Pathfinder Shelf

There are all kinds of utility apps for the Mac that facilitate your workflow. One common group is known as “file managers”. They have various functionality that allow you to manage files on your Mac. However, if you are using the excellent Finder replacement app, Path Finder, then you have a “file manager” already builtin.

File Managers

There are bunches of file manager apps out there with more coming all the time. Currently, I am testing Space Drop from FIBLAB. I still use FilePane from mymixapps from time to time. Currently, I use the move feature in LaunchBar by Objective Development to accomplish this function in conjunction with the similar capability in the Finder replacement app, Path Finder by Cocoatech. If you look in the App Store you can find several others. They all seem to have similar capabilities. However, each app does things a little differently and they each have their own little tweaks that separate them from the others.

Since I am moving files around all day long I use file managers extensively. If you find yourself moving or copying files all over on your HD, I highly recommend using one of these apps (there are others of course). However, if you currently use the Finder replacement app Path Finder, then you have this functionality builtin.

Path Finder Shelf

Path Finder is an excellent, very sophisticated, dual-pane, Finder replacement. I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that I do not use all of the functionality of Path Finder. What parts I do use though, are nicely implemented. Case in point is what Path Finder calls the “Shelf”. Here is a typical Path Finder window:

That small bullseye is the “Shelf”. Most of the files I move are on the Desktop or in the Downloads folder. To move a file, just drag it to the “Shelf” like so:

This file was on my Desktop. Now that I have placed it on the “Shelf”, all I have to do is navigate to where I want to move it. In this case, I am using the “Public” folder in Dropbox:

Simply drag the file into the desired location and you are done. Keep in mind, you can drag a bunch of files onto the “Shelf” at one time. You can also drag/move a folder using the “Shelf”.

If you right-click on the “Shelf” with items in there you get this drop-down menu:

It allows you to do a few things with the shelf items besides move them.

So, here is my overall observation of why some people may prefer this to a standalone drag/move application. Every standalone app for drag/move has their own ways of activatiing the app. Sometimes it is just dragging a file. Other times you have to move the file over a certain part of the screen. Sometimes you use keyboard commands. Some people just do not wish to bother with this. They have more of a concrete mouse dragging orientation. I think those folks would prefer the very easy functionality of the “Shelf” in Path Finder. You drag a file to the “Shelf”, navigate to where it goes and drag it to that location. Very definite and very easy to do.


If you move a lot of stuff during the day I highly recommend a file manager app. However, if you are using Path Finder, then the “Shelf” is your way to go. It is super reliable and versatile.