OS X El Capitan: Ways to view items in Finder windows
There are four ways to view items in a Finder window: as icons, as a list, in columns, or in Cover Flow. To choose a view, use the View buttons at the top of the Finder window:
In the four views, there are additional ways to customize how your items are displayed.
Sort items, arrange icons, and resize columns
Your settings for sorting and arranging items in a folder apply until you change them. For example, if you sort your Documents folder by Date Added, the next time you view your Documents folder, it’s sorted by Date Added.
Sort items: In any view, click the Item Arrangement button , then choose an option, such as Date Created or Size.
Arrange icons neatly: In Icon view, choose View > Clean Up.
Resize columns: In List view, Column view, and Cover Flow, drag the line that’s between the column headings.
To expand a column to show all filenames in their entirety, double-click the column divider.
Further customize Icon, List, Column, or Cover Flow view
You can customize each view to suit your preferences. For example, you can change the text size of file names and, in some views, change the size of file icons.
Open a Finder window, select the folder you want to change, then click a View button: Icon, List, Column, or Cover Flow.
Choose View > Show View Options, then set the options you want.
To have the folder always open in the view, select the “Always open in” checkbox.
To have subfolders also open in the view, select the “Browse in” checkbox.
If a subfolder opens in a different view, select the subfolder, choose View > Show View Options, then deselect the “Always open in” and “Browse in” checkboxes. The checkboxes must be selected for the main folder and deselected for the subfolder.
To use these settings for all Finder folders that use this view, click Use as Defaults.
For example, if you set options for Icon view, then click Use as Defaults, all folders that use Icon view appear with the same options. Use as Defaults isn’t available for Column view because the settings apply automatically to all folders in Column view.