Review: Total Finder
I have been using an application called Visor for quite some time now and when I installed Lion it stopped working. It appeared in the Incompatible Applications folder that Lion creates during install. I quickly went to the site and downloaded the new version (which is now called Total Terminal). However while I was there I noticed another application called Total Finder. I read through the site to get a feel for what it would do. I then downloaded it and started to use it to see if my productivity would be enhanced or hindered by the application.
I still have not ventured through every feature that it offers but I have been steadily using it for a few days now. I have found that it does boost my productivity a bit and I find it fun to use. You can have as many tabs as you want open just like in your browser but when you get more tabs than the width of the window you can no longer read the directory name on the tab. I think there is still room for improvements in how the tabs work however. I opened a Finder window and opened a bunch of tabs to see how it would handle a lot of tabs open. The main point of doing so was to see if it slowed down the Finder window and I was surprised it did not slow it down. The one issue I found is explained below with screen-shots. and below that is a suggestion.
This first image is showing that I have a lot of tabs open and that you cannot read the tab title to know what directory you are currently in. I also tried to hover over the tab to see if something came up to tell me what the text said and it did not. This is the most annoying thing I have found in Total Finder, and with that said I personally don’t think that it is that big of a deal.
This image shows how I have closed a lot of the tabs yet the remaining tabs have not re-sized themselves because my mouse is still in the tab area.
The final image shows how the tabs are re-sized once your mouse leaves the tabbed area in Finder.
And now for my suggestions.
1.) When you have a lot of tabs open maybe make the active tab the widest so you can read the directory name
2.) When you start closing tabs the other tabs do not re-size until your mouse cursor has left the “tab area”, I think they should re-size whenever a tab is closed.
Another feature that I have found useful is what they call dual mode. When you have multiple tabs open you can double-click a tab and it will be “connected” to the tab on its right side if there is one, and on the left side if not. If you only have one tab open and you double-click it another tab will be opened and they will be joined. These “joined” windows can now be used to make sure directories are in sync. You can also use ⌘-U to enter or leave dual mode. I have not had to use this feature all that much but it is nice to have when needed.
There is one more feature of Total Finder that I want to touch on before I end this review. It is my favorite feature and it is called Visor, but you cannot confuse this with the old application named Visor that I used for my Terminal, remember I said the terminal application used to be called Visor and is now Total Terminal. Basically Visor is a feature in both Total Terminal and Total Finder except it is only “optional” in Total Finder. This feature allows your Finder to be called to the front by using a keyboard shortcut. When you execute this shortcut the Finder window will slide up from the bottom of your screen ready for use. It might be a bit hard to see in the re-sized image below so just click the image to see a larger version.
I personally love the Visor feature in Total Finder. I never have to go near the Dock and can just hit a keyboard shortcut to reveal my Finder window. If you try the Visor mode and find it annoying that when the Finder is open your Dock comes over the top you can set the preferences to make Total Finder go over top of your Dock.
The part I like the most though about Total Finder is the fact that is it still Finder. It’s not a 3rd party application that replaces Finder and forces me to learn a new tool. Both Total Finder and Total Terminal will boost your productivity but there is nothing like using them together.