In this section I will show you how to change a folder's display area (sub-folders and files content view) so that you can manage/view the content within it better. With picture files (photos) for example you may want them displayed/viewed as Thumbnails (Preview Icons) whereas for COPY & PASTE purposes you may want them displayed/viewed as a List Of Folders And Files. It depends on the occasion/purpose. This particular section covers the basics of folder views, concentrating on the Icon View. In the next section I will cover the List view and so on.
In this first example I will show you how to change the display area (content view) of the PICTURES folder. So begin by opening the PICTURES folder - Click on the PICTURES folder (folder link) within the FINDER sidebar (Fig 1.0) and then make sure its current content view is set to Icon View by clicking on the ICON VIEW button (Fig 1.1), if Icon View is not currently set as the content view for the PICTURES folder of course. In Icon View folders and files are displayed as Preview Icons (known as: Thumbnails) within the current folder's display area.
Fig 1.0 Click on the ICON VIEW button to make a folder's display area show folders/files as Icons (Thumbnails)
If the Preview Icons (Thumbnails) are too small for you to see the actual imagery of the photos, you can enlarge the preview icons (thumbnails) using two resize methods. With the first method all you need to do is drag (move/slide) the RESIZE slider button, located in the bottom-right corner of the folder (window), either rightwards or leftwards. As you drag (move/slide) that slider button to the right the preview icons (thumbnails) get bigger and as you drag (move/slide) it to the left the preview icons (thumbnails) get smaller.
Fig 1.1 Click on the RESIZE slider button and drag it to the left to make the preview icons (thumbnails) smaller
Fig 1.2 Click on the RESIZE slider button and drag it to the right to make the preview icons (thumbnails) bigger
Method one is okay, but you have to guess what size is an ideal size for the preview icons (thumbnails) whereas with method two you have more accuracy and control. With method two you first need to click the right mouse button (right-click) on an empty part of the folder's display area to bring up its Context (Options) menu and then click on its SHOW VIEW OPTIONS menu-item.
Fig 1.3 Right click on an empty part of the folder's display area to bring up the folder's Context (Options) menu
Fig 1.4 Select (left click on) the SHOW VIEW OPTIONS menu-item to continue
Clicking on the SHOW VIEW OPTIONS menu-item will bring up the View Options window that has settings on it relating to the PICTURES folder and more precisely settings that relate to folders of this kind in general. Meaning, if you switch off/on a certain setting here it might also be applied to similar folders and their content. This window is similar to the Folder Options window and its settings in Windows 10.
Fig 1.5 The settings on this window apply to this PICTURES folder, but can also apply to similar folders.
The setting of interest here is the ICON SIZE setting. Its RESIZE slider button allows you to resize the preview icons (thumbnails) within the current folder (PICTURES) in the same way as shown in method one above. So if I drag the RESIZE slider button to the 100 x 100 setting the preview icons (thumbnails) will change (be resized) to a size of 100 Pixels wide by 100 Pixels high.
Fig 1.6 Dragging the RESIZE slider button to 100 x 100 gives the icons (thumbnails) a width and height of 100 Pixels
It is important to note here that adjusting the RESIZE Slider for the preview icons directly inside the PICTURES folder means only the preview icons within the PICTURES folder will be affected by the resize. Any sub-folders within the PICTURES folder, and any sub-folders and files within those sub-folders, will have their preview icons kept at their original size. The same applies if you alter the GRID SPACING setting - It changes the spacing (gap) between each preview icon.
If you want to make your resizing permanent, so that 100 x 100 for example is the default setting, simply click on the USE AS DEFAULTS button at the bottom of the View Options window.
Fig 1.7 Click on USE AS DEFAULTS to apply these View Option settings to the PICTURES folder, its sub-folders/files
Remember what I said above: Making changes here might affect other folders. In this case resizing the preview icons to 100 x 100 for the PICTURES folder also means this setting (resize) is applied to the DESKTOP, DOWNLOADS, MUSIC and MOVIES folders but not the APPLICATIONS and DOCUMENTS folders for example. As said: The settings on this View Options window works in a similar way to Folder Options in Windows 10.
Fig 1.8 These two settings are normally left switched on (ticked) by default
Another thing to remember is that the two settings at the top of the View Options window, ALWAYS OPEN IN..... and BROWSE IN....., are normally ticked (switched on/enabled) by default (normal behaviour).
The ALWAYS OPEN IN ICON VIEW setting means; Even if you switch between folders (go in and out of other folders), whereby those other folders display their content (sub-folders and files content) in List View or Column View for example, when you return to this folder (PICTURES) it will still display its content (sub-folders and files content) in Icon View. If this setting is unticked though it means this folder (PICTURES) will inherit the previously visited folder's view. So if you came from the MUSIC folder which displays its content in List View for example, this folder (PICTURES) will also display its content in List View.
The BROWSE IN ICON VIEW setting means: Exactly as just described but it applies to this folder's sub-folders (their sub-folders and files content). So if this setting is ticked it means this folder's sub-folders (their sub-folders and files content) will also be displayed in Icon View, regardless of switching between other folders, but if this setting is unticked it means this folder's sub-folders (their sub-folders and files content) will inherit the previously visited folder's view (i.e. List View).
If you want the preview icons (thumbnails) automatically arranged into File Name order for example you need to click on the ARRANGE BY drop-down menu and select its NAME setting. You can also have the preview icons automatically arranged in DATE order or File Type order (KIND order) amongst others. Or you could just leave this setting set to NONE. This means you want to manually move the preview icons around, in no particular order, and have them remain where you last left them; for next time around. If you change this setting now the preview icons will be instantly arranged - You do not need to click on the USE AS DEFAULTS button (Fig 1.7 above) to apply the ARRANGE BY setting in other words. However, if you want this setting to be permanent you should click on the USE AS DEFAULTS button.
Fig 1.9 Click on the ARRANGE BY drop-down menu and then select its NAME menu-item
Fig 1.10 The preview icons will now be re-arranged into NAME order, instantly.
If you want to manually arrange (place/move) the preview icons, in no particular order, but still keep them aligned (as opposed to all over the place) you should set the ARRANGE BY drop-down menu to NONE and then set the SORT BY drop-down menu to SNAP TO GRID. This will keep the preview icons in uniform (aligned to an invisible/imaginary grid of squares).....just imagine an invisible chess board whereby you have one preview icon placed on one square of the chess board. Or put another way; SNAP TO GRID allows you to manually align (straighten up) a loose preview icon.
Fig 1.11 SNAP TO GRID allows you to manually align (to a grid) a loose preview icon
Here are three 'common combination' examples of using the ARRANGE BY and SORT BY settings.
Fig 1.12 ARRANGE BY and SORT BY are both set to NONE - Icons can be manually placed (scattered)
Fig 1.13 ARRANGE BY and SORT BY are both set to NAME - Icons are now automatically placed, in NAME order.
Fig 1.14 ARRANGE BY is set to NONE and SORT BY is set to SNAP TO GRID - Icons will auto-align when moved
The last setting to be aware of on the View Options window is the SHOW ICON PREVIEW setting. When it's ticked it means you want to display each preview icon as an actual preview of what is inside its associated file. So if the file is a photo file its preview icon will display a miniature image of the actual photograph within that file. And if the file is a document its preview icon will display the first pieces of text within that document. Unticking the SHOW ICON PREVIEW setting means you want each preview icon to display a generic, standard, icon only. Here are two examples:
Fig 1.15 Tick the SHOW ICON PREVIEW setting if you want each icon to display an example of its associated file
Fig 1.16 The SHOW ICON PREVIEW setting is ticked - The actual photos can be seen in each preview icon
Fig 1.17 The SHOW ICON PREVIEW setting is unticked - Generic preview icons are being displayed
The SHOW ITEM INFO setting displays file information underneath each preview icon, underneath the file name, such as the Photo Size information (in Pixels) or File Size information (in MegaBytes). It depends on what type of file is in the folder or sub-folder.