Hands-on with OS X 10.9 Mavericks: Tabs and Tags in your Mac’s Finder

“Apple’s relationship with the OS X Finder has been a funny one. Since 1984, the Finder has been how Mac users interact with their files, but it’s always been a bit too confusing for many users,” Jason Snell writes for Macworld. “Starting with the introduction of the Dock in OS X’s first release, moving on to Spotlight in Tiger, and culminating with the addition of Launchpad in OS X Lion, Apple has long been adding alternatives to using the Finder to dig through folders.”

“And yet with OS X Mavericks, Apple has added features that seem positively Finder-centric. Perhaps the OS X team has simply come to terms with the fact that the Finder isn’t going away, so it might as well be improved,” Snell writes. “In any event, Mavericks takes a cue from Web browsers (and decades of alternate-Finder apps such as Path Finder) by adding tabs in Finder windows. In addition, there’s a new way to organize files via metadata, using the new Tags feature. It’s a fine time for Finder fans, for sure.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. How come every Mac user I help seems to do their “Finding” by scooting icons on their desktop?

    Some people just refuse to organize anything until they are hopelessly lost. Then when I help them organize into folders, they are really lost as it is not familiar to them.

    The question becomes how do you start a user on properly grasping and learning the best uses of the Finder.

    1. Everytime I setup a new system for a colleague or friend, I ALWAYS hide the desktop. It’s great, since they’re forced to start using folders when they save their stuff. And the moment you have to make folders, you start to think about naming conventions and hierarchies etc.

    2. I’ve been considering going totally Finder-free Gonzo Style. In other words, all music, videos, spreadsheets, Keynote presentations, and documents, etc. will be kept in one giant unorganized folder and via keywords and the title of the file, I’lll find it by Spotlight. The amount of current data lacking a reasonable title and keywords is preventing me from pursuing that direction.

    1. I think Path Finder will probably still be on another level compared to Mavericks’ functionality, having things like Terminal integration and many other power-user features. I tried Path Finder and found it TOO powerful and feature-laden for what I really needed.

      From what we’ve seen, it looks to me like Finder Tabs and Tags in Mavericks will obsolete less-featured apps like XtraFinder (which is the one I use) and TotalFinder. That was my immediate thought watching the demo in the keynote: “Goodbye, XtraFinder.” 🙂

      1. On the other hand, now that I’m thinking about it, there is one thing that XtraFinder does include that I’ve not seen mentioned regarding Mavericks’ Finder: dual-pane Finder Tabs. i.e., the ability to have side-by-side tabs in the SAME window so you can compare them visually and move files between them. My understanding is that at least at this time, one cannot open Mavericks Finder folders in a new window for side-by-side comparisons and transfers, so if that does indeed prove to be the case in the final version of Mavericks, that could be a problem.

        1. I completely agree. I used Total Finder and I loved the ability to have dual panes to compare and transfer files. There are other dual pane replacements for Finder such as Path Finder but I liked the simplicity of Total Finder. The new tabbed Finder in Mavericks is almost useless. Having tabs is nice, free ups some of the clutter but the main reason I liked tabs in Total Finder (or other products, I have never used XtraFinder) was for the dual pane aspect. Unfortunately Mavericks Finder does not yet support dual panes and also broke support for TotalFinder (and maybe XtraFinder). For me this could be a deal breaker. I’ll wait for an updated TotalFinder or dual pane support from Mavericks before I make my judgement.

    2. Well, since they forgot to add the essential split-window functionality (as seen in every goddamn FTP client since, like, forever) and the Shelf (as invented by NeXT), the Finder will continue to suck donkey nuts. Someone in the upper ranks at Apple must sincerely hate basic workflow.

      1. Well I always opened a folder into the sidebar when I wanted to drag files from multiple locations into one folder.

        But I like the idea of not having to move and resize windows if I’m dragging from one to the other. Cut, copy and paste works fine but having both folders viewable and easily identified with file paths would be best.

  2. I don’t understand, that You think TotalFinder has lost it’s mojo. The new tabbed Finder in Mavericks is almost useless. Total Finder gives You “A” the dual pane, “B” folders on top and “C” copy&paste. These are 3 reasons to continue TotalFinder.

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