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Review: A Better Finder Series

by on January 27, 2004

If you want to manipulate a bunch of files easily, launch programs easily, or perform Unix file selection from in the Finder, one or a complete set of utilities might be for you. Public Space, creators of shareware utilities for a few years, have recently updated some of their programs. These programs come as a complete package for $39.95 (individual prices vary from $9.95 to $19.95). We took a look at a few of them:

A Better Finder Rename ($19.95)

Almost all of these utilities have shortcut hotkeys to invoke them, as well as a contextual menu. A Better Finder Rename is the most well-known of the entire set. It’s main purpose is to allow renaming of files, quickly and easily, providing more for those “big jobs” when clicking the file’s name would take too long. Some main features are a search-and-replace function, sorting, batch processing, and droplets. It’s suggested for digital camera owners, webmasters, multimedia collectors, Windows or Unix users who switched to the Mac, or anyone else with an OCD-like need to organize files. We used it to change the extension on all the SchwarzTech files when we changed from .html to .shtml on this site. This is probably one of the most convenient and easiest to use renaming utilities out there.

A Better Finder Launcher ($9.95)

This is the utility that we use the most out of this set. This utility scans your hard drive for applications, and when you press a key combination (control+command+L is the default), a window appears. Type the first few letters of the program you want, and a list appears, and the more you type, the more narrowed down the list gets. Rather simple, but is a lot handier than keeping your Applications folder in the dock, especially if your files are a few levels deep. Rather simple, and for money, a lot more elegant than many other launchers out there.

A Better Finder Select ($9.95)

Although we have not used this tool much, in the times we have used it, it has worked quite well. It provides a search that is more powerful than the built-in Finder search, and can use the regular expression matching familiar to BBEdit, Grep, or Perl users.

A Better Finder Attributes ($9.95)

Want to change the date of when a file was modified? Want to change a creation date? Want to lock or unlock files? Want to show or hide the file extension? Want us to stop asking questions? Fair enough. The function of this tool is to modify attributes of your files that ResEdit could do in the older versions of the Mac OS. Control-click something and you can make all your files neatly organized. It’s useful and handy, and for around ten bucks, fills a void left by one feature of old ResEdit.

A Better Finder Creators and Types ($9.95)

This, partnered with the previous mentioned utility, provide almost all the features available in ResEdit’s old Get Info box. This lets file creators and types be changed in the ‘old fashioned way’ in previous Mac OS versions. Since we hardly ever deal with OS 9, we haven’t had a chance to use it much.

We found the set to be useful – when we remembered to use them instead of our ingrained Mac OS habits. For some people, this would be a deal-breaker, as a set of timesaving utilities is worthless if you can do things “the old way” faster. If you adapt easily, or want to try something new, we suggest them.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

The Better Finder series, either individually or as a group are really handy, so download them and give them a try.
Rating: 8/10

The Facts

Product: A Better Finder Series
Platform: Mac
Price: $9.95-$19.95 (or $39.95 for the whole lot)

This post has been filed in Miscellany, Reviews