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Overlooked MacOS Feature:
Pop-Up Folders


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The Pop-up Folders feature is a valuable tool for giving yourself access to often used items or items that you are using for a particular project.

To make a pop-up folder: click on the title bar of an open folder and drag it to the bottom of the screen (alternatively you can choose view as popup folder from the view or contextual menus). It will turn into a tab docked at the bottom of your screen and when you want to open the folder just click on the tab and up pops the folder. You will notice that it still is tabbed reminding you that it is a popup folder.


Once you have opened a file, folder or alias in it, the folder will automatically dock back to the bottom of the screen. If you don't need to open an item you can click on the tab and it will close and dock at the bottom of the screen as you can see here next to my trash can.


To return the popup folder to a normal folder, click and drag the title bar upwards and the tab will disappear and the close box will reappear.

There are some behaviors that need to be remembered:

  • if you drag the folder up, it will revert to being a normal finder window
  • the size boxes are now at both the top right and left corners
  • you can move the tabs horizontally only when docked
  • if you choose either of the menus to view as a popup, it will dock at the far left


Here are some ideas of how to make good use of popup folders:

  • for a folder which you are currently working with which you need access to but want out of your way temporarily

  • a folder that you access frequently. I keep a folder for downloads as a popup

  • a folder full of aliases to programs you use. Thus a program launcher

  • a folder which has aliases for the programs, files and folders that you use for a particular project. Thus a project launcher

Check out my movie showing how to create a project launcher in a popup window here.


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