Reader Craig Moyer longs for a Finder feature he could once invoke via clever hack. He writes:
I’d like the Size column to always appear before Date Modified in Finder windows displayed in List view. Many years ago I was able to modify the com.apple.finder.plist file to do this, but that’s no longer an option as that file has changed. Is there still a workaround?
While this may elicit one or two “Well, duh!” responses from the less sensitive members of our forums, this is something I haven’t bothered to think about in… well, ever. And so this came as a surprise as much to me as it may to you.
In Mountain Lion, open a new Finder window that contains the contents of the root directory – so, Applications, Library, System, etc. Press command-J to open the View window. In the Finder window drag the Size column to the left so that it appears before Date Modified. Now in the View window click the Use as Defaults button and close the View window.
If you scan through the folders on your hard drive you should find that the vast majority now display the Size column first. I weasel because the Downloads folder maintains its original order. If you shift its Size column to the left it should now always open in that view.
If you’re running an earlier version of the Mac OS you will find this technique doesn’t work reliably (or, in some cases, at all). However, you can manually move columns in the windows you routinely use and they should stick.