Never ask a woman her age. You’ll pay for it later. But you can guess with a few questions. For example, “How long have you used a Mac, Tera?” See? My first encounter with a Mac came about over 20 years ago. A friend’s brother had a Mac PowerBook. That was my first taste.
Not many years later, while in college, I picked up a used PowerBook to replace a very broken Windows PC notebook and that was that. In the years since I’ve owned about every modern era Mac available; from MacBook Air to iMac to Mac mini, but I didn’t cross over into power user territory until recently.
It all started with the Mac’s Finder. If ever there was a piece of software from Apple that needed a makeover it would be the Finder. One day I read a review about a Finder replacement called Path Finder.
If the Finder had super hero powers it would be called Path Finder. Even Apple found some Path Finder features so useful they were copied into recent Finder for OS X Yosemite and El Capitan updates. Think tabs. First, though, if the Mac’s Finder is just fine for you, read no further. Otherwise, be prepared to be amazed.
Here’s what you get in Path Finder that Finder doesn’t give.
Customization and power tools. Full keyboard navigation and Dual Pane View (maybe, along with tabs, one of the best file finder features ever). Bookmarks and tab presets. Folder merging. You see where this is going, right? Mac power users are differentiated from average Mac users because the keyboard becomes centric (avoid the trackpad and mouse) for greater efficiency.
Those few utilities alone are worth the price of admission to Path Finder because they make navigating through folders so much faster. Built in to Path Finder are options to sync invisible items and subfolders and packages between folders. There’s batch renaming options (Apple finally got around to it in OS X Yosemite, but it’s anemic compared to renaming utilities).
Path Finder excels at workflow customization with half a dozen customizable views and even more custom modules, yet it’s all rolled up into what looks and feels just like the Mac’s Finder with familiar Sidebar, Toolbar, and contextual menu. Dropbox can be integrated, too, and for the geeky Mac users there’s an option to create and modify ACLs, a Hex editor, checksum calculations, plus built-in folder merging, terminal from within Path Finder, and both a text and image editor.
All of that and more are built into Path Finder– all options you won’t find in the Mac’s built-in Finder.
I’ve used Path Finder a few years and I’ll admit it’s an acquired taste because it takes effort to change, and the number of useful features will take time to integrate into your daily workflow and experience level– hence the 30-day trial period. To use it daily is to love it, but it’s definitely for Mac users who find the macOS Finder to be the anemic vestige it is.