Apple’s OS X 10.7 Lion can be an amazingly annoying beast. Things that worked one way in prior versions suddenly stop working.
Recently, I had the darnedest time time trying to sort files in list view in the Finder. The descriptions above each column were grayed out, with no way to click on them to change the “sort by” category. I found I could no longer switch between sorting by name, date modified, size or kind.
So I pulled up the View options (Cmd-J or from the pull down menu “View – View Options”).
Great, I thought, I’ll just switch the “Arrange by” setting to “Date Modified”
Well, that sort of worked. I got a view by date… with Lion’s new method of grouping files.
However, I still could not the headings at the top of each column. Please tell me Apple did not remove the sort-by-column option?!?
Fortunately, that is not the case. Instead, Apple has added a layer of granularity to the Finder views (which was not previously available). In addition to sorting files, you can also group files together (by date, by type etc). In other words, you can organize your views by two separate criteria.
That’s fascinating (not). But, it doesn’t solve the problem.
Ok. Here’s the trick to get the selectable column headings back in Finder. They were always there, just hidden. In the View Options, change “Arrange by” to “None” and leave “Sort by” alone — it will be grayed out anyway.
You will now have a pre-Lion view.
You can click the column heading in the list view in Finder to change the sort criteria as well as changing between ascending (A-Z) and descending (Z-A) sorts.