By David Sparks:
One problem I used to have with my Mac was the universal save dialogue box. It looks pretty, but often I found myself making lots of clicks just to get a file in the right place. I wanted it to be more intuitive and less work. I looked around and eventually found Default Folder X. I’ve been using it about four months now and, frankly, I couldn’t imagine not having it.
Default Folder X rewires the OS X save dialogue with some very nice extra features. Once you install Default Folder X, you have a new save dialogue box that includes a series of buttons down the right side. The first button is the default folder icon which allows you to specify a directory for saving items that is customizable by application. Gone are the days of starting in the “Documents” folder and drilling to fine your ultimate destination. Default Folder does the work for you. The button below that roughly equates to the “my computer” icon in the windows save box. It gives you a global view of everything on your system. Since this is duplicated in the left column, this is the button I use least often.
Next are buttons for favorites and recent locations which are very helpful. For instance I have a “review” folder saved as one of my favorites. As I write reviews I can then get them saved much faster. Likewise the recent folders icon is helpful when I’ve got my head down on one project. For instance, I spent several days this week putting together a keynote presentation for a case I’m working on. I had pdf, image, and document folders I was accessing constantly. The recent folders button kept me right on track.
Also, there is a “Finder” button that allows you to save documents to open finder windows. This again is really helpful. Quite often I have a finder window open related to whatever I am doing. Rather than drilling for it, Default Folder gets you there in one click.
On the bottom of the Default Folder save dialogue is a spotlight comment field that gives me no excuse to not start using spotlight comments more often except, of course, inherent laziness.
In addition to the new save dialogue, default folders installs menu bar and dock icons. I’m a doc minimalist so I didn’t keep Default Folder X there but my menu bar is loaded up and one more icon just makes the party bigger. This icon gives me access to the Default Folder shortcuts outside the save dialogue along with preference setting that can include multiple favorite sets and keyboard shortcuts.
At $34.95, Default Folder X is not cheap. When I first downloaded the 30 day trial, I wasn’t sure that I would end up keeping it. However, before the trial period was over, I knew I’d be paying for this one. Give it a test run yourself but be warned, you will probably end buying it. You can find out more about Default Folder X at their website, http://www.stclairsoft.com/DefaultFolderX/working.html.