How to Sort Files in File Cabinet Pro

There are a few ways you can sort files in File Cabinet Pro. This brief tutorial will explain all the different ways you can change the sort policy in File Cabinet Pro.

Option One: Use the Context Menu

One way to change the sort policy in File Cabinet Pro is to right click on the background of the window to bring up the context menu. Then from the context menu hover your mouse over the “Sort By” menu item to open up the submenu and choose your desired sort policy.

File Cabinet Pro Mac app screenshot showing context menu exposed with Sort By submenu exposed.

Note: You can also sort in descending order using any sort policy from the context menu by holding down the Option key while the “Sort By” submenu is exposed. While the Option key is pressed down, the menu while show a downward arrow to indicate descending order.

File Cabinet Pro screenshot of the Sort By submenu in descending order.

Option Two: Use Hotkeys to Sort

You can also use hotkeys to change the sort policy in File Cabinet Pro. Below you will find a list of the key combinations you can use to change the sort order:

Sort Policy Hotkey
Name Control+Command+1
Name Descending Control+Command+Option+1
Kind Control+Command+2
Kind Descending Control+Command+Option+2
Date Last Opened Control+Command+3
Date Last Opened Descending Control+Command+Option+3
Date Added Control+Command+4
Date Added Descending Control+Command+Option+4
Date Modified Control+Command+5
Date Modified Descending Control+Command+Option+5
Date Created Control+Command+8
Date Created Descending Control+Command+Option+8
File Size Control+Command+6
File Size Descending Control+Command+Option+6

Option Three: Click Column Headers in List View

Another way you can change the sort policy in File Cabinet Pro is to click the column headers in list view.

File Cabinet Pro Mac app screenshot in List view with an arrow pointing to column headers.

Clicking the same column twice will toggle between ascending and descending order. You can add or remove columns in List view by right clicking the column header and selecting columns to add or remove from the context menu.

Option Four: Use the “Arrange By” Button in the Toolbar

You can also sort files using the “Arrange By” pull down button in File Cabinet Pro’s toolbar.

File Cabinet Pro Mac app screenshot arrow pointing to arrange toolbar item.

When this button’s menu is showing, you can also hold down the Option key if you wish to sort in descending order.

If you do not see the “Arrange By” button in File Cabinet Pro’s toolbar, right click on the toolbar and choose the “Customize Toolbar” menu item. Then you can add the “Arrange By” button to the toolbar (see screenshoots below).

File Cabinet Pro Mac screenshot customize toolbar menu exposed.
File Cabinet Pro Mac app screenshot showing toolbar customization palette with arrow pointed to Arrange By button.

Quick Tutorial: How to Bring Back File Cabinet Pro’s Sidebar After Closing It

If you want to bring back File Cabinet Pro’s sidebar after closing it, all you have to do is use the following keyboard shortcut: Command+Option+S when File Cabinet Pro’s window is frontmost. If you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar you can alternatively use the sidebar button in the Touch Bar.

Finder uses the exact same keyboard shortcut.

Quick Tutorial: How to Open a Folder Alias Directly in File Cabinet Pro

Note: Following this tutorial is only necessary if you purchased the Mac App Store version of File Cabinet Pro. If you purchased File Cabinet Pro from, opening a folder alias will automatically work.

If you purchased File Cabinet Pro from the Mac App Store, you may have noticed that you cannot open a folder alias directly within the app. If you double click an alias folder in File Cabinet Pro, it will say “Empty Folder” in the window even if the directory is not empty. It would be reasonable to assume that this is a bug in File Cabinet Pro, but it is not.

So why does this happen?
This happens because Apple requires all apps sold on the Mac App Store to be sandboxed. The sandbox, as of macOS 10.12.1, prevents an application from accessing the contents of a folder alias; this behavior may or may not be a bug in macOS (that is for Apple to decide).

If you want to workaround this restriction, follow the steps below:
1) Launch File Cabinet Pro and bring up the app’s main window.
2) Click the gear button in the bottom left corner of the window and choose “Settings” from the pop up menu.
3) In the Settings window, under the “General” tab, click the “Grant Permission for Alias Folders” button.
4) In the system provided panel that pops up, select a directory to grant File Cabinet Pro permission to access the contents of that directory. After you select a directory, File Cabinet Pro will be able to open a folder alias if the original folder the alias points to resides within the directory you chose in the open panel. If you want to grant the app permission to open folder aliases for folders anywhere on your Mac, choose your hard disk (typically named “Macintosh HD”) in the open panel.

You only have to do the above steps once.

Quick Tutorial: How to Set a Global Hotkey for Opening/Closing File Cabinet Pro

In this quick demo video, I show you how you can now set up a Global Hotkey to open and close the File Cabinet Pro window.

Global Hotkey support was introduced in version 2.0. You can now open/close the File Cabinet Pro window without having to bring your mouse all the way up to the menubar. If you already bought File Cabinet Pro, you can update now for free. If you haven’t purchased File Cabinet Pro, you can buy a copy here.