The Finder Toolbar

At the top of every Finder window is a row of navigation and function icons. One click on any of these icons takes you directly to the corresponding disk or folder, or triggers the corresponding command.

The first time you run Mac OS X, for example, you’ll find these icons on the toolbar:

  • Back, Forward. As you’ve probably noticed, the Mac OS X Finder works something like a Web browser. In general, only a single window remains open as you navigate the various folders on your hard drive.

    The Back button returns you to whichever folder you were just viewing. (Instead of clicking Back, you can also press

    The Finder Toolbar

    -[, or choose Go Back—particularly handy if the toolbar is hidden.)

    The Forward button springs to life only after you’ve used the Back button. Clicking it (or pressing

    The Finder Toolbar

    -]) returns you to the window you just backed out of.


The Back button is also your ticket to the window you were in before you used the Finder’s Search bar.

  • View controls. The three tiny buttons next to the Forward button switch the current window into icon, list, or column view, respectively.

  • Action button. This pop-up contains an assortment of handy “action” items that help with tasks such as labeling files and folders, moving items to the Trash, and creating new folders. Nearly identical actions are ...

Get Mac OS X Power Hound, Second Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.