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Learn Lion Week – Customise your toolbar for a faster Finder

In the seventh part of our Learn Lion Week series we look at customising Finder's toolbar for a more fluid file-browsing experience.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - 10-minute beginner's tutorial
OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Main
If you need to look for a file or app on your Mac, or even simply organise a bunch of documents, Finder is undoubtedly your go-to tool.
It’s the home of everything on your machine from files to folders and apps to Applescripts, so it’s always a good idea to make it work as well for you as it possibly can. Much like any app in OS X, there’s a certain degree of customisation allowed, particularly when it comes to areas like the toolbar, so it’s well worth making the most of it, even if the process for customisation doesn’t seem obvious. It’s a good idea to experiment with different toolbar set-ups to see what buttons and layout works best for you. We’ll show you how customise your Finder’s toolbar in just ten minutes. The great thing about this technique is that once you know it you can alter your menu bar at any time to suit a particular task – like adding an eject button when burning discs.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step-By-Step

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 1

Step 1: Open the Finder
Click on Finder’s icon in the dock or use the shortcut Command + N if you don’t have any open windows to bring up a new Finder window.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 2

Step 2: Get customising
Click on View in the menu bar and then on ‘Customize Toolbar…’ to bring up the toolbar customisation menu.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 3

Step 3: Pick ‘n’ Mix
This menu consists of a collection of unused buttons, spacers, and extras that aren’t included in your toolbar, so choose the ones you like.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 4

Step 4: Drag it in
To add one, drag it from the menu into the toolbar. Like dragging apps into the dock, buttons will move out of the way to make space for a new one.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 5

Step 5: Find your favourites
Everyone has preferences on which buttons work best for them. Some of the most useful ones we’ve found include Delete, Get Info, and the Eject button.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 6

Step 6: Space ’em out
Using spacers is an easy way to make your toolbar clearer. Flexible spacers will adjust their size relative to the size of the Finder window.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 7

Step 7: Drag and delete
To remove a button from your toolbar, simply click on it and drag it away. The button will remove itself much like an app removes itself from the dock.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 8

Step 8: Labelling up
You can choose whether or not to label them, or show the label only, using the drop-down menu near the bottom of the window.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Step 9

Step 9: Return to default
If your changes become too radical, or you’re longing for the default, drag in the ready-made default toolbar from the menu to return to normal.

Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

OSX Tutorial - Customise Finder - Annotated

This tutorial is the seventh in our Learn Lion Week series. For more articles just like this visit the Learn Lion Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to OS X Lion. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearnLionWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.

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