I’m a workspace packrat, and not just in keeping a ton of old files on my hard drive (although I do that, too). What I mean is wanting to have a bunch of windows open at once, so when I need to get to something I don’t have to go through the time of opening a window and browsing to where something might be. This results in having a lot of windows open, cluttering up the bottom of my screen, and worse, sometimes an efficiency-defeating search when I want to access something.
Modern web browsers have handled this issue with tabs, allowing us to have a single window open with many tabs, each showing different pages. But what about file management on our computer? If you also want to keep views of multiple folders open at once, but don’t want the clutter of a bunch of extra windows (and you have a Mac running Snow Leopard) you might want to check out TotalFinder.
TotalFinder is a plug-in that provides Google Chrome-style tabs in the Finder window, allowing easy access to multiple folder views in the same FInder window. If you’re feeling a little alarmed at the notion of modifying your Finder (arguably a bit close to the heart of OSX to be messing with), you can rest easy. The plug-in doesn’t modify any Finder.app files, just the running image in memory. If you want to see the development history you can check out the detailed change log available on the Binary Age web site. One thing to keep in mind is that TotalFinder is only compatible with Snow Leopard, due to the total rewrite Finder went through at OSX 10.6.
The software is currently at version 0.9.6 and is free, although it will go to $15 at version 1.0. After a couple of days using TotalFinder, I wouldn’t want to be without it. It brings the icons in my dock down to a more reasonable number. (I think 71 is reasonable… right?)