Forklift as a Finder replacement


The Finder in macOS has always been very simple. Too simple, really. I’ve tried just about every replacement app I could find and all of them have come up short in one way or another. If they’re too simple, then why bother? If they’re too complicated they tend to be slow or cumbersome to use. Either way, they introduce friction and just get in the way.

I’ve used Cocoatech’s Pathfinder on and off for years and it’s a well-done and powerful app. Version 8 was recently released, adding a ton of cool flexibility around “modules”. Too much flexibility for me, I’ve found.

I started testing Forklift by BinaryNights and I think I may have found a Finder replacement with a usable level of complexity that doesn’t get in the way.

Here’s why I like it:

  • Remote connections. I use Transmit for heavy-duty remote file management but having a few frequently used servers right in Forklift’s sidebar is handy
  • Integration with command line tools. I can access command line scripts that act on selected files in Forklift.
  • Editing files in preview pane. I can select a text file and not only see the file’s contents, but I can edit it right in place.
  • Multi Rename. I rename files with consistent patterns all the time. With Forklift I can save them as presets and they’re always right at hand.
  • Creating files. I just want to create a new text file in whatever folder I’m viewing. There’s a button in Forklift’s toolbar for this.
  • Viewing hidden files. I can easily toggle display of hidden files.
  • Open in Terminal. There’s a button that opens the current directory in iTerm.

All of these features are available in one form or another with other apps or scripts, but Forklift puts them together in a nice, usable way that doesn’t also overcomplicate things when all I want to do is manage a few files.