(Or: How to bend the Finder to your will.)
No matter what you use your Mac for—word processing, e-mail, surfing the Web, graphics, multimedia, games, business—you spend a lot of time working with files. Creating files, accessing files, editing files, copying files, moving files, saving files, everything you do on your computer is file-related. It follows that working with files is an area where becoming an expert can save you time and frustration. However, most Mac users take advantage of only a small percentage of the Finder's functionality. In this chapter I'm going to cover files and the Finder from top to bottom: understanding attributes to setting up settings, working with windows to finding information, customizing contextual menus to optimizing Open/Save dialogs.
In addition to the topics I cover in this chapter, a large part of working with files is accessing them quickly (especially applications). Mac OS X's Dock is Apple's solution to this need, but there are many other alternatives as well; I talk about the Dock and Dock alternatives in Chapter 6, "Develop a Dynamite Dock."
Be sure to check out the Online Bonus Chapter, available at www.sybex.com and http://www.macosxpowertools.com/; it's full of much more Finder-related info that just wouldn't fit in the book.