Digital Home Leopard coverage: Finder

In a word, Finder is simply "fantastic." It's a must-see for anyone considering a Leopard upgrade.

One of the nicest additions to Leopard is the incredible improvements to Finder. And while the OS still allows you to navigate through your computer in the old style (column view was always my favorite), Cover Flow just works.

Now, before we get into just how nice Finder really is, why can't we view the menu options beneath cover flow in column view? So far, Apple only allows you to view desired paths in list mode. And while it gets a little annoying, it's not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination.

Sure, it may be a small addition and some people aren't all that excited, but Leopard now allows you to turn a breadcrumb navigator on in Finder, which allows you to know where you've been. Unfortunately, it's not on by default, but a quick jaunt to the View -> Show Path Bar option will get the job done.

Obviously the most important new addition to Finder is Cover Flow. At first, I was a bit skeptical of Cover Flow's usefulness, but after a good five to ten minutes of using it, I'm sold. It seems like such a simple addition to an already helpful folder navigation system, but it works far better than anything else I've ever used.

In fact, one of the best components of Cover Flow is the ability to view a selection instantly. Dubbed Quick Look, you need to only press space and the selection will come to the front of the screen and allow you to view it in full screen (if you wish). If you choose a Word document, you won't be able to edit it in this view, but it's an incredibly useful and fast way of referencing something without going through the task of opening up a program.

Other than that, Apple has decided to leave well enough alone, and I'm glad it did. Finder is simply fantastic and has somehow become far more useful than it used to be. Simply put, it's a must-see.

Overall Finder grade: 10/10

Up next: Spaces

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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