I can expand the column width in Finder (OS X El Capitan, MacBook Pro) by clicking on the right-hand line of the column (see red arrow in screenshot). When I click this line, the column width is expanded to the width of the longest file name. How can I do the same with a keyboard shortcut?

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2 Answers 2


The answer to this thread pretty much points out the problem with keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcut (or permanent setting) for fitting column width to longest filename in OS X?


The dark blue folder selection indicates a column focus. A Finder window absent that dark blue file or folder focus would indicate a different user GUI mode—I haven't selected anything in this window yet.

Automator Quick Actions are a step in the OP's direction, but are not well-defined or complex enough to target the double clicking of

  • a randomly placed, square area
  • in a randomly placed window
  • at a random column position
  • at the bottom of a Finder's column display.

If Automator becomes more robust, the OS will know if one or all columns will need to zoom:

  • No focus? Zoom all columns.
  • A focus is present? Zoom only the focused column's width.

I wrote a QA script that worked one time, but it required a repeat of those exact window and column positions on the screen, or else no column resizing was done. I don't think Automator is even capable of detecting an Option key press. (Referring to an Option - double click of the column adjusting all columns of the Finder.)

One of the enduring strengths of MacOS seems to be its exceedingly thorough designations of, its use of, and its implementation of seemingly everything being in a rich, modal universe. Hard to understand, harder still to explain, but easily appreciated.

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