Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Leopard wish list – Part four: Finder

November 16, 2006

My wish list for the Finder is not as extensive as other’s will be. Partly because I do not have as many complaints about the Finder as I’ve seen long-time Mac users have – particularly those you came from OS 7, 8, and/or 9.


As I said, my list of fixes will be pretty short.

An unlimited number of labels would be where I’d start. If you open your preferences in Finder you have a Labels area that gives you a selection of 7 colors that you can change the names of, to fit the label. I use this feature rather sparingly so I can actually get what I need labeled within the 7-label-limit – however why is this a limitation at all? Why not have a quick button that lets you select a color, name the label, and you are off to the races. Perhaps it has to do with people deleting labels that scares Apple from including such a feature.

Saved searches are currently the only folders that allow you to view things “like Spolight” windows show files. By kind, date, etc. If you create a smart folder you can see a new view button at the top – but yet you can not view those on other folders. I think it’d be neat to have that view across the system, not just within saved searches.

Keyword autocomplete when doing a keyword search is really annoying. If you do a search within Finder, then click and add a Keyword filter – Finder will load your list of keywords from your entire system (including those in iPhoto). On my Macbook it took about 20 seconds to do this (good ole’ beachball meantime), and then it autocompleted anything I typed. Instead of being able to type in partial names (i.e. Paul), it forced me to search for a specific Paul. Here’s the annoying part, I have 7 people that I know with the first name of Paul, and 8 that I know with the last name of Paul. Turn the autocomplete off.

DMG mounts should not automatically be opened with the finder in “collapsed mode”. I am not sure where to throw the blame here – if it is Apple, the developer who packaged the DMG, or something that I’ve set on my system. But I have never once wanted to keep Finder in collapsed view since I will eventually have to drag the application into my applications folder to install it.

Feature requests

There is a lot of hoopla about having tabs and other various things, but I’m not sure I’m on board with that yet.

Better media browsing when you are viewing a folder filled with images, movies, or audio. Right now if I’m viewing a directory full of JPGs I can view it in thumbnail (or tile) view, and then open my preferences and bump up the size of the thumbnails. But why not an iPhoto like slider for this type of thing? Why not have a quick way to sort by date, kind, or keyword?

Apple should start taking some of the functionality back out of the applications that it creates and start putting those features into the operating system. Make it just as easy to find a photo in Finder as it is to do in iPhoto.

Final thoughts

See, that wasn’t so bad. I’m sure the improvements to Finder in Leopard will be pretty broad. Not only because of the amount of criticism that has flew – but also because there will be new features that it needs to support (such as Time Machine).

I’m not sure I want to see it change too much though – and if it becomes anything as bloated as Path Finder I may just have to revolt!

Note: Be sure to check out other parts of my Leopard wish list listed below:

  1. Part one: Safari
  2. Part two: Mail
  3. Part three: iChat
  4. Part three: Finder

[tags]finder, macintosh, apple, mac os x, osx, leopard, wish list, iphoto, keywords, searching[/tags]