Finderella (My First Finder)

Finderella is a simple Macintosh Finder replacement for children whose parents do not want them to mess up their hard disks. It also allows parents to limit the applications that their child can use. It is also Mac OS X compatible.

Installation Launch at Startup Arranging the Applications Child Mode
Getting Started Configuring a User Additional Users Adult Mode
Protecting your hard disk Adding Applications Deleting Unwanted Users Quitting

Finderella Home Page


Just copy the Finderella application icon onto your hard disk.


Getting Started

Double click the Finderella application. Initially you will be asked for a key code. This can be obtained by emailing Robin Landsbert at with your email address. The key code will be emailed back to you. Without the keycode you can run Finderella in demo mode, which has the following limitations over the full version:


Protecting your Hard Disk

Once you have a keycode you can set a password to restrict access to the Adult mode. Select Set Password from the File menu. Initially your password is blank so you only need to type in your new password and confirm it by typing it again. A confirmation or rejection dialog will appear. The password is held in a SimpleText file in the Users folder in the same folder as the Finderella application so that if you forget it you can just open that file. To change your password, select Set Password from the File menu, type in your old password, and then type in your new password and confirm it.


Launch at Startup

You can set Finderella to automatically launch at startup. This is done by selecting the Launch at Startup menu item from the File menu. This puts an alias of the Finderella application into your Startup folder in the System folder. Select the menu item again to delete the alias. If you have forgotten your password to get to adult mode, and Finderella is set to launch at startup, just hold down the Shift key while the Mac boots up and the startup items will not be opened. You can then remind yourself of the password in the text file in the Users folder.


Configuring a User

Initially you will have a Guest user auto created for you. You may select Edit Current User from the Edit menu to rename the guest user to the name of your child, and to choose a thumbnail picture for your child to click on at the start to choose their environment. You can then select Change Background Picture from the Edit menu to choose the Desktop picture. If you do not have any, you can use the Mac OS Desktop pictures which are located here:

Mac OS 8 and 9: HD/System Folder/Appearance/Desktop Pictures/

Mac OS X: HD/Library/Desktop Pictures/

You can also select whether the user is an adult user. If you check on the adult check box, when that user logs in, and adult mode is password protected, you will immediately be asked to enter Adult mode. If successful, you then have the option to quit or continue Finderella. This is a useful option if you have Finderella set to launch at startup.


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Adding Applications

You are now ready to add the applications that you want your child to access. You can simply select Add Application from the Edit menu and then select the application you want to add. The applications icon will be added in the first empty location at the top left of the screen. Keep doing this for each application you want to add.

Alternatively, select the Application tool in the tool palette and click on the Desktop where you want the application icon to be placed. Select the application from the standard open dialog. Click again on the Desktop for the next application and repeat until you select Cancel from the Open dialog.

If you choose the document tool, you can add any sort of file including Hypercard stacks or links to child friendly web pages.

Alternatively, you can switch to the Finder, open the windows which contain the applications or files and simply drag them onto the Finderella Desktop.

In Demo mode you are restricted to 3 applications only.


Arranging the Applications

When the icons are first entered they are grided. You can ungrid them by unselecting the Grid on menu item from the Edit menu. Make sure that the arrow tool is selected in the Tool palette. You may then move application icons freely about the Desktop. If at a later stage you which to re-grid the icons, you can select the icons you wish to grid and choose Clean up Icons from the Edit menu. If no icons are selected when this menu is selected, all the icons will be re-grided.

To select icons, you can simply click them. A red square will be drawn around them to show that they are selected. Alternatively, you can select multiple icons by clicking on the Desktop and dragging a rectangle around them. To move the selected icons, just click and drag on a selected icon and drag it to the new position. To delete unwanted icons, just select them and select Clear from the Edit menu, or just hit the Delete key.


Additional users (not available in Demo mode)

To add more users to Finderella, select New User from the Edit menu and type in their name and select a thumbnail picture. Then configure their Desktop picture and application icons as before.

When you want to change users, select Change User from the File menu and then click on the picture of the user you want to change to.


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Deleting unwanted users

To delete users that are no longer needed, select Delete User from the Edit menu. Then select the user to delete and Finderella will move that users folder to the Trash. To undo this just select the folder in the Trash and select Put Away in the Finders menus (or just move the folder back to where it was in the Users folder).


Child Mode

You are now ready to switch into child mode. The restrictions of Child mode are as follows:

Also in Child mode, icons will be spoken when the mouse moves over them (if you have Text To Speech enabled)


Adult Mode

When you want to edit or quit Finderella, you will need to switch back into Adult mode. Select Adult mode from the File menu. If you have set a password, you will need to enter it before being allowed to switch back into Adult mode.



You can only quit when in Adult mode, so switch to adult mode and then select Quit from the File menu.

To contact Fleet Software, download one of the software applications and select 'Email' from the File menu.
I can not put a direct link to the email on this web site as I have suffered hundreds of SPAM a day by doing this in the past.
Hint: it is Landsbert followed by an @ followed by


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