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Opening Folders in the Same Finder Window

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I rely on Alfred exclusively for traversing my file system - opening files and folders with Finder, that is.

The problem is that every new folder that I open - unless it already is - is opened in a new tab. Since I jump to and from my Mac's directories like a wild ferret, a simple browsing session results in dozens of Finder tabs.

Is there ANY way to make folders open in a current/most recent Finder tab? This would be a real lifesaver.

Path Finder behaves likes this out of the box and it's really nice, but the rest of that software is so buggy I couldn't use it anymore.




Edited by kodiak
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Yes, I agree - keeping current or allowing selection of Finder views would also be a big help.  There may be an AppleScript solution but I haven't worked on it....  I did look again at PathFinder briefly but am glad to hear your verification of my decision not to go that route :)  

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12 hours ago, kodiak said:

@dfay, glad I could help. BTW, what do you mean by "allowing selection of Finder views"?


Presumably Icons/List/Columns (⌘1, ⌘2, ⌘3).


So, the thing about Alfred opening stuff in general is that all Alfred does is ask macOS to open the stuff (optionally with a specific application). How any application goes about opening stuff when asked to is entirely and exclusively that application's business.


What I'm saying is, (a) Finder kinda sucks, and (b) questions of the form "How do I change the way Alfred opens XYZ?" are really questions about XYZ, not Alfred, so an XYZ-related forum is generally a better place to ask.


Still, everyone uses Finder, so we know a thing or two about it here, too.


Personally, I think the best solution is to approach the problem from another direction: write a script that closes all Finder windows and/or tabs except the current one. Assign it a Hotkey in Alfred, or run it with my AppScripts workflow, which is made for this kind of stuff (I have a similar script for Safari).


If it were any other application and filetype than Finder and folders, you could write a stub application that implements the behaviour you want, but I think that's a bit too risky with Finder. If you try it, I'd love to hear how it works out, though :) 

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3 minutes ago, dfay said:

List/icon/columns/cover view


Gah! I should have posted faster. Now I look like a dummy.


Also, I completely forgot that cover view is a thing. Like, woah… I totally thought that went away years ago.

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Thanks @dfay!


But sadly, even refined solutions such as this will never be as smooth as native ones. Prefixing every folder search is a hassle.


Anyway, I didn't imagine such granular control over Finder tabs is achievable. So, while we're at it, is it possible to expand this workflow with more options?

Stuff like "Reopen Closed Tab", "Close All Tabs but the Active One", "Close All Tabs to the Right/Left" would be incredible.

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Hmm....I have been using file filters to search folders forever so this doesn't seem awkward to me.  But that's from search, not from Alfred's file interface.  I added file actions wired to the existing keywords.


In re: Finder tabs - to go further with controlling tabs is going to require a lot of UI scripting - and the challenge is that the active tab isn't revealed to AppleScript.


"Close All Tabs but the Active One" can be simulated by the following AppleScript but it closes and opens so it's not so clean:

tell application "Finder"
	set t to target of front window
	close front window
	open t
end tell

Anyway I added it to the workflow.


 "Reopen Closed Tab" won't be possible but I added a script filter that lists the recent folders.

Edited by dfay
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On 07/04/2018 at 10:58 PM, dfay said:

I have been using file filters to search folders forever so this doesn't seem awkward to me.


I'd assumed OP meant via Alfred's navigation mode, which is why I suggested something completely different.


I think your File Action is probably the best solution.

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1 hour ago, deanishe said:

I'd assumed OP meant via Alfred's navigation mode, which is why I suggested something completely different.

Yes I realised that too.  I barely use it...but using the regular file selection action hotkey also works from within the Alfred file nav...which I didn't know until I tried that now...

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