Idea: being able to identiify many long, padded file names

I had just thought of something, and maybe you’ll hear me out:

Whenever I look at a BIG directory full of LONG filenames with repeated, characters at the beginning of the FileName fore and after the end. See this example:

PurchaseOrder Component gear
PurchaseOrder Component cog
PurchaseOrder Component frame
PurchaseOrder Component engine
PurchaseOrder Component MASTER Sheet

If your FINDER column width isn’t that wide, Finder will show your file list as so:


Currently that’s the way APPLE FINDER does it; it chops the file-name in HALF then drops off characters from the middle outwards. That works most of the time, but there are not more and more identifiable characters in the middle of the FileName string.

which is hardly helpful. Actually it’s useless because you can’t tell what file is what anymore! Even worse, the last one cuts out “Un out of Unedited” and makes you think it’s is edited.

Wouldn’t it be better, if when reducing the width of the window, it could some how detect the repeated characters included the truncations commonly used in the computer world such as the use of non-aplhas, CamelCase, symbolic-identifiers, [banners], etc. and EMPHASISED the identifying characteristics of the filenames as follows, or maybe dropping off vowels… some algorithm to make it still human readable?

This way, I can easily tell which file is about GEARS, COG, FRAME, ENGINE and the most important one I don’t want to mix up and accidentally move or delete is MASTER SHEET which also so happens to be un-saved (which of course doesn’t make sense, but it’s all there for drama :wink: )

Perhaps it’s not possible under the current architecture of Finder and how TotalFinder can access these parts of the OS X, but I hope someone can figure it out or at least advise APPLE it’s an idea that many people could save time and reduce the occurrence of headache!

This way of truncating could be used where there are multiple instances of the files whose filenames are nearly identical, and not applied to the others. That’d be fantastic, wouldn’t it!?


I came here to request something similar (truncate left, not right), but Howard’s scheme sounds even better. I second this this request, and would especially appreciate it being back-fitted to the latest Snow Leopard compatible version of TF.

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