Pfinder is an application which symulates the new Mac OS X Panther Finder interface for pre-Mac OS X Panther versions, and especially for Mac OS 9 users whose Macs can not be upgraded to Mac OS X due to hardware restrictions.

Minimum System Requirements

Download Carbon Pfinder (for OS 9 and OS X) (280K)

Download Classic Mac OS 9 Pfinder (272K)

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New Finder features for all pre-Panther OS
Favorites column
Favorites groups
Iconize to palette
Go to parent folder
Edit file creator and types

Features for Mac OS X (pre-Panther)
Color Labels
Calculate folder sizes
Resizable columns in column view

Features for Mac OS 9
Single window interface
Window history (back and forward)
Column View
Icon Scaling
Extra info under icon in icon view

Favorites Column
When you first launch Pfinder you will get a set of standard folders showing in the favorites column on the left of the main Pfinder window. Also added to the top of this list are any mounted disks. Clicking on any of these icons will show that folder in the main area of the Pfinder window. To add new icons to this list, just drag an icon from the main area into this list and an alias of it will be added. You can also drag icons from the real Finder into this list. You can drag anything you like into this area, including applications, documents and favorite folders. You can re-order this list just by dragging an icon up and down to the correct position. To remove an icon just drag it out of the list and it will disappear. Only the alias will be removed, not the original. Alternatively select the icon and select Clear from the Edit menu.

Favorites Groups
Because you may have many more favorites than can be displayed in one column, or you may want to group your favorites into logical groups, you can create new groups of favorites. Firstly select 'Show Favorites Groups Panel' from the View menu. A panel will slide open under the favorites column. There is one default groups called 'Favorites' which can not be deleted. A new group can be added by selecting 'New Favorites Group' from the View menu. A new Folder will appear in the Favorites Groups Panel which can be renamed to something like 'Applications' or 'Work' or 'Projects'. When you click on this group folder it will show a new blank Favorites panel (apart from the Disks). You can then drag the appropriate icons into this area. Applications dragged in the Favorites column can be launched with just one click.

Iconize to Palette
When you collapse or minimise the Pfinder window, you can choose in the Preferences dialog to leave it collapsed, or collapse it to an icon in a floating palette so it can be accessed easily later. In Mac OS X you get an extra button in the top right corner of the main window which always collapses to the palette rather than minimizing to the Dock.

Info Panel
To show the info panel, select 'Show Info Panel' from the View menu or click the 'i' button in the top tool bar. An Info panel will slide up showing all the standard file, folder or disk info. For programmers, you also see the file creator and type codes which can be edited if you turn on the preference in the Preferences dialog. Do not edit these types if you do not know what you are doing, as it may render the file un-launchable or un-editable.

Color Labels
For Mac OS X users, Pfinder re-introduces the color labelling of MacOS 9. Your old Mac OS 9 label colors will be shown as they were in OS 9 and they can be changed from the Info panel. The label names and colors can be changed in the Preferences dialog.

Calculate Folder Sizes
Pfinder will calculate folder sizes in the background like Mac OS 9 did. And like OS X it can display this size in blue under the folder icon along with the number of items in the folder. You can turn this off in the Preferences dialog.

Resizable Columns in Column View
The Mac OS X columns can be re-sized by clicking and dragging in the area between the columns. This same resizing technique also works for the info panel, the favorites panel and the favorites groups panel. A single click in the resize area of the info panel or the favorites groups panel will open of close the panel fully.

Single Window Interface
For Mac OS 9 users, Pfinder provides a single window navigation interface to the Finder. When you double click on a folder it does not open up a new window but opens the folder in the same window. (If you want to open a new window, hold the option key down). But like Mac OS X, Pfinder does hold a history of which folders you have visited and you can go back to them by pressing the forward and backwards arrows in the top left of the window.

Column View
Column view was something that Mac OS X introduced. It is very intuitive and you should understand how it works by using with it. You can also keyboard navigate by using the arrow keys - up down to select the icons in a column - left arrow to go back to the previous column - and right arrow to create a new column if you have a folder currently selected (with an arrow pointing right). If you have an application or file selected, right arrow will open it.

Icon Scaling
Mac OS X provided new larger icons up to 128x128 pixels. Although most icons in Mac OS 9 are only 32x32 pixels there are some custom icons that have been recently created which are the full 128x128 pixels. These can now be shown in Mac OS 9. Old Mac OS 9 icons will look a bit 'blocky' when scaled but this can be useful for the bad sighted. Just slide the slider in the top of the window when in icon view. It will snap to multiples of 16 pixels.

Extra Info under Icons
In OS X you can choose to show extra info under a Finder icon in blue. This includes the folder size and number of items within the folder for folders, the file size for files, and the file size and pixel dimensions for images. Image files will also show a larger, more accurate representation of the image from the actual image data from the file. This can be turned off in the Preferences dialog. A full 128x128 pixel thumbnail of the image is shown in the info panel.

What Pfinder will not do (yet)

Copy or move files - When you drag a file into the main Pfinder window it will not copy or move the file. However it will switch views to show the folder that that file is in and select it. This is the same behaviour as the new Navigation Services open and save dialogs. However, when you drag a file out of Pfinder into a real Finder window (or Desktop), the real Finder WILL copy or move the file as Pfinder provides the correct informtion in the dragged item to allow the Finder to do this.

Spring loaded folders - this will appear when Pfinder supports copying or moving of files and folders.

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