Hands-on with GrandPerspective 1.5.0 free graphic disk usage monitor

Sections: Features, Hands On / First Looks, Mac Software, System Utilities

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GrandPerspective is a small utility for Mac OS X that graphically shows the disk usage within a file system. It can help you to manage your disk, since you can easily spot which files and folders take up the most space, and I found it also quite entertaining. It uses a so-called tree map for visualization.

Here’s a shot of Grand Perspective’s representation of my Users folder:

The graphical representation is a logical one, where each file is shown as a rectangle with an area proportional to the file’s size. Files in the same folder appear together, but other than that the placement of files is arbitrary. You can observe this by resizing the view window. The location of files will change in order to keep the rectangles as square as possible.

There is also a drawer with three tabbed categories of information about your folder that can be displayed.

You can alter the perspective display basis criteria via a pull-down menu in the drawer…

…and choose from among 15 different color themes.

GrandPerspective has been around for a long time, but versiion 1.5.0 has been released, adding color mappings based on creation, modification, and access time, heat map palettes for time-based mappings, display of creation, modification, and access time in the focus panel, and other changes. GrandPerspective is free (donations welcomed) for Mac OS X (Universal Binary) 10.5 and up.

Run the application by clicking on the icon and selecting a folder to analyze using the navigation dialog, or just drag a folder to the Grand Perspective icon in the Dock.

GrandPerspective is free, entertaining, a quick 733KB download, and may even be useful. What’s not to like?

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X, 10.5 or higher
  • PowerPC or Intel processor

Product [GrandPerspective 1.5.0]

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  • Erwin Bonsma

    Hi Charles,

    Thanks for featuring GrandPerspective and recommending it. I noticed one minor typo though. It’s not a 733 MB download, only 733 KB. :-)