Set Column View Options in the Finder on Your MacBook

On your MacBook, you can make changes to view options in any Finder window displaying items in column view mode. Choose View→Show View Options to display the View Options dialog.

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Any changes that you make to this dialog are always reflected in every column view:

  • Always Open in Column View: If this check box is selected, all Finder windows open in column view. (If deselected, new windows use the last view mode you used.)

  • Browse in Column View: Select this check box, and Lion uses the current folder’s view settings as you browse through subfolders (no matter what the view settings are for those subfolders).

  • Arrange By: Click this pop-up menu to automatically separate items, sorted by one of the following criteria from its pop-up menu: by name; kind (item type); application (the default application that opens each file type); date last opened; date added; date modified; date created; size; or the icon label you’ve assigned.

  • Sort By: If the Arrange By pop-up menu is set to None, click this pop-up menu to automatically sort the display of icons in a window by choosing one of the following criteria: by name; kind (item type); application (the default application that opens each file type); date last opened; date added; date modified; date created; size; or icon label.

  • Resizing icon label text: Click the Text Size pop-up menu to choose the font size (in points) for icon labels.

  • Show Icons: Select this check box to display icons in the columns. If this option is deselected, the icons don’t appear and you’ll gain a little space.

  • Show icon preview: Click this check box to select it, and Lion displays preview icons for image files — taking a little extra time to perform this service, naturally.

    (As you find out in the next bullet, column mode can be set to automatically display a preview thumbnail in the last column when you click an image or video file, and even some documents to boot . . . . Therefore, the usefulness of tiny icon previews in column mode may be limited for you.)

  • Show Preview Column: If this check box is selected, clicking a file in column mode displays a thumbnail (reduced image) and preview information in the right-most column.

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    If you store a slew of smaller QuickTime movies and digital images on your drive, the Preview column is great. (You can even play a QuickTime movie from the Preview column.) Of course, longer movies and larger photos take more time to load — and even longer if they’re being read from optical media or over the network!

Click the dialog’s Close button to save your settings and return to the Finder.

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