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Using Finder Views on Your Mac

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What's Your Favorite Finder View?
Finder Views: The Four Main Finder Views

You can quickly change between Finder views by clicking the four view buttons.

Finder views offer four different ways of looking at the files and folders stored on your Mac. Most new Mac users tend to work with only one of the four Finder views: Icon, List, Column, or Cover Flow. Working in one Finder view may not seem like a bad idea. After all, you will become very adept at the ins and outs of using that view. But it’s probably much more productive in the long run to learn how to use each Finder view, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each view.

In this guide, we will examine the four Finder views, how to access them, and learn the best time to use each type of view.

Finder Views

  • Icon: Each file or folder is represented by an icon. The Mac desktop is a good example of icon view.
  • List: List view shows details about a file or folder, including its many attributes. List view is similar to the standard view in Windows Explorer.
  • Column: Column view provides a visual trail of where you have been, and displays a hierarchical view of where a file is stored.
  • Cover Flow: A modified list view that displays a thumbnail view of a file’s contents.
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