The Files sidebar is essentially a smaller version of the File Browser tab that offers much of the same functionality in a compact space. It has the added benefit of staying anchored to the side of the window alongside any tabs you are working on.

The Files sidebar is ideal for navigating your website structure, opening an individual file for editing, and switching between files. A File Browser tab is better suited for bulk file operations, where many items must be uploaded, downloaded, or moved around.

Performing File Operations

Single-clicking a file in the sidebar will open it in a “transient” tab. Single-clicking another file will replace the document shown in this transient tab. A transient tab can be identified by an italicized file name in the tab label.

Double-clicking a file opens it in a “standard” tab that will not be replaced by subsequent documents. Double-clicking a file already open in a transient tab will convert it to a standard tab.

To expand or collapse the directory tree, double click a folder, or click the disclosure arrow to its left.

Files Sidebar

To access file related actions choose File > Actions. The Files sidebar supports the following actions:

  • New file
  • New folder
  • Open in New Window
  • Get Info
  • Transfer Selected Items
  • Move…
  • Duplicate
  • Delete
  • Compress
  • Quick Look

You can also access these actions from the contextual menu by control-clicking or right-clicking an item.

Customizing the Files sidebar

By default, the Files sidebar uses the current project’s folder as the root of its file tree. If you’d like to enable the ability to navigate outside of the current project folder, open Preferences > Files and enable the option for Show Navigation Controls.

With navigation controls enabled, the Files sidebar will show path, back, and forward buttons at the top, and double-clicking on a folder will navigate into it instead of expanding the file tree.

Navigation Controls

In addition to the option for showing the navigation controls, you can also customize the following options from the Files tab of Nova’s preferences:

  • Show hidden files
  • Show ignored files
  • Show folders above files
  • Use Finder icons
Files preference settings

To increase or decrease the size of items in the Files sidebar, choose the desired size from the pull-down menu.

Filtering the Files sidebar

At the bottom of the Files sidebar is a filter field. Entering text into this field will show only files whose names contain that text.

Sidebar filter

Additionally, the filter can be set to show recently opened documents or files that have been modified since the most recent git commit (for projects that are in a git repository). The clock icon and merging arrow icon toggle these filters respectively.

Git Annotations

If your project is in a git repository, the files sidebar will also display annotations to the right of files and folders showing if they have been added, deleted, or modified since your most recent commit.

Git annotations in the Files sidebar

This article was last updated on July 1, 2020