Working with Finder

Learn how to use the OS X Mountain Lion Finder feature to improve your knowledge of the Apple operating system.

Changing the view, arrangement, and sort options

Mountain Lion allows you to change the way folder contents are displayed by changing the view, arrangement, and sort options. This makes it easier to find the specific file you're looking for.

View options

Finder has four different view options to choose from. You may prefer to use just one all the time, or you can switch between them whenever you want.

No matter which view you're in, you can preview a file by pressing the space bar on your keyboard. This is known as Quick Look. It works with most common file types, but not all.

Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionPreviewing a file with Quick Look

To change the item arrangement:

With Mountain Lion, you can group folder contents by file type, application, date, size, or label. This is useful when you have a lot of files in a folder.

  1. Click the Item Arrangement button, then select the desired arrangement.
    Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionArranging by Date Created
  2. The folder contents will now be arranged into groups.
    Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionAfter arranging the folder

To remove the grouping, simply change the item arrangement to None.

To sort in list view and cover flow:

If you are in list view or cover flow, you can sort the folder contents. This is similar to item arrangement, except it only puts the contents in order and doesn't group them. You can't use sorting and item arrangement at the same time, so you'll need to make sure the item arrangement is set to None.

If you don't see the column you want, you can right-click any column header to select the columns you want to show.

Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionRight-clicking the header to add columns