Arranging, grouping and sorting

Path Finder 7 comes with the new items arranging/grouping feature, the one Apple's Finder has for some time. It enables you to group similar items (files and folders) together. Similar in a sense, items are of the same kind, or similar size, modification date, etc. This feature works exactly the same way is it does in Apple's Finder.

Arrange by is a feature that groups items and the groups are formed based on the attribute you chose for the arrangement (for example, by Kind, by Date Created, etc). Arranging groups are identified by a different "title" row. For example, the picture below shows items in the list view, arranged by Kind.


Sort by is just what its name says, it sorts items based on the attribute you chose. If you Arrange by None, there are no groups and all items are sorted as one group (like in Path Finder 6). But if you have some arrangement/grouping, then sorting happens independently within each group and groups are preserved. Try it yourself: for example, arrange items by Kind and then click list view column headers for Name, or Size to sort items by name or size. Observe how sorting works within groups, while the groups stay the same.

One very important thing to note (since it can create some confusion) is: when there are arranging groups, the list view DOES NOT show disclosing arrows for folders to reveal their contents. Hierarchical folder view is not supported when arranging groups are present, because it just isn't possible. Let's say, you have items arranged by Kind and then in the Folders group you want to reveal a folder contents, which in turn would probably show items of different kinds, not belonging to the Folder group at all. In short, "nested" grouping is not possible, therefore, there are no folders contents disclosing arrows. This is considerable change when arranging groups are present in the list view, the icons and columns views don't have this "revealing hierarchy" problem.

Finally, the Arrange by Name is kind of special, and it also can be a source of confusion. When arranging by Name, we do have arranging, but the group titles are not visually present. All items have unique names and it would not make any sense to have a group title row stating item's name, just to be followed by a single item with the same name. Essentially, Arrange by Name and Arrange by None visually look the same in the icons and columns views, while in the list view Arrange by None shows folders' disclosure arrows and Arrange by Name doesn't. You can see the effect of it in the pictures below: this is arranging by Name in the list view:


And this is arranging by None in the list view:


As you can see, the only difference is that arranging by Name hides folder contents disclosing arrows.

Arranging and grouping is implemented to work the same way as it does in Apple's Finder. If you are familiar with it using Finder, you will easy get accustomed to it in Path Finder.