move you from one column to another.

as Cover Flow (Cover Flow View)
This view debuted in Mac OS X Leopard.  Cover Flow provides a stunning visual display that  allows you to flip through the icons in the view.  You'll notice that the Cover Flow view is split into two halves with the traditional list view on the lower pane and reflective icon-based view on the upper pane.  As you flip through an icon on the upper pane it is automatically highlighted in the lower pane.  This view is a great way to navigate through the contents of a folder to help you find exactly what you're looking for.

  • April 29, 2009 - content revision, images updates and additions
Created: 1:57 PM on Dec 29, 2006
By: switchtoamac