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Customise the Finder window toolbar
The toolbar at the top of Finder windows has most of the things you need, like forward and back buttons, icons, list, columns and cover flow views. However, if you find that you have to frequently look for functions among the Finder menus or Ctrl+click files and folders to get a context menu, you might be able to save some time and effort by adding the functions you commonly access as additional buttons on the toolbar.

The Finder toolbar buttons aren't set in stone and what you see is simply one example of a set of useful buttons. You can add more buttons, move them around or remove ones you don't need. Finder can easily be customised to suite the way that you work.

Finder toolbar

Hold down the Ctrl key and click an empty part of the toolbar and a menu is displayed. You can choose to display large or small buttons, and display text with or without buttons (it looks more like a menu than a toolbar without buttons).

Ctrl+click the toolbar and select Customize Toolbar from the menu that appears. A palette of buttons is displayed and you can drag any button to the toolbar and drop it where you want it to appear.

You can change the order of the buttons in the toolbar by dragging to a new position and dropping them. There are spaces that you can insert too, so you can create a group of buttons and then add a space to separate it from the next button or group of buttons.

If you don't like the new toolbar layout or if you can't get it quite right, you can start all over again by dragging the default set of buttons to the toolbar.

Create an instant slide show
If you have a collection of images on the hard disk drive that you want to turn into an instant slide show, just open a Finder window to display them. Select the images (in list view you can click the first file, hold down Shift and click the last one), hold down the Option key and click the Quick Look button in the Finder window toolbar. The Quick Look button changes from an eye icon to a slide show play button when the Option key is pressed.

The slide show runs full screen and the images are automatically scaled to fit. Press the left and right arrow keys to move forwards or backwards through the slide show.

If you click the File menu in Finder you will see the Quick Look option. Press the Option key and watch it change to Slide Show. It's an alternative way to access the slide show facility.