Anybody who packages software (or other files) for distribution on the Mac is probably familiar with the tedious process of setting up the icons “just right” in the Finder so that when your customer opens the folder for your app, they see things neatly organized the way you left them.
I don’t know how many times I’ve longed for a “nudge” keyboard shortcut in the Finder. If I could just move that icon one pixel to the left, it would be perfect. Inevitably I click and drag just a little bit too far. It’s hard to get right on the first try!
But today my worries came to an end. My NudgeFinderSelection scripts simply ask the Finder to move all the selected icons in a given direction. Since the behavior is is 99% identical for whichever direction the nudge should be, I just wrote a single script and copied it 3 times. The script examines its own name and determines its functionality accordingly.
Note: Because of this “self-determination,” you can customize your own version to go above and beyond the current behavior. Try making a copy and naming it “NudgeDownRight” for instance, and you’ve got yourself a nice little diagonal nudger.
I hooked up all four of these as Finder-specific shortcuts with FastScripts. Now when I’m tweaking icon layout in the Finder, a nudge is just a short cmd-opt-arrow-key away.
Note: my “clever hack” here begs the question, why doesn’t FastScripts respect symbolic links? It would be much cleaner to have a single copy of the file with multiple references to it. Yes, it’s a grievous shortcoming, and hopefully situations like this will inspire me to remedy it soon.
And since you’ve read this far, I think you deserve a little treat. Ever thought that the icons in a window would look best arranged in sine wave formation? Well, you were probably wrong, but SinusInfection will guide you to forming a permanent opinion. Unfortunately, there’s no undo, so don’t run this with an important Finder window front-most!
It’s not a very polished script, and may take some tweaking to work right on your system. C’est la vie! In particular make sure you have an open window with a substantial number of items in it. And turn off any automatic “keep organized” settings in the Finder view options. I’ve also noticed that Finder can sort of freak out while you’re doing this, apparently because so much is changing out from under it. The sine wave tends to get broken and re-originates at a slightly different window offset.