When comparing TotalFinder vs Spectacle, the Slant community recommends TotalFinder for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” TotalFinder is ranked 11th while Spectacle is ranked 36th. The most important reason people chose TotalFinder is:
A great feature of TotalFinder is the ability to have dual panes. This is really handy for moving files around.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Adds dual panes to the Mac finder
Pro Adds cut/paste context menu functionality to Finder
You can cut and paste with just the mouse.
Pro Copy path to file or directory feature
You can copy the path to a directory or file using the context menu in Finder, options include POSIX Path, URL, Windows Path, UNC Path, HFS Path, and Terminal Path.
Pro Free and open source
Spectacle is licensed under MIT with source code available on GitHub.
Pro Simple hotkeys
Spectacle offers easy-to-remember preset hotkeys.
All windows in Spectacle can be controlled with keyboard shortcuts, so no mouse is needed. This makes for a fast way to control windows.
Pro Low footprint
Spectacle only uses up 18-19 MB of RAM, which means there is not much overhead by using this app.
Pro Great UX
Spectacle is easy to use and configure. It's plug and play.
Pro Multi-monitor support
Con Requires special installation procedure in El Capitan and later due to "System Integrity Protection"
"System Integrity Protection" (also know as "Rootless") is a feature introduced in El Capitan that, among other things, inhibits applications to inject code on system apps (TotalFinder injects code into Finder).
For TotalFinder to work properly one must disable SIP temporarly to install. After installation a user can turn SIP back on without issue.
Instructions are detailed here.
Con Impossible to add new functions
While keyboard shortcuts can be changed for the available actions, there is no way to add custom actions which in turn limits the functionality of the app.
Con Limited window sizing capabilities
You can use 1/2 of the screen vertically and horizontally (divide into 4 parts). You can also use the screen in thirds too, but only the left and right third: you can't use the 1/3 in the center. There is no way to do a more granular distribution.
Con Not maintained
The software is free, but no longer seems to be maintained.
Con Breaks on macOS High Sierra / Chrome or Firefox
Doesn't support side by side windows.
Con Doesn't work with any Adobe products
There are some apps like Adobe Reader that do not work with Spectacle. Basically, any app with a heavily customized UI that breaks OS X accessibility will not work correctly under Spectacle.