TotalFinder Replacement – Launch PathFinder Via Keyboard Shortcut

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.24.23 PM

Geek post alert!

For years, I’ve been a huge fan of TotalFinder, a Finder enhancement application. If I had to choose only a handful of apps to use on my Mac, TotalFinder would be on that list. So ’tis a sad, sad day when I have to say goodbye to one of the most useful apps I’ve ever used. Why? El Capitan’s System Integrity Protection feature prevents TotalFinder from augmenting Finder. Parts of the app will run while others won’t. True, I could bypass System Integrity, but I chose not to. I could make do with Apple’s own Finder, but I find it lacks some functionality I need.

That said, I did some homework and chose CocoaTech’s PathFinder. Where TotalFinder was easy and simple, PathFinder takes a little getting used to because it is super rich in features. After watching a few videos, I think I’ll find that PathFinder is one of those can’t-live-without apps. I won’t go into all the wonderful things PathFinder can do, because if you do a Google search you’ll find loads of great blog posts and videos on the app that go into far more detail. I will say that I needed dual browser windows, a quick method of moving and copying files, the ability to rename easily, and tabs. I’m mad for tabs as shortcuts to my files. Tab set profiles? Yes, please!  I also have a set way I like certain folder structures presented. I’m really digging PathFinder’s shelves, too.

I’m still getting used to having another app in my dock. Sure, I can go through a few settings and hide Finder, but it has other implications, mainly how I see icons on my desktop, but I digress. One of the things I missed the most was the ability to launch and hide Finder with a quick keyboard shortcut.

Being the eternal geek, I sought out a solution. With a simple Automator service and by a quick tweak in System Settings, I was able to replicate the functionality flawlessly.

Here’s the step-by-step instructions:

Create Automator Script

1. Open Automator

2. Click on Service, and click Choose.

3. Select No Input and Any Application for Service receives.

4. Seach for the word Launch in the search field.

5. Drag the workflow icon to the workflow area.

6. Select PathFinder

Your workflow should now look something like this:

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7. Select Save from the File Menu and give the service a name (mine is PathFinder Launch)


Set Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Keyboard
  3. Choose the Shortcuts Tab
  4. Select Services
  5. Scroll to the General section
  6. Check that the service you created
  7. Highlight the service and click to the right, which will allow you to enter a keyboard shortcut.
  8. Give the service a shortcut. NOTE: if the newly created shortcut doesn’t work, chances it’s used elsewhere. Keep playing around with this until you find one that works. Mine is Ctrl+Option+Cmd+\

That’s it! Now, whenever you use that shortcut, PathFinder will launch. Use Cmd+H to hide PathFinder.

If you’re one of those who isn’t planning on upgrading to El Capitan anytime soon, I can’t recommend TotalFinder enough. Even the support is fantastic. The developer is such a first class act that he made a list of other apps that might work as a replacement.

** I don’t get a commission on either app, so my views are entirely my own. BUT, if you found this article useful, you can return the favor and help me out. Please consider checking out my books, follow me on Twitter, FB, or tell others who might enjoy reading my work about my books. If you’re a fan, sign up for my newsletter! All my books are generally less than the cost of a cup of coffee. Many thanks in advance!

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