In earlier versions of the Mac OS, the Finder was located in the application menu at the far-right edge of the menu bar. The Finder was the application responsible for displaying the contents of a drive or folder; when it was double-clicked, a window opened, displaying either an Icon or List View of the contents. Mac OS X’s Finder really isn’t that different from Mac OS 9’s Finder. It still displays the contents of drives and folders; however, now it is much more powerful.
With each new version of Mac OS X, Mac users have been presented with a new iteration of the Finder. Just as the Finder’s icon is anchored in the Dock, the Finder is truly the cornerstone that marks the progress of Mac OS X’s evolution through time. The same holds true in Panther, in which the Finder got a fresh new metal interface, a Sidebar, expanded search capabilities, and better functionality to make it easier for you to connect your Mac with other devices and other computers, including Windows machines.
This chapter covers the use of the Finder, and includes tips and tricks to make you a more efficient Mac user.
The Finder serves as a graphical file manager, which offers three ways (or Views) to look at files, folders, applications, and other filesystems (or volumes) mounted on your system. If you’ve used an earlier version of Mac OS X, you’ll notice that Panther’s Finder, shown in Figure 2-1, has changed dramatically.
Figure 2-1. Panther’s new Finder and its controls ...