In the browser toolbar, can I have separate dedicated VIEW OPTION selectors for each of the two Panes?

Richard Hoefer's Avatar

Richard Hoefer

21 Mar, 2019 09:04 AM

I have ADHD. I find it very confusing that there are not separate VIEW OPTION selections for each of the two panes. It takes far too much mental energy to expend to try to figure out various IF-THEN display options based on the state of things (as suggested in this very complex HELP ARTICLE ). To me, using two panes within a single file browser should layout exactly as though I have butted together two separate Finder Windows.

In Screenshot 1 below, my Pane 1 view has been selected as LIST VIEW. In Pane 2 it is COLUMN VIEW — but when looking at the screenshot, one could easily be confused as to thinking Pane 1 is also in Column View.

In Screenshot 2 below I have "cut & paste simulated" what separate VIEW OPTION selectors would look like: Pane 1 shows List view, Pane 2 shows Column View — which is the actual way the panes are configured.

Can someone suggest how I might better comprehend at-a-glance which view mode is selected for the active window. For example, is there a way I can dramatically change the interface "chrome" for ACTIVE vs INACTIVE Pane? Thank you.

  1. 1 Posted by Richard Hoefer on 21 Mar, 2019 09:05 AM

    Richard Hoefer's Avatar

    Here is screenshot 2. It wouldn't allow me to upload both images in one post.

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Path Finder Sup... on 21 Mar, 2019 10:56 PM

    Path Finder Support Team's Avatar

    Hi Richard,

    The toolbar is shared between the panes since they belong to the same window. It will always display the settings (i.e. which view mode is selected, etc.) for an active pane.

    Perhaps you would find it easier if you will be able to better differentiate which pane is active at the moment. This can be adjusted in Path Finder -> Preferences -> Appearance tab -> Color editor. Here, please change "Active browser window" (Active pane) and "Active browser window (inactive)" (Inactive pane).

    Please feel free to write us back and we will be happy to assist you.

    Best Regards,
    Path Finder Support Team

  3. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 21 Mar, 2019 10:56 PM.

  4. Richard Hoefer re-opened this discussion on 22 Mar, 2019 12:11 PM

  5. 3 Posted by Richard Hoefer on 22 Mar, 2019 12:11 PM

    Richard Hoefer's Avatar

    Jordan, thank you, yes, playing with the custom colors is helping
    tremendously. Two snags though I wonder if you could help further with.
    The *first item*, below, pertains to using the color-edit tool itself and I
    show a full sequence of screens shots. Then, further down is item #2 of
    this message, where I ask a few specific questions about *"where is the
    control for THIS xyz interface element?"*.

    *Please note: I'm investing my time here* in both the product itself
    (which I will purchase very soon) *and in* the usability of the
    product for *other
    people besides me, especially for people who have ADHD. *You may or may not
    be aware that there is a high percentage of "creatives" who *have,* but
    have not ever been diagnosed with, ADHD. And this is the same exact
    audience of people who are drawn to a tool like Path Finder in the very
    first place. Thus, my presentation to you here is not a *"yeah, we know we
    need to improve this Color Editor tool, but it's a relatively low priority
    compared to many other items on our TO DO list"*. But rather it is a
    presentation to you and your entire product development team that critical
    improvements to User Interface controls is right at the forefront to
    people's primary decision-making criteria for "do I buy this product or

    And in this regard, I would like for you to FLAG to your product team, that
    my careful feedback here is coming from a very long experienced web
    product/ UX designer (me)— and that I am, in the San Francisco Bay Area, at
    the forefront of "PRODUCT DESIGN FOR ADHD & DISTRACTED PEOPLE" — as seen by
    this Meetup Group I lead:
    [image: Screen Shot 2019-03-22 at 12.38.38 AM.png]


    *When in Color Edit mode, I noticed that the changes do not get applied
    until after you have quit out of Path Finder prefs.* I understand the
    reason for this, but it drastically limits one's comprehension about which
    pieces of the interface are being affected, because the PREVIEWs within
    Color prefs editor do not give a full context of what is being colored in
    relation to another.

    I do recall various Mac or windows software over the years providing some
    kind of interface LEGEND with exagerrated colors, and labels of the
    component interface pieces — to greatly aid in one's understanding of the
    pieces of the interface.

    *See these 5 screenshots in sequence:*

    *A_ Before going into Color Edit mode: this is what my Path Finder browser
    looks like:*

    [image: A_ Browser interface colors before going into COLOR EDIT tool .png]

    *B_ While in edit mode— there is generally no real-time display of colors
    being tried out in the editor. However, notice the teal-colored thin-lines
    — which suggest that the color editor actually does have an ability to
    display in real-time ?*

    [image: A_ while in edit mode— notice the teal lines.png]

    *C_ After quitting Path Finder prefs, the changes now get applied, giving
    one the first chance to see what elements can be controlled/modified.*

    [image: B_ After quitting prefs, changes applied.png]

    *D_ Now having seen what interface pieces get controlled by what, I go back
    into the Color editor in order to REFINE those changes— *especially to
    restore interface pieces that I wasn't sure how would show up. * However,
    please note: *the PREVIOUS modified COLOR STATE that *had* been applied
    after quitting Prefs (as seen in (C) above) is not shown, which is highly
    confusing. It creates doubt as to whether previous colors were truly

    [image: C_ Going back into Color editor, after having seen what controls
    what— PREVIOUS COLOR STATE not shown.png]

    *E_ Given (D) above, it is very hard to then refine Color Edits without
    seeing your actual currently in-use applied state ... * For whatever
    reason, when in Color Edit mode, the Browser goes into some ambiguous
    suspended mode, neither displaying the previously saved browser UI colors
    state, nor the live dynamic state while using the color editor. My
    workaround is my sliding into view *my SCREENSHOT of the previous applied
    state, with the live color-edit tools on top. You can see it outlined by
    PURPLE in the screenshot below. * By contrast, the ORANGE outlined area
    shows the live state of both the Path Finder browser and the Color Edit

    [image: E_ My screenshot placed under the edit tools so I can see what to

    *Note the large orange arrow pointing to the Path Finder browser: * the
    colors that I set in the just-prior color edit session (shown in the purple
    outlined screenshot) are not displayed. So I am using my purple outlined
    screenshot to guide me in selecting which elements in the Color Editor I
    want to now revise. Of course, since the screenshot is static, I have no
    reliable display of the dynamic changes I want to now make within the Color

    *SUGGESTION: *it would be a big help if, within the Color Editor itself,
    there is a link to "View sample screen showing labeled interface elements
    in full context"

  6. Support Staff 4 Posted by Path Finder Sup... on 22 Mar, 2019 03:35 PM

    Path Finder Support Team's Avatar

    Hi Richard,

    Could you please remind me what versions of macOS and PathFinder are installed on your machine?
    Path Finder colors should be changing in real time as you adjust them.

    There is no "pin tab" feature yet. I will forward your feature suggestion to our development team.

    As for the "Shared Folder" bar, it can be toggled from View -> Bookmarks Bar. The reason why there is only a lonely "shared folder" in it is you can't have less than one bookmark in it.

    Please feel free to write us back and we will be happy to assist you.

    Best Regards,
    Path Finder Support Team

  7. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 22 Mar, 2019 03:35 PM.

  8. Richard Hoefer re-opened this discussion on 23 Mar, 2019 04:23 AM

  9. 5 Posted by Richard Hoefer on 23 Mar, 2019 04:23 AM

    Richard Hoefer's Avatar

    Jordan, I am running 10.13.6 (17G5019) and Pathfinder v 8.3.9 .

    I figured out the discrepancy re real-time color updating:

    When Path Finder Preferences are open, and I select COLOR EDITOR, the Color Editor opens and I begin to interact with the Color Editor. The real time color changes do not display in Path Finder browser (SCREENSHOT 1 below).

    I figured out that I have to first SELECT BROWSER — then the color editor will show real-time color updating. SCREENSHOT 2: Note the "Appearance Preference" window is now inactive and behind the Path Finder browser. It didn't occur to me that I would need to select the Browser first before color-editing because the workflow is:

    1. I am in Path Finder application
    2. I select Path Finder preferences
    3. I select the Appearance Prefs tab
    4. I select Color Editor
    5. The Color Editor Tool pops up
    6. I begin to use the Color Editor
    7. Color changes do not show up in the Browser

    SUGGESTION: It seems illogical for me to have to add the additional step between steps 5 and 6: "Select Path Finder Browser"


    I have now been able to tweak my colors a lot easier with real-time changes showing, and I am getting much closer to the look & feel I want. THIS THREAD started with my asking about separate VIEW MODE selectors for the left and right panes so that I could tell which pane the VIEW MODE selector was refrerring to. You suggested using the Color Editor to make a clearer delineation between LEFT PANE and RIGHT PANE in their active and inactive states. That is exactly what I have now done.

    The ACTIVE PANE now has a red tint to the selected Tab and the Path Bar. The INACTIVE PANE now has a teal color tint to its selected Tab and to the Path Bar. Now it is very apparent to me which pane is active. It now meets my "Design for ADHD" standard of "bulletproof clarity", reducing what had prior been tons of cognitive processing while the brain skimmed across and down the various values of grey across the two virtually-identical panes.

    Also, with the real-time color displaying, I have been able to now darken the Header section so that it is equal to the background color of the "Icon Column" (column 3). They now form a very clear perimeter around the two distinct Left and Right Panes.

    *NOTE: I still am not seeing the Green "test color" that I assigned to "Divider Color", and I would still like the developer team to explain to me where on the interface is the "Divider" — both active and inactive. I would assign the vertical divider between the two pans to be the same dark grey as the Icon Column and Header, which would further "bulletproof" the clarity of Left Pane and Rught Pane.

    Also, for anyone else who might be following this, I made all sorts of Color Edits to Frame Color, Frame Accent Color, etc, in order to reduce the too-many-dark-line boundaries between interface bars.

  10. 6 Posted by Richard Hoefer on 23 Mar, 2019 04:53 AM

    Richard Hoefer's Avatar

    I wanted to add two more screenshots to show what is now pretty close to my everyday configuration. This has now enabled me to dispene with my old method of multiple FINDER windows, and then tabs within those mutliple windows strewn across my two large monitors. This, below, is closer to how I've always wanted to use a "finder" like tool. Really clear SOURCE and DESTINATION panes in one window.

    SCREENSHOT 1 of 2: Shows my desktop folder in LEFT PANE in list view. I want to drag & drop a desktop screenshot to its correct "home"in RIGHT PANE— in this case, my folder project for "Design for ADHD", within a subcategory of "MacOS Finder problems".

    SCREENSHOT 2 of 2: Shows my DROPPING the file into the RIGHT PANE, which — going all the way back to the oruginal topic of this thread — is displaying in COLUMN MODE. However, this screenshot is a slight cheat, in order to illustrate the annoying problem of Column View AUTO-SCROLL. The screenshot shows the behavior I WANT — but it is not the behavior Path Finder delivers.

  11. 7 Posted by Richard Hoefer on 23 Mar, 2019 04:55 AM

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    Here is SCREENSHOT 2: The Right Pane does not auto-scroll to the right: it remains fixed, while "silently" expanding the view to the right to open the subfolder I selected.

  12. 8 Posted by Richard Hoefer on 23 Mar, 2019 05:01 AM

    Richard Hoefer's Avatar

    By contrast, here is how Path Finder actually displays this DRAG-DROP action from Left Pane to Right Pane. It auto-scrolls the Column View in Right Pane, pushing the column panel to the left, which causes me to lose focus on the parent folder. This is disconcerting and distracting for people with ADHD. DON'T MOVE the colum automatically. I will manually scroll horizontally to see which subfolder opened.

    THIS "animation" is shown in two successive screenshots, to simulate the auto-scroll action:

    SCREENSHOT 1 of 2:

  13. 9 Posted by Richard Hoefer on 23 Mar, 2019 05:01 AM

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  14. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 23 Mar, 2019 06:06 PM.

  15. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 23 Mar, 2019 06:07 PM

  16. Support Staff 10 Posted by Path Finder Sup... on 23 Mar, 2019 06:07 PM

    Path Finder Support Team's Avatar

    Hi Richard,

    Thank you for the suggestions! 

    Just so you know, I have forwarded your messages (including this thread) to our developers. 
    Your feature requests and bug reports were submitted :)

    Regarding your current Path Finder design for ADHD and distracted people, which could be useful to other Path Finder users, would you like to keep the current thread open or start a new dedicated one?

    The forum is integrated with our CRM system and it automatically closes tickets after each reply.
    Nevertheless, every new reply reopens it, so other users should be able to comment and subscribe to your thread regardless of its status. 

    Please feel free to write us back and we will be happy to assist you. 

    Best Regards,
    Path Finder Support Team

  17. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 23 Mar, 2019 06:07 PM.

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