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TUAW Tip: View long file names faster in list/column view

David Chartier

A lot of Mac users know and love the Finder's column view. While I can't speak for Linux, I'm pretty sure it's a fairly unique view to Mac OS X, and it's a great way to browse and move files throughout your folder system. Today's tip, however, deals with one of the column view's occasional shortcomings: its relatively (default) thin column widths. Since long file and folder names get truncated in the column view, it isn't always easy finding just the right one in a long list of chopped-off and summarized names. Instead of holding your mouse over a long file or folder's name and waiting for its full title to appear as a tooltip, there is a much quicker way to do it: simply hold down the option key. This will cause the tooltip to appear immediately, and if you keep browsing in the same directory, you can let go of the option key as it actually toggles this immediate tooltip's functionality on while you remain browsing in that folder. This also works in file open/save dialogs, where the column view can typically get scrunched the most.

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