Stacks is a great feature introduced in macOS Mojave that automatically tidies up your desktop by neatly organizing files into different groups on the side of the screen. To clean up a cluttered desktop, you can use stacks, and then use the grouping and sorting options to personalize the appearance of the stacks to your liking.
The desktop is very important to most Mac users. Many users save files and projects that they are actively working on on the desktop. However, over time, it tends to get cluttered.
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Tidy desktops around the world
Macs used to be able to display a folder in the Dock as a group of files, but this is where the main difference between the old stacks and desktop stacks in macOS lies.
Simply put, the stack in the Dock is just a shortcut to a folder, and the stacks for the desktop are more than that. First of all, this is a new way to organize files that can accumulate on the desktop over time and make working with it inconvenient.
A short list of what you can do with stacks:
- Clean up your desktop by organizing files into appropriate groups;
- Group images, documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, and more into stacks;
- Sort stacks by key file parameters, including date and tags;
- Drag a file from the stack to the document and vice versa;
- Easily clean up all files in the stack;
- Best feature of stacks: they are sorted automatically…
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How to organize files on your desktop using stacks
To organize the files on your desktop in a stack, follow these steps:
1. Click on the desktop;
2. Click the menu “View” in Finder, then select the option “Collect in piles”…
Thus, the desktop will turn from such …
… in this one.
3. To return to the previous view of the desktop, uncheck the box. “Collect in piles” on the menu “View”…
Stacks on Mac have various sorting and grouping options to help you organize your files to your liking.
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To configure grouping and sorting options for stacks and files within them, right-click on the desktop, then select “Group stacks” from the pop-up menu, and then choose the appropriate option from the submenu:
Please select “Group stacks”to customize how the stacks themselves are positioned on the desktop.
- Not chosen – do not sort stacks on the desktop.
- Type – grouping on the desktop by file type.
- By date – sorting by the last open stacks.
- By date added – sorting stacks on the desktop depending on the date they were added.
- By date of change – grouping of stacks depending on the date of the last change.
- By creation date – grouping of stacks according to the date of their creation.
- By tags – sorting stacks on the desktop according to their tags.
But that’s not all.
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Other actions with stacks
Desktop stacks also support other actions:
- View the contents of the stack. Click on the stack to see what’s inside.
- Browse the contents of the stack with the mouse / trackpad by hovering over it.
- Drag and Drop – Click on a stack to expand it, then drag and drop the file and drop it into another application.
- Quick File Import – Hover over the stack to select a file, then import it into another application.
Anything the user places on the desktop will automatically be sent to the appropriate stack. For example, a screenshot saved on the desktop will be automatically pushed to the image stack. If you drag an image from the email to the desktop, it will also be sent to the corresponding stack.
Sorting and Grouping options open up some creative options for stacks:
Group work based on time periods. Set project-related asset stacks by date to instantly group work files from specific time periods.
Management of multiple projects. Tag your documents with project-specific metadata when you save them, such as client or project names, and you can greatly expand your use of stacks to manage multiple jobs — simply organize stacks by tags.
Organization of the project. If you want to keep the project file on your desktop, you can quickly import it into other applications by organizing the stack as you see fit. This will automatically group all the image files on your desktop into an image stack, your PDFs and other documents into a document stack, etc.
If you’re working on a complex project with a bunch of files scattered across your desktop, organize your files using stacks for easy import into the project.