Marta is a macOS Finder alternative with tons of useful keyboard shortcuts

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Marta is a macOS Finder alternative with tons of useful keyboard shortcuts


Finder, the default file manager for Mac, is extremely mouse-driven. Yes, there are a few keyboard shortcuts, but this is an app primarily designed for clicking and dragging files. This works for most people, but some of us prefer to do everything with the keyboard as much as possible.

If you also prefer a keyboard shortcut over drag and drop, check out Marta, a free alternative file manager designed to quickly manage files without taking your hands off the keys. The interface is built around two panes, between which you can quickly switch by pressing the tab key. You navigate to folders using the arrow keys, then press Enter to open a file. You can press backspace at any time to move up a level. You can press Space to preview a file, like in Finder, and enter to open it. For an even more elegant option, you can press Command-Enter to choose which application to open a file with, all without using the mouse.

You can still use the mouse if you want, but everything is faster if you use keyboard shortcuts that you can customize. The real answer, however, is Actions Panel, which you can open using the default keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-P. This opens an overlay where you can type to search for a command, then press Enter to execute it.

The panel allows you to quickly find and execute commands


Credit: Justin Pot

This is great, especially when you’re just starting out, because it allows you to perform all the super fancy commands without needing to memorize all the keyboard shortcuts. Best of all, you’ll see the keyboard shortcuts as you go, allowing you to learn them over time.

If you want more commands, you’ll obviously have to open the terminal. You can activate a terminal directly in the application using the keyboard shortcut Command-O.

A full-fledged terminal integrated into the file manager


Credit: Justin Pot

This opens a terminal in your current panel folder. Better yet, the terminal folder changes when your panel folder changes, and vice versa. Note that the terminal is linked to the active panel: you can have a separate terminal for each window, if you want.

There’s a lot more you can delve into here, but honestly, it’s best explored firsthand. Dive in and see if you like it. I don’t know if I’ll use this to replace the Finder for all uses, but every now and then it’s nice to have a power user tool for complex tasks.



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