Resize columns in Finder


Sometimes my Finder columns get too big or small with the column view.
If you double click the columns with the alt modifier this correctly resizes all the columns. I am trying to find a way to do this with a keyboard shortcut.

Trying to find a solution

Ideally we could execute a script but from my research I can’t find a way to script this (although I may be wrong). The closest I can get is by trying to double click a found image (the tiny sliver of the grey column dividers), but of course there are multiple dividers on the screen so KM finds duplicates and this doesn’t work.

Can anyone help? Thank you

I have been looking for a solution to this for years! I have never found a solution for Column view but for list view the closest thing I have been able to work out (without using a Finder replacement that often presents other issues with OS updates) is to change the view with AppleScript no way to access this directly in AppleScript so it uses accessibility.

Finder List View - Finder Sidebar and Name (18.9 KB)

You can use Find Image to find an image that is not unique. Unfortunately it will find it in non-front windows as well.

However, you can avoid that by including some of the title bar as well:

It doesn't matter which one is found, and then you can double click relative to that.

Or you can wait until 7.0.

Hi Peter,

I can see that you can find an image that is not unique using the “Find
Image on Screen” command, but I’m not sure how to click that then… it
doesn’t seem to work for me.

I’m curious what will change in 7.0 that might help me? If I know it can be
resolved then I might wait for 7.0 for this :slight_smile:


After you find the (non-unique) image, the result will be in the variable (say “ImageLoc”)

Then simply use ImageLoc.x and ImageLoc.y in a Click Mouse action (relative to absolute coordinates. The found image location is the top left, so it may have to be ImageLoc.x+10, ImageLoc.y + 10 or whatever.

Many things will help you in 7.0.

Thank you

Hey Jay,

I’ve looked at this problem and can’t find a way to script it directly with AppleScript or with System Events and UI-Scripting.

Ideally there should be nothing in the system that accessibility cannot access, but in practice this is not always so.


I tried many times to KM this using found images. But it never worked very reliably. Then I found this tool: XtraFinder:

One of its many functions is to auto-resize all columns in Finder’s column view. You don’t even need to hit a keyboard shortcut, it just does it each time a column view window opens. Pretty slick.

That was the app in particular that I was thinking of when I mentioned this.

I should have taken the time to post a link, thanks for doing that. I’ve tried several of these apps and they break with OS updates quite often, or seem to muck with other deeper OS related things, so finally I just have chosen they’re not worth the hassle. How has this app been behaving for you? I noticed a few things broke in XtraFinder with OS 10.10.1 update I think it was, but it looks like it is fixed now.

When you said “finder replacement” I didn’t think you meant XtraFinder, since it’s more of a finder enhancement. In any case, I’ve never had any problem with it. I’m running it on 10.10.3 now without problem. Although I don’t have all of it’s features turned on. The two things I love it for are the aforementioned column resizing and the ability to color color file names by tag, rather than just display the colored dot.

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Another alternative is TotalFinder see Has a resize column tweak
Not sure how it compares to finder add-ons…

Thanks for posting this, I just went ahead and installed it. It is labeled "Automatically adjust width of columns" but is not just for column view thankfully. I have been using for 10 minutes and wondering why I didn't just take the risk a while ago.

Thanks for pointing that out I wouldn't have found that if you hadn't mentioned it, I had to reread multiple times to find even when you did point it out, it is named "Legacy label color painting". I understand why they got rid of it when they added multiple colors as part of tags, Xtra Finder is smart and just colors it the last color or tag color in your list if you have multiple.

"Show colorful icons on the sidebar" is wonderful to have back again after all these years! I can actually tell what is what again much faster.

Now if there were only some app that let you drag folders into other folders and keep coping and nesting folders and files like Windows has done for 15+ years instead of giving you the option to replace like Mac does.

In all sincerity thanks Keyboard Maestro and this forum for again helping people enhance their workflow, I love you!

Just found a way to kind of do this by double clicking the Finder divider to the right of a selected item App - Finder & resize columns.kmmacros (8.9 KB)

I posted a variant of this here.

Peter would you post an example macro of how this could be done to resize the Finder columns in 7? I am not seeing how to pass this info on for all of the same icons Keyboard Maestro is finding to double click with option and so it is just stopping rather than clicking anyone of them.

Note: As far as I can see, option-double-clicking on column the separators no longer resizes all columns, it only resizes one column to fit. So this may not actually solve the original problem.

Thanks Peter this is pretty awesome and extreamly useful so good to know how to do that, that will come in handy often.

For me what broke is it does resize all the columns in El Capitan but it still truncates some of the longer file names. It is like it has a limit to how wide it will go.

Strange thing is this macro only works ocationally I can’t seem to get a consistent screenshot. Even when I run it on the same Finder window I took it on Keyboard Maestro doesn’t find the image. I have moved the slider all over the place to see if I can get it to work. Changed it to front window and Window with index of 1 but still no luck have the time.

Is there a way to move the fuzzy slider and have it display on the screen everything it has found as you move the slider so you can set the fuzzy level to just the right level? Maybe something in the menu that is a check for “Active Fuzzy Image Display” when the display box is checked.