default folder x

Default Folder X - Software Craftsmanship

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As I was downloading the latest update to Default Folder X, I couldn't help but think about the fantastic work Jon does over at St. Clair Software. It is a small shop but Jon truly is a software craftsman. He has been developing Default Folder X for years and he never stops making it better. I already reviewed it and even screencasted it. If you have found OS X's default save/open dialogue boxes wanting, head over to St. Clair Software and check out Default Folder X.

Default Folder X Gets an Upgrade

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One of my favorite Mac applications, Default Folder X, got a new release this week. In addition to the usual bug fixes there are several new features including the following:

* Added an option to display the toolbar as a gray sidebar for those users that don't like the HUD look.

* The preview generator has been rewritten, greatly improving performance and reliability, especially on Mac OS 10.4. Previews are also now created for many types of text files that weren't supported before on Leopard, and text, html, and rtf files now have previews under Tiger.

* Copy and Paste now work in Default Folder X's Spotlight keyword windows.

* Provided an option to turn off graphical UI effects like windows fading in and out, animated window resizing, and menus swooshing around.

* If you drag the preview window smaller, it will stay that size when another preview is displayed. To return the behavior to the default "automatic resizing" mode, resize the preview window so its lower edge is at the bottom of your screen.

I'm a big fan of Default Folder X. I reviewed it here and did a somewhat dated screencast on it here.

Default Folder X is Getting all Spotty

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I have been corresponding with Jon over at StClairSoft.com about the upcoming release of Default Folder X version 4. There is no secret about just how much I have come to rely upon this application. I've been running the beta of version 4.0 for the last week and can report that when it releases in December, you won't be disappointed.

The additions to your save and open dialogue box now look ... well... more "leopardy". Even more important, however, is the quicklook style box below that previews whatever image, document, or file you are contemplating opening. It doesn't allow you to page through documents. Apparently Apple has not opened that particular part of quicklook to the development community. The upgrade price will cost $14.95 but free fro those people who bought Default Folder X after June 1.

Review - Default Folder X

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One problem I used to have with my Mac was the universal save dialogue box. It looks pretty, but often I found myself making lots of clicks just to get a file in the right place. I wanted it to be more intuitive and less work. I looked around and eventually found Default Folder X. I’ve been using it about four months now and, frankly, I couldn’t imagine not having it.

Default Folder X rewires the OS X save dialogue with some very nice extra features. Once you install Default Folder X, you have a new save dialogue box that includes a series of buttons down the right side. The first button is the default folder icon which allows you to specify a directory for saving items that is customizable by application. Gone are the days of starting in the “Documents” folder and drilling to fine your ultimate destination. Default Folder does the work for you. The button below that roughly equates to the “my computer” icon in the windows save box. It gives you a global view of everything on your system. Since this is duplicated in the left column, this is the button I use least often.

Next are buttons for favorites and recent locations which are very helpful. For instance I have a “review” folder saved as one of my favorites. As I write reviews I can then get them saved much faster. Likewise the recent folders icon is helpful when I’ve got my head down on one project. For instance, I spent several days this week putting together a keynote presentation for a case I’m working on. I had pdf, image, and document folders I was accessing constantly. The recent folders button kept me right on track.

Also, there is a “Finder” button that allows you to save documents to open finder windows. This again is really helpful. Quite often I have a finder window open related to whatever I am doing. Rather than drilling for it, Default Folder gets you there in one click.

On the bottom of the Default Folder save dialogue is a spotlight comment field that gives me no excuse to not start using spotlight comments more often except, of course, inherent laziness.

In addition to the new save dialogue, default folders installs menu bar and dock icons. I’m a doc minimalist so I didn’t keep Default Folder X there but my menu bar is loaded up and one more icon just makes the party bigger. This icon gives me access to the Default Folder shortcuts outside the save dialogue along with preference setting that can include multiple favorite sets and keyboard shortcuts.

At $34.95, Default Folder X is not cheap. When I first downloaded the 30 day trial, I wasn’t sure that I would end up keeping it. However, before the trial period was over, I knew I’d be paying for this one. Give it a test run yourself but be warned, you will probably end buying it. You can find out more about Default Folder X at their website.

You can listen to this review right here and see my screencast of Default Folder X right here.




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