I have a directory of files named like:


In Finder my directory is arranged by Name and the files are in correct numerical order. I like to use space preview to view the files, then I press Tab to advance, but the selection advances in alphabetical (ASCII?) order rather than numeric:

it(0).jpg -> 1 -> 10 -> ... -> 19 -> 2 -> 21 -> ...

Is there a way to advance in the numeric order that Finder displays the files in? I am on OS X Mavericks 10.9.3

To reproduce run this in Terminal.app

mkdir /tmp/alphanum && for i in {0..29}; do touch /tmp/alphanum/$i; done && open /tmp/alphanum

Select the first item and press Tab to advance.

1 Answer 1


So long as they are all named following the same format (test1.jpg, test2.jpg etc.) you'll get the behavior you're looking for. tab will advance you alphabetically. Down will advance you now the list in the order the files are currently displayed in the finder window.

  • 1
    This is incorrect, see updated question.
    – bountiful
    Jun 13, 2014 at 18:06
  • Ah. I see what you're asking now. tab is alphabetically-strict, not numerically. It's just taking the first character in the string for the filename. You're asking finder to advance through a directory in the order a -> b -> ab rather than a -> ab -> b (analogous to 1 -> 10 -> 2). It still looks like Finder is ordering the files 1, 2, 3 to me. Does the Down button not work for you here? Jun 13, 2014 at 18:58
  • Yeah I get that I want it in natural order rather than alphabetical. The down button won't help either, as that will move down to the next row not advance to the next one. I am asking how to advance in the order which Finder displays.
    – bountiful
    Jun 14, 2014 at 9:46
  • Ah. I see. I'm assuming you have your icons arranged in grid view, I use list view with the quickview frame. Try the Right arrow key. This should move you right-to-left then top-to-bottom in the order displayed. Jun 14, 2014 at 10:45
  • So a possible answer could be to switch to list view and use down.
    – bountiful
    Jun 14, 2014 at 12:30

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