Two Finders Side-by-Side


Many people would agree that the Finder is a decent, powerful, yet simplistic Folder navigation app. However, I think we all need side by side Finder windows when copying and moving files around. The fact that when a new Finder opens it always overlaps the existing Finder and one has to resize it, move it accordingly, etc., is quite annoying. There are several commercial applications like Path Finder or ForkLift that let you do this dual pane display mode and lots of other things. These tool are OK, but honestly most of the times one just needs another Finder, not having to launch a new application. In addition there are many apps that have the “reveal in Finder” option, so most of the times one ends up using the Finder, instead of launching another app. Furthermore, Path Finder and ForkLift are both expensive if you’re only buying for the dual mode. There is a third option, less expensive but simpler it’s called Total Finder and its main feature is that it enables tab browsing within the original Finder, like in any modern web browser and the “dual mode” as well. However, I do think it’s a bit expensive for being a really simple tool, it costs $18.

Therefore, I googled a bit and developed my own Apple Script for displaying two Finder windows side by side. I must say I was inspired by the post on How To Mac, but I tweaked the code so much it’s actually a new script altogether.

The script is the following. Feel free to copy, modify and redistribute this script any way you like:


tell application "Finder"
	
	-- get number of open finders
	set NumberofFinders to count every Finder window
	
	-- close all finders except the frontmost one
	if NumberofFinders is greater than 1 then
		repeat NumberofFinders - 1 times
			close last Finder window
		end repeat
	end if
	
	-- get screen info
	set screenBounds to bounds of window of desktop
	set screenWidth to item 3 of screenBounds
	set screenHeight to item 4 of screenBounds
	--set centerX to screenWidth / 2
	--set centerY to screenHeight / 2
	
	-- move finder and set the size
	set the position of the front Finder window to {0, 0}
	set the bounds of the front Finder window to {0, 0, screenWidth * 0.5, screenHeight * 0.7}
	
	-- make second finder
	make Finder window
	set the target of Finder window 1 to home
	set the position of the front Finder window to {screenWidth * 0.5, 0}
	set the bounds of the front Finder window to {screenWidth * 0.5, 0, screenWidth, screenHeight * 0.7}
	
	-- bring the finders to the front
	activate
	
end tell

One of the good things about this script is that it closes all of the existing Finder windows except the one from which you called the script. On top of that it remains in the same folder you were originally working and launches the second Finder window in the home folder. The script from How To Mac simply created two Finder windows without figuring out if there were any open windows and it didn’t keep the current window open. So fire up the AppleScript Editor and paste the code in it. Save it as an app and place it wherever you want. I have it in a folder in my home directory called Scripts. I named it “DualFinder.app”. After saving the app, drag it to the Finder window toolbar.

Dragging the script to the toolbar.

I actually changed the icon later to something more interesting.

DualFinder with a Finder icon.

If you want to change the icon of your script you can do it in the following way. First get an icon file. Findicons.com is a great place to get free icons. Then open the icon file in preview, select all, and copy the image. Afterward, in Finder click the script, press cmd+i, go to the icon, and paste the new one, and you’re good to go.

Update: The other way to change the application icon is by right clicking on the app and selecting Show Package Contents then Contents > Resources and replacing the .icns file.

Here’s the final result. Hope it makes you be more productive. Cheers!

DualFinder result.

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5 thoughts on “Two Finders Side-by-Side

  1. Hi Copiancestral thx for this script and information, I followed all you said and it worked. On my 30″ external monitor the two Finder windows comes nicely side by side but the last 1/3 of the panel at the buttom is not covers by the Finder widows and you see your desc or what ever soft are window you had there before launching the side by side script. But this is 100% ok with me and jut a good functions since I can have another program window there. Once again 1000 thx for this and good work. // Alex

    • Hi Alex, Thanks for the comment. The 1/3 of the screen was deliberate, but you can change it in the script. Look at the code where I multiply screenHeight * 0.7 if you remove the * 0.7 you’ll get 100 %, instead of the 70% of the screen you’re getting now.

  2. Whoopee — never even heard of applescript before, but managed to figure it out & copy & paste. As a PC user, I find Finder very primitive and my files are in a MESS. Thru a search, I found that two Finders was possible, but took time to resize, etc. A further search for the other site you mentioned & then the link to your post. THANK YOU — I’m still wondering if I am missing other basic features of Finder — I hope I can get my files organized. If you know of other links to learn to be a ‘power’ Finder user — would be appreciated. Thanks again, Deborah

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