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Mac OS X Lion: Visual QuickStart Guide: Window Views

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In this chapter, Maria Langer tells you more about how to work with Mac OS X’s window views. By understanding how each view works and what features it offers, you should be able to decide which views work best for the things you need to do.
This chapter is from the book

The Mac OS Finder displays the contents of your hard disk and other accessible volumes in windows. A window can show the contents of a volume or folder.

Mac OS offers several different window views that make it easy to see and work with a window’s contents. For example, you can view contents as icons or hierarchical lists that can be sorted any way you like. You can even use views that include previews of document contents so you can see a document without even opening it.

In this chapter, I tell you more about how to work with Mac OS X’s window views. By understanding how each view works and what features it offers, you should be able to decide which views work best for the things you need to do.

In This Chapter

  • Window Views
  • Working with Icon View
  • Working with List View
  • Working with Column View
  • Working with Cover Flow
  • Arranging Window Contents

Window Views

A Finder window’s contents can be displayed using four different views:

  • Icons displays the window’s contents as icons A. You can set the icon size and rearrange icons within the window.
  • List displays the window’s contents as a sorted list B. You can use disclosure triangles to hide or show folder contents.
  • Columns displays the window’s contents with a multiple-column format that shows the currently selected disk or folder and the items within it C. The right-most column displays a preview of a selected item.
  • Cover Flow displays a folder’s contents as preview images at the top of the window D. If you have a multi-touch device, you can use gestures to scroll through the preview icons.

Figure 1 ABCD Mac OS X’s four window views: icon view, list view, column view, and Cover Flow view.

You can switch from one view to another with the click of a button, making it easy to use any view you like for any window you’re viewing. You can also set the view for each window separately.

To set a window’s view:

  1. If necessary, activate the window for which you want to change the view.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Choose the view option you want from the View menu E, or press the corresponding shortcut key: Icon view: Command-1 List view: Command-2 Column view: Command-3 Cover Flow view: Command-4
    • Figure 2 E You can choose an option from the top of the View menu to change the active window’s view.

    • Click the toolbar’s view button for the view you want E. The button will appear “pushed in” when selected.
    • Figure 3 F Use the View buttons on the toolbar to switch from one view to another.

    • Right-click in the window to display a contextual menu and choose the view you want from the View submenu G.
    • Figure 4 G Right-clicking in a window displays a contextual menu you can use to change the view. This is particularly handy when the toolbar is not showing.

    The view of the window changes.

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