If you’ve been a Mac user for a number of years, and migrated from more than four Macs, then it’s likely you have a number of third party utilities which always make the transition to a new Mac. I have a Top 5 List of Power Mac User Utilities that I use and recommend. Here’s one of the best.
It’s called Default Folder X and what it does is simple, elegant, extremely useful, but not something Apple builds into OS X. It could. But it doesn’t. It should because OS X’s Open and Save dialog boxes are a dead end.
For example, click to Open… or to Save… a file in nearly any application, and you’ll need to navigate to the specific folder you want to save the file. Wouldn’t it be nice if your Mac already knew where the file needed to be stored (or, retrieved, depending upon the app)? That’s what Default Folder X does.
First, it attaches a useful toolbar to the right side of the pop open Open and Save dialog boxes. Instead of the basic OS X navigation options, Default Folder gives you a list of tools which can be used while you’re in the dialog box. Here’s what it looks like. Notice the toolbar on the right side of the pop open dialog box.
Second, those tools can be used while the pop open dialog box is open which makes it easier and faster to navigate the Mac’s entire file directory system, get info on files, duplicate and rename files, delete files, and more. It’s like having a mini-Finder within the dialog box.
You can even tag files and edit Spotlight comments from within the dialog box.
Third, and easily the most important, is Default Folder X’s ability to remember where specific files need to placed and saved, and it can do so on a per file and per application basis. This is a huge time saver because files are saved where they’re supposed to be saved and you don’t have to navigate the Finder in the dialog box to move files where you want them to go.
Default Folder X works without much setup, but you’ll want to assign specific saved folders to specific apps. Once that’s done, the utility just sits there and does the dialog box navigations on its own.
That instant recall option is extremely valuable for any Mac user who opens and saves many files during a day, or is somewhat forgetful about what file is where or where files should be saved. It even remembers where the last file was located and automatically selects it again.
As you would expect with a powerful utility, settings and configurations are extensive.
There are options to re-arrange how files and folders are listed in the dialog box, and even the ability to preview a file in the dialog box by hovering the screen pointer over the file name. And, yes, any Mac power user utility worth anything has keyboard shortcuts and Default Folder X is no different. Yet, you can easily exclude specific folders from the auto find option.
Default Folder X’s latest version runs on OS X El Capitan, too, and works with OS X’s new security features, yet still gives you dialog box options to delete, rename, tag, preview and even compress select files.
That makes Default Folder X one of my top five utilities for the Mac, right up there with Path Finder, the super Finder replacement app.