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Chapter 8. Getting Under the Hood: The I... > Finder Flags (Attributes)

Finder Flags (Attributes)

What Are Finder Flags (Attributes)?

Finder flags are a set of "on-off" characteristics that have been separately assigned to each file (and folder) on your disks; these flags are also often referred to as a file's attributes or bits. They determine important aspects of how the Macintosh (especially the Finder) interacts with a given file—for example, whether it is invisible, and whether it loads at startup. Normally, these flag settings are handled without any user involvement, and so you may not even be aware that these flags exist. As you will soon see, however, you can examine and modify these flags by using the special utilities already described in this chapter. Here are six examples of Finder flags that you might have reason to check on or modify.

The Invisible Bit

If the Invisible bit box is checked for a file or folder, it will not be visible on the Finder's desktop; normal access to these files is thus prohibited. The Desktop file is a common example of a normally invisible file. Unchecking this bit for an invisible file will make the file visible on the Finder's desktop, and you can similarly turn any ordinary visible file into an invisible one by checking this bit.


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