Persistent Column width in Column view, in addition to automatic width


In addition to Automatic Column Width in Column View could we also have a “Persistent Column Width” that remembers the width of the Column the last time it was viewed?

Standard width is often too narrow.

Automatic column width can easily become to wide if there’s one file with an extra long filename.

I’m requesting something in the middle.

Persistent column width could be used to set the column width once and TotalFinder remember it for the next time it is viewed.
Extra long file names would be cut off but likely have enough visible to know what it is.


Don’t the minimum and maximum column width settings accomplish what you’re asking for?

Not really. The minimum and maximum Column width settings are global.
I’m asking for column by column persistent settings that I have set by dragging…
My business files, for example, often have much longer file names than my personal files and folders.
So, a global column width, whether set by Apple or a limit set in your program often misses the mark.
Basically, I’m asking for the column width to be remembered when I set large widths in my business stuff and narrow widths in my personal stuff.

I understand. The minor problem with this feature is that I would have to persist this information somewhere. I would probably have to keep some mapping from directory paths to persistent column widths.

Column View Mode has multiple columns so a particular directory can appear in different columns based on starting “root” directory.

  1. Should I remember widths relative to the root directory or keep one global setting for each persisted path would be enough?
  2. How to keep the mapping updated if someone renames/deletes any of those paths?
  3. What about paths which are mounted and may be not available at the moment? e.g. under /Volumes/something
  4. How this should interfere with

I’m afraid it is not as easy as it sounds.

Are you aware of double-click feature on the resize gripper? It is a standard Finder feature which auto-resizes column on demand. Maybe I could introduce a keyboard shortcut for you and you would simply use it when entering columns which do not look right and you want to make them fit (but without having this feature enabled automatically via TotalFinder’s automatic column view resizing).

I have had this exact same question for more years than I can remember, and the solution as well (except that I don’t know how to implement it).
It’s easy:

the width of the column is a property of the folder whose content it shows.

It should not be too difficult to put that extra info inside the folder!
There are already invisible files in any folder with extra information: icon, localisation, and what not.
Adding one that remembers the width of the column in column view should not be any hindrance.
In fact, when I bought TotalFinder (just a few minutes ago) I hoped that was going to be the case but it is not.

Then, when I modify the width of a column, the corresponding folder will remember it. No big complexity.

Hi Robert,

If you want to get a refund, please send me an email to

Why do you think Apple didn’t implement it in Finder when it is so easy?

I personally hate storing folder metadata in folders as hidden files. Actually TotalFinder started[1] as a tool to prevent creation of .DS_Store files. I later moved that functionality into a separate product[2] (which is no longer supported).