To Path Finder or Not to Path Finder


Just a quick post to echo @davidshepherdson. Like him, I’m a long-time PathFinder user. I was excited when v8 was announced and massively disappointed in the early versions, which were buggy to the point of being unusable. I migrated to ForkLift + DropSync but never warmed to ForkLift’s UI – in particular, I find it difficult to see which is the current tab.

A month or so ago I returned to give the latest version of PathFinder another try. Most of the bugs seemed to have been sorted out so I bought an upgrade license. I’ve been using it happily ever since. As other posters here have pointed out though, my usage may be different from yours so if you’re interested, best give the free trial version a go and find out for yourself.


if you have some compelling reasons, I would appreciate seeing them, if you don't mind sharing

I don't think I could go as far as to say 'compelling', but I've found a number of little improvements and niceties that added up to enough to make it worth upgrading for me (that, and not wanting to see the developers 'go under', I suppose, given how much I rely on Path Finder day-to-day).

The new modules system is very flexible, but also I've found it to be more stable and reliable than the old way of choosing what you wanted to appear in each of the available 'slots' in the main window. For example, in my usual layout, I have the bottom 40% of the window taken up with a Preview pane (two-thirds) and Info pane (one-third). In Path Finder 7, to get these the way I wanted, I had to fiddle with settings for 'hidden views' and frequently re-adjust the spacing, and whenever I wanted to use Dual Browser mode, things would break (e.g. the wrong pane's item would appear in the Preview, or different items in Preview vs Info). But having defined them as modules in Path Finder 8, they have been much more reliable, always staying in the 'correct' positions and sizes, and never showing unexpected extra views or failing to track the selection appropriately.

There are also various visual things that seem improved -- contrast between text and background, font choices/sizes, divider lines and so on all seem a bit more 'right' in PF 8 vs PF 7. I hadn't really noticed these while using version 7 (or I'd become used to them), but on switching it seemed to fit in and be somewhat more consistent than previously.

I believe version 8 also has Dark Mode support for 10.14, but I'm a 'light mode only' person so I haven't seen that myself.

There are several other little things, not all of which spring to mind at the moment (e.g. I find the display of Shared in the sidebar is more useful than it was, in that you see more items and can therefore do more things without needing to go to the separate 'Connect To…' screen; and more fonts/colours/etc. seem to be customisable than in previous versions throughout the application).

Somebody else mentioned the 'Compress and Email…' command, which I don't use (since I use MailMate rather than Apple Mail), but I just tried it on a couple of sample inputs (one file and one application bundle) and it seemed to do the right thing for me (i.e. created a Zip file in a temporary folder, then opened Apple Mail with a new message open and the file attached). I'm not sure whether this means whatever previous problem there was with this feature has been fixed, or that it only works in certain circumstances…

As for the Favourites vs the Finder's list, I actually didn't realise that they were synchronised in version 7, since I had set up a custom sidebar configuration in order to get coloured icons anyway. The early comments about this seemed pretty clear: Apple provides no official API to do this, and the Path Finder developers didn't want to keep using unsupported or undocumented APIs that were unreliable and likely to disappear at any time, so they decided to remove the feature. So I wouldn't anticipate it coming back (at least not in its previous form; the most I could imagine would be something where Path Finder has an option to display the Finder favourites, but they're read-only in Path Finder). As I mentioned, this isn't an issue for me personally, mainly because I use Path Finder in 'exclusive' mode so I'm never interacting with the Finder's favourites list; the only time I'd see them would be in the sidebar of open/save panels, and I rarely use them there because I do most of my open/save interactions with Default Folder X (most commonly the 'click the Path Finder window I have open in the background to switch to it in this panel' feature).

Not sure if these comments will be of any use to anyone, but there you are! :slight_smile:


While your down in the details, what might you share about this:

I'm using Finder smart folders that show tagged items giving me easily (by tagging) changeable lists of folder locations. One is for items I'm "currently" working on. One is for places I frequent that aren't frequent enough to live directly in the Finder window sidebar but I don't want to dig beyond one click to find and one for "Open Items" for immediate access and top of my sorely limited keep in mind bandwidth.

One design parameter I have these smart folder for is to keep displaying list length to within the window size so as to not have to scroll to see the whole list and most of my Finder windows are 1/4 of a 27" screen. Kinda following "out of sight out of mind" thinking as it's really true for me.

Anyway to have this in the current PF?

Also key for me is the ability to drag Apple Mail items into the Finder as I file mail in Finder folders not the folder structure built within Apple Mail. Does that work within PF8 if used without using Finder?


Well said as you more clearly articulated my experience (as an onlooker) of concern than I did.


Been using PF for years. Add me to the list of very frustrated PF 8 users. MacOS desperately needs a better alternative : /


It is posts like the below in the PF Forum that give me pause for upgrading from PF7 to PF8.
It may be just one user, and PF Support has posted a workaround.

PathFinder 8 slows my machine down dramatically.


Pathfinder has just done a promotional email and signaled another update imminent. This suggests they think worst of the gremlins of PF8 introduction is over. I think this seems correct. Still, a cautious user can keep with PF7 and keep a watching brief.


That's good. I'll monitor the above PF Forum post to see if the OP, or anyone, reports that an update has fixed the performance issue. I do find it strange that if there is already a fix waiting to be released that the PF support rep did not mention it. Instead, he provided a workaround.


Yes agree with sentiments. For example some users have been asking for a list of version descriptions. This must be not much more than a copy and paste to the support page, but has not been done. The Pathfinder team seem a multinational group & I have wondered in the paste if there are some language/ comprehension issues


By the way a user composed a plugin that makes email work from Pathfinder & seems to work okay with Apple Mail


Dear JMicaelTX,
I occasionally saw your post about PathFinder 8.
I did not know that PathFinder8 UserForum was created.
Thank you for providing valuable information.
I always wanted to ask a question but I was in trouble because I could not find the place to post.
I upgraded to PathFinder 8 after all.
However, PathFinder 7 feels easier to use.
The information display is becoming obscure.
It seems to have various problems, but for now tentatively
A big problem is not occurring under my circumstances, so I will continue to use it.
Maybe I will return to PathFinder 7 again?
Best regards, WAKAMATSU (boehmflute)


Yes, if I'm understanding correctly, all of that should be doable in Path Finder. It supports the same smart folders as the Finder, as far as I can tell (I don't use smart folders myself, but the functionality appears to be the same from what I can see).

Yes, definitely -- dragging something onto a Path Finder window works just like dragging something onto a Finder window.

As somebody mentioned in another post, Cocoatech (the Path Finder developers) have sent around a message to their mailing list in the past few days with a link to a short feedback survey and 25%-off coupon for both upgrades and new purchases. Here's where the survey link goes, in case anybody (existing or new users) would like to fill it in and get the coupon code:


Fwiw — as you'll see, a couple of fins and not much fish — I have no issues with Path Finder currently. I am a long-time user, with Path Finder substituted for Finder on my desktop (currently iMac) and laptop (moving from 2013 MBP to 2019 MBA). My implementations of Path Finder are customized down to the colors of elements. Early versions of Path Finder 8 were execrable. Cocoatech's public relations were execrable. (I'm separating that from the more general "response" since unaware-to-users the company seems to have been working on repairs and solutions.) In short, Cocoatech altered Path Finder without providing enough information about the changes, and at the same time broke Path Finder while in no way reassuring users it would be fixed.

It is now fixed for me. It has gradually become error-lockup-crash-free. I now use it without holding my breath. I no longer repeat my (in-vain) search for a replacement.

I don't yet understand how to best use it — on my laptop I like to show/hide panels, and I'm not sure how to best do that in 8 {there were toolbar icons in 7}. I have adjusted to its abilities, but so gradually I can't list what I've done. (For example: I use the Sidebar less and the "Favorites bar" (?) more.) I've regularly made, I think, small adjustments to my workflows in order to get work done. I don't have a list of them.

@JMichaelTX asks the good questions :blush: . The paragraph above addresses — but does not answer — his question, "How have your workflows changed?" The only answer I have to "Why upgrade to 8?" is: eventually you'll have to. In this case, the old advice "Never install version "WholeNumber.0" applied strongly.




Thanks Kirby!


Latest Upgrade today

Path Finder 8.3.9 is available!

Changes in version 8.3.9:

  • Fixed "Email…" and "Compress and Email…" actions in Mojave.
  • Added support for more email clients in "Email…" and "Compress and Email…" actions.
  • Fixed "Reveal in Path Finder" actions with both hotkey and Finder toolbar item.
  • Fixed some potential crashes and exceptions.


Thanks for sharing. That looks really good!


Just when I'm about ready to upgrade, I see this:

In PF7, i had a button to easily turn preview on/off. In PF8, i can see how to have a preview, but its much more clunky.

Response by PF Support:

We've already submitted this feature request to our developers.
It was available in PF7 but is gone in PF8, unfortunately.

I use PF7 Preview a lot.


Spacebar for Quickview suffices for me. Or am I misunderstanding?

The new awkwardness of activating/de-activating Path Finder's panels is one of the things I was referring to in my earlier post in this thread.


Yes, those are very acceptable workarounds.
But it is very convenient to always show the preview in a panel.


For what it's worth, I have the Preview panel showing all the time, and as far as I can tell the set-up I have for it in PF 8 is exactly the same as I had in PF 7, only it seems more reliable now… :slight_smile:

From that link above, it sounds like the feature the poster wanted (and was missing in PF 8) was to have a button to turn the preview off and on. But if you want it there all the time, that's easy.