Some people believe that the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) method of transferring files from a Mac to a server or other location is antiquated and not used any more. I beg to differ, I use it quite frequently and so do many other people. It is just a great way to move files to locations away from your Mac. My go to FTP software has been Transmit 5 by Panic Software for many years. I have tried other apps, but Transmit 5 just works like a champ all the time and is very powerful. I have talked about Transmit in days gone by, but I wanted to take a look at the new and improved Transmit 5 .
Transmit 5 Layout
Transmit 5 has the basic layout of most FTP programs. Your files appear in the left hand column and the servers files appear in the right hand column:
Your list of servers appears on the right. All you have to do is double-click on a server and Transmit 5 logins in and displays your files. Usually the website address shows to the right of the name, but I have blocked out those addresses for privacy reasons. Please note for most of the images in this article you can double-click and open a larger, more readable version.
Typically, what you would do is setup a new FTP site in the right side window area (more on that in a bit). Then, you would navigate to the files you wish to upload in the left hand column on your hard drive. Then, you move the files from the Mac to the Server area.
Speaking of navigating to your files, Transmit 5 has a nice feature. The first time you navigate to your files to upload on your hard drive, you can drag the enclosing folder to this task bar for future referenced:
How this works is the next time you open one of your FTP sites in the right hand column, the corresponding files folder appears in the taskbar. Most of the time the upload files appear in the left side, but if they do not just click on the folder in the Taskbar and you are taken to the correct files. You can set this up for each of your FTP sites.
Once you are displaying the correct files all you have to do is drag over the appropriate ones into the site in the right side of the window. Or, you can select the files to be moved and click the green button in the menubar area and Transmit 5 moves the files automatically:
Now, there are plenty of commands in the Drop Down Menu area many of which replicate some of the functionality in the App Window. I will let you experiment with them at your leisure. I do want to mention one command I use all the time which is “Refresh.” The “Refresh” command resides in the View Menu. Before uploading any files to a FTP site I select the files in the window and use the “Refresh” command. This way I am certain the latest versions of those files are being updated.
I got tired of going to that menu all the time though. Transmit 5 allows you to customize the Menu Bar area of the window so I located and moved the “Refresh” icon into the Menu Bar for ease of use:
Now all I have to do is click the “Refresh” button and I am good to go:
You can do further customization in the App Window by clicking on these little icons:
Here you can show the files in the usual Icon, List or Column views of the Mac OS. You can put Folder Above Files, and arrange things in several other ways to suit your workflow:
Transmit 5 is FTP on Steroids let me tell you. It is super sophisticated and I think the best FTP App out there.
Anyone that has been using computers and FTP for a while knows the FTP protocol is somewhat antiquated. There are all kinds of Cloud Services today to store and pass along files. Most FTP programs today focus on one thing, doing FTP of files and folders. But, not Transmit 5. The Developers at Panic software see the future and have designed Transmit 5 to interact with all kinds of different services. But, more on that in my next article where we will get into some of these new capabilities along with Transmit 5’s rather sophisticated Preferences.
If you only use FTP on rare occasions, then a free FTP App may suffice for your needs. However, if you do a moderate or even heavy amount of moving files around to other locations, you cannot go wrong with Transmit 5. It is a little pricey at $45, but hopefully this and my next article will convince you it is more than worth that price tag. I sure think it is, I use it quite frequently.