At the top of every Finder window is a small set of function icons, all in a brushed-aluminum row (Figure 4-6). The first time you run Mac OS X 10.4, you’ll find only these icons on the toolbar:
Back, Forward. As you’ve probably noticed, the Mac OS X Finder works something like a Web browser. 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 looking at. (Instead of clicking Back, you can also press -[, or choose Go→Back—particularly handy if the toolbar is hidden, as described in The Finder Toolbar.)
View controls. The three tiny buttons next to the Forward button switch the current window into icon, list, or column view, respectively (Status Bar). And remember, if the toolbar is hidden, you can get by with the equivalent commands in the View menu at the top of the screen—or by pressing -1, -2, or -3 (for Icon, List, and Columns view, respectively).
Action. You can read all about this context-sensitive pop-up menu in Gem in the Rough: Shortcut Menus, Action Menus.
Search bar. This little round-ended text box is yet another entry point for the Spotlight feature described in Chapter 3. It’s a handy way to search your Mac for some file, folder, disk, or program. See Figure 3-7 for full details.
Fortunately, the toolbar doesn’t have to contribute to that impression. You can hide it with one click—on the white, oval “Old Finder Mode” button (see Power Users’ Clinic: The Go to Folder Command). You can also hide the toolbar by choosing View→Hide Toolbar or pressing Option--T. (The same keystroke, or choosing View→Show Toolbar, brings it back.)
But you don’t have to do without the toolbar altogether. If its consumption of screen space is your main concern, you may prefer to collapse it—to delete the pictures but preserve the text buttons.
The trick is to -click the Old Finder Mode button. With each click, you make the toolbar take up less vertical space, cycling through six variations of shrinking icons, shrinking text labels, and finally labels without any icons at all (see Figure 4-6).
Figure 4-6. If you -click the upper-right toolbar button repeatedly, you cycle through six combinations of large and small icons and text labels (three examples are shown here). Tip: This same -clicking business cycles through the same toolbar variations in Mail, Preview, and other programs that have toolbars.
There’s a long way to adjust the icon and label sizes, too: Choose View→Customize Toolbar (or Option- click the Old Finder Mode button). As shown in Figure 4-7, the dialog box that appears offers a Show pop-up menu at the bottom. It lets you choose picture-buttons, Icon Only, or, for the greatest space conservation, Text Only. You can see the results without even closing the dialog box.
Click Done or press Enter to make your changes stick.
In Text Only mode, the three View buttons become a little pop-up menu. Furthermore, the Search bar turns into a one-word button called Search. Clicking it brings up the Finder-window version of the Spotlight dialog box (The Find Command).
Mac OS X not only offers a collection of beautifully designed icons for alternate (or additional) toolbar buttons, but makes it easy for you to add anything to the toolbar, turning the toolbar into a supplementary Dock or Sidebar. This is great news for people who miss having their Home and Applications folder icons at the top of the window, as it was in early Mac OS X versions, or for anyone who has run out of space for stashing favorite icons in the Dock or the Sidebar. (Of course, if that’s your problem, you need a bigger monitor.)
To see the optional toolbar icons that Apple has prepared for you, choose View→Customize Toolbar. The window shown in Figure 4-7 appears.
There’s a great secret shortcut for opening the Customize Toolbar window: Option--click the toolbar button (the Old Finder Mode button, the white capsule in the upper-right corner of every Finder window).
Figure 4-7. While this window is open, you can add icons to the toolbar by dragging them into place from the gallery before you. You can also remove icons from the toolbar by dragging them up or down off the toolbar. Rearrange the icons by dragging them horizontally.
This is your chance to rearrange the existing toolbar icons or delete the ones you don’t use. You can also add any of Apple’s buttons to the toolbar by dragging them from the “gallery” onto the toolbar itself. The existing icons scoot out of your cursor’s way, if necessary.
Most of the options listed in the gallery duplicate the functions of menu commands. Here are a few of the options that don’t appear on the standard toolbar:
Path. Most of the gallery elements are buttons, but this one creates a pop-up menu on the toolbar. When clicked, it reveals (and lets you navigate) the hierarchy—the path—of folders that you open to reach whichever window is open. (Equivalent: -clicking a window’s title, as described in Title Bar.)
Eject. This button ejects whichever disk or disk image is currently highlighted. (Equivalent: The File→Eject command, or holding down the Eject key on your keyboard.)
Burn. This button burns a blank CD or DVD with the folders and files you’ve dragged onto it. (Equivalent: The File→Burn Disc command.)
Customize. This option opens this toolbar-customizing window that you’re already examining. (Equivalent: The View→Customize Toolbar command.)
Separator. This gallery icon doesn’t actually do anything when clicked. It’s designed to set apart groups of toolbar icons. (For example, you might want to segregate your folder buttons, such as Documents and Applications, from your function buttons, such as Delete and Connect.) Drag this dotted line between two existing icons on the toolbar.
Space. By dragging this mysterious-looking item into the toolbar, you add a gap between it and whatever icon is to its left. The gap is about as wide as one icon. (The fine, dark, rectangular outline that appears when you drag it won’t actually show up once you click Done.)
Flexible Space. This icon, too, creates a gap between the toolbar buttons. The difference is that this time, the gap will expand as you make the window wider. Now you know how Apple got the Search box, for example, to appear off to the right of the standard toolbar, a long way from its clustered comrades to the left.
New Folder. Clicking this button creates a new folder in whichever window you’re viewing. (Equivalent: the File→New Folder command, or the Shift--N keystroke. Millions of Mac fans, however, spend their first weeks with Mac OS X hitting the old Mac OS 9 keystroke, -N, when they want a new folder, little realizing that -N now triggers the New Finder Window command. Adding the New Folder “command” to the toolbar is a quick solution.)
Connect. If you’re on a home or office network, this opens the Connect to Server dialog box (see Tip) so that you can tap into another computer. (Equivalent: The Go→Connect to Server command, or the -K keystroke.)
Get Info. This button opens the Get Info window (Get Info) for the icon you’ve highlighted.
iDisk. The iDisk is your own personal 250 MB virtual hard drive on the Internet. It’s your private backup disk, stashed at Apple, safe from whatever fire, flood, or locusts may destroy your office. Of course, you already know this, because you’re paying $100 per year for the privilege (see iDisk).
In any case, you can connect to the Internet and bring your iDisk’s icon onto the screen simply by clicking this toolbar icon.
Search. This item represents the Spotlight search bar described in Chapter 3.
Default set. If you’ve made a mess of your toolbar, you can always reinstate its original, factory-installed arrangement by dragging this rectangular strip directly upward onto your toolbar.
If a window is too narrow to show all the icons on the toolbar, the right end of the toolbar sprouts a >> symbol. Click it for a pop-up menu that names whichever icons don’t fit at the moment. (You’ll find this toolbar behavior in many Mac OS X programs, not just the Finder: iPhoto, Safari, Mail, Address Book, and so on.)
Millions of Tiger fans will probably trudge forward through life using the toolbar to hold the suggested Apple function buttons, and the Sidebar to hold the icons of favorite folders, files, and programs. They may never realize that you can drag any icons at all onto the toolbar—files, folders, disks, programs, or whatever—to turn them into one-click buttons.
In short, you can think of the Finder toolbar as yet another Dock or Sidebar (Figure 4-8).
You can drag toolbar icons around, rearranging them horizontally, by pressing as you drag. Taking an icon off the toolbar is equally easy. While pressing the key, just drag the icon clear away from the toolbar. It vanishes in a puff of cartoon smoke.