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I have noticed many Mac applications sort the files alphabetically rather than by type. A good example would be Coda by The files in the file menu are organized alphabetically. I requested for them to add the feature to organize files by type, and they've said that it's a Finder thing. So I looked at other applications to see if they were organizing by type. I noticed Dreamweaver CS4 had this same problem and now including Dreamweaver CS5.

There has to be something in the Mac that does this and that I can modify. I played with Spotlight and it now displays its files by type (thinking that's what I can do) but it didn't take effect in other applications.

What library are these applications using to display a file menu for their files?


here is an example-- file menu layout of coda by (i couldnt post another link because it wouldnt let me). can you see how everything is organised alphabetically rather than by folder? i just want the file menu to show all folders first then all the files.


there must be a way to modify mac to let me to do this.

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As stated, this is not an issue with OSX. It's an issue with the program you are using (i.e. Coda & Dreamweaver). – Josh K May 4 '10 at 17:20

This isn't a "Finder thing." It's an application thing. Unless they are using some sort of Finder hook to display files.

Here is the answer I received from Panic:

Hey Josh,

It's more of a Mac OS X convention than the Finder prohibiting us from doing something. It's something we're investigating for the future.

For example, Transmit and Coda share a lot of code. Older versions of Transmit didn't have the ability sort items this way, but the new version does. It's something we'll consider implementing in a future release.


-- Tim Panic Inc.

To repeate, this is not an OSX issue and there is nothing you can modify to change how the program lists the files.

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i think their using finder hooks, it has to be. all three programs i checked are the same way. the only application that acts differently is an app called pathFinder – user36002 May 4 '10 at 1:53
Why does it half to be? Can't programmers be lazy and not implement a file type sort? Does changing the Finder display for that folder change the view? If so, then you are correct. – Josh K May 4 '10 at 2:17
I just checked Coda. It doesn't change the view, so you are not correct. – Josh K May 4 '10 at 2:18
thanks josh. but i still dont get why all three applications ( i bet more) are the same. none seem to have implemented a sorting ability. im beginning to think they have no clue how to do it. – user36002 May 6 '10 at 1:52
Perhaps you should contact Adobe? Panic says it's slated for the future of Coda. Personally I don't need to sort by file type. If you need it you can probably just use the Finder. – Josh K May 6 '10 at 3:10

Adobe has taken care of this issue..... under the files panel (for dreamweaver) there are several different ways to organize your files, for mine CS 5.5 the options to file are name, size, type, and date modified. simply click on those methods to file and it will change the order.

itunes has this same way of changing how you view/organize your files.

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A screenshot of the "file menu" you're talking about would be helpful.

If you're talking about the standard Open / Save dialog boxes/sheets, you can click the icon button to view as a detailed list (as opposed to icons or multi-column browser), then ctrl-click (right-click) on the list headers to add the "Kind" column, then sort by that column.

Ah, that hierarchical source list in your screenshot looks like an NSOutlineView. I'm not sure you can do anything about that without modifying the applications themselves. You're probably getting into programming ( territory at this point.

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i have posted an update please read above – user36002 May 4 '10 at 1:10
Okay, I updated too. – Spiff May 4 '10 at 1:33

Well, I too have run into this problem, and it drives me nuts.

To get Finder to sort Folders at top, you need a simple hack to add a space to the front of the Folder file-type, thus making it sort higher than the letter 'A', outlined here

On a per-application basis, I'm pretty sure there's no "blanket" solution that will fix all applications, but there might be individual solutions, either along the same lines as the Finder fix, or in the form of a third party.

For example, I use TextMate a lot and it always insisted on sorting only alphabetically, so I found a plugin that lets you sort folders on top.

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