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Ivan's picture

Default Folder X productivity enhancing OS X application


Default Folder X is a very important little add-on application that will save a lot of time and effort in your daily work. Let me give you a quick review of the main features.

The name isn't very descriptive as Default Folder X does much more than the name suggests and does it in a real simple way. The main feature of the application is that it tries to simplify finding the right folder you want to work with when you use the open or save dialog boxes. There are 6 ways to find the right folder and five of them are represented by the five icons that appear around the open or save dialog boxes. Let's take a quick look at each of them.

Default Folder icon
The first icon is a letter D with a folder in it. This function allows you to assign and later quickly locate default folders that are associated with applications.

The computer icon allows you to access all drives and browse within them.

Heart represents favorites and it allows you to setup and access favorite folders.

The clock stands for history and as you already guessed allows you to access recently opened folders.

The Finder icon gives you all the folders currently open in Finder.

Finder in background
The sixth way to access a folder is related to the Finder feature, but you access those Finder folders by hovering aroung the screen and selecting hidden Finder windows in the background.

spotlight keywords
Another cool feature if you use spotlights keywording technology is the ability to add keywords to the file being saved right from the save dialog box.

Quick Look
Finally, when you are opening a file Default Folder X gives you a quick preview of the file selected below the dialog box.

It's a great app with one downside. It's price. It's way too steep to ask for 35$ even when the dollar is so weak, especially when you compare it to the price of Leopard that only costs three and half times as much and probably includes a thousand times as much code. This comparison is probably wrong, but I can't put my finger on it why.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

JimD's picture
2626 pencils

After the OS, this is the FIRST thing I install on any new Mac. Ironically, the "default folder" feature of this app is the one thing I don't really use that much. But every other aspect of the app is awesome. I can't believe that after all these years, Apple hasn't added all these features to their open/save dialogs.

4.0 is a fantastic upgrade for only $14.95! While the full price appears to be high, anyone who uses DefaultFolder in a production environment will tell you that it more than pays for itself in a single day with the clicking/navigating time it saves you.

Visit Creative Guy for graphics and Mac OS tips, tricks, tutorials and commentary

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natobasso's picture
3951 pencils

Now we don't have to default to saving everything to the desktop out of frustration anymore. :)

Powerpoint is not a design application

Jono's picture
4 pencils

Yea, it looks pretty cool but the price is a no go.
I wouldn't pay more than $20 for it.

SlowX's picture
44 pencils

I've been using this for YEARS.

It's a reason to not consider WIndows.

IMHO it's worth $35 because it's such as time saver to locate files/folders.

Then again, as an upgrade, it's just $15 for me.

Ralfy's picture
76 pencils

I am completely lost without it. Really speeds up productivity. The version 4.0 revamp is a joy to behold. Looks great with Leopard.

$35 dollars is cheap. The dollar being weak makes it even more of a bargain for anyone in the UK and Europe.

Ben's picture
121 pencils

Nice review Ivan, thanks.

Roadmaster's picture
12 pencils

I see the "Use Adobe Dialog" button in all of the screen shots. Does anyone else here use Adobe's Version Cue?
If you do, how many people in your office also use it?

Ivan's picture

I don't. Is it cool?

rossgram's picture
45 pencils

... but I haven't had to bother with it recently with little tricks I've discovered within the Finder. Is it really worth it?

I tried Pathfinder for a while as well, but just didn't buy into the idea of having just another app sucking my processor power when I'm trying to do work. I used to glitz up my Mac quite considerably, but as of late, I tend to be a purist. Well ... Quicksilver's always running. ;-) ... well, and Skitch.

Roadmaster's picture
12 pencils

It definitely worth it, as there are 5 of us in our art department. We create packaging, manuals, catalog sheets, web sites, and trade show signs and banners for our booth. Right now I have about 75 projects, most of which are for individual products.

For example, if the project is for one of our products, I use the model number for the project's name. Then I create a folder for each of the following: packaging, manuals, carton markings, photos, catalog sheets, labels, vendor supplied items, product specifications.

In Adobe Bridge you can enlarge the file's thumbnail and see the file without having to open it. You can see who worked on each version, when the version was saved, and with the comments you know what was changed and for what reason. Of course it's up to each person to write complete comments. The comments are especially helpful when someone is out sick or on vacation.

I can't count the amount of time saved by being able to go back to a previous version.
My only real problem with VC was caused by my account on my Mac becoming corrupt. It caused VC to have pop-up errors when opening and saving files.

We have a PC version of VC running on a PC server, and all of our desktop machines are Macs.

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