I really like the ability to see the Finder window in column view—in fact this is my default view for most windows. I have also grown rather fond of the way the FTP app, Transmit, sorts folders at the top of the finder window columns in the app. In the past I have even used finder substitute applications to accomplish sorting folders at the top of a column list. However, I recently have discovered that I have been underusing the more granular viewing controls Apple provides for Finder windows.
First, choose how you wish to view a specific finder window. As I mentioned, I most often use column view. But you can also view finder windows as icons (where you specify the size of the icon), in lists, and in a cover flow mode.
Once you have selected your preferred view, choose “Show View Options” from the Finder’s top View menu. You can also access the “Show View Options” from a contextual menu when right-clicking on a folder. The “Show View Options” window (pictured to the right) is where the little finder viewing geeks live. If you fail to check “Always open in [choice] view,” the Finder will not remember your viewing choice the next time you open this window.
Play with your options here. I personally prefer the settings you see pictured to the right. The default “Arrange By:” setting is “None,” which is what I, a seasoned Mac user, have always been using because I never paid attention to this setting. By changing it to “Kind,” (or whatever best suits my need) I am presented with a greater level of visual order to my file list.
I then sort my files by name. But the sorting feature is equally as powerful and can be used to accomplish different goals. Check out your options.
Finally, as with everything computer, you can access these settings in other ways. Pictured below is how to access these settings by clicking on the top of a Finder window itself.
Happy file organization!