Cut and Paste in the Finder

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jalagl, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. jalagl macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    Jun 5, 2003
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #1
    Ever since I switched, there is one thing about Mac OSX that really annoys me - how can I do a cut and paste in the Finder?? The Cut option seems to be always disabled, and the keyboard shortcut doesn't work either. I always end up copying stuff to other drives and then deleting them.

    Is this the default behavior? Can it be modified?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    You're asking a fair question, but I think this is one of those Mac way and Windows way things. I'm not sure if there's a way to get this to behave like it does in Windows. However, you should at least give the Mac way a try -- it has some charm.

    The mac way is basically drag and drop, instead of cut and paste, except that OS X has spring loaded folders to make it easier. If you drag something over the folder icon in the left side of finder, or the right side of finder, or on the desktop, and hold it there, after a moment, that folder will open up. When you finally reach your destination, and drop the file, OS X will also automatically spring closed the folders, so it doesn't leave a mess.

    In a similar manner, you can drag files onto programs in the dock to get them to act on them.

    Anyway, hopefully someone might know of a way to do exactly what you want, but maybe play with this in the meantime? :)
     
  3. jalagl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    #3
    Thanks for the suggestion. This is actually the way I have been doing it (and it works great once you get used to it), but I was just wondering if there was a way to do it by command-X and then command-P. I actually like to keep my hands on the keyboard, so for most things I use shortcuts. :)

    Do you know why is it always disabled, especially given the fact that the menu option is there, but you can't select it?
     
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Los Angeles
    #4
    The Edit menu choices are in fact used for some purposes in the Finder, just not for cutting/copying/pasting files as in Windows. For example, highlight the name of a file and you'll have Cut and Copy and Paste choices.

    I use the cut/copy/paste metaphor on files in Windows, as well as a Windows feature I like: right-click-dragging a file and then choosing either Move Here, Copy Here, or Create Shortcut Here.

    Under Mac OS X, I'm equally use to its version of the way you should do things, so I drag files, use the spring-loaded folders feature, hold option if I want to copy instead of move, and hold command-option if I want to make an alias. However, when you drag a file from one device to another, you are always copying and it is necessary to go back and delete the original if you meant to move it.
     
  5. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #5
    Yep, I wish Mac OSX was a little more full featured in this department, but I think Apple avoided doing this as it probably is not good for those beginners who accidentally copy whole files as opposed to just the file names. I usually just open two finder windows and copy between the two.

    I have a hate/love relationship with spring loaded folders, because sometimes its hard scrolling a window when you are still dragging files.
     
  6. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    Jan 6, 2004
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    Western US
    #6
    I don't like the concept of cutting and pasting files. What happens once you cut a file? Where is it? Is it on the clipboard now? What happens when the power goes out or your machine crashes before you can paste it (or let's say you cut 1,000 files...yikes)? I think Macs have the idea that a file is a physical entity that should always exist somewhere, not in "limbo".
     
  7. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #7
    Windows lets you cut and paste files, but it's not consistent. Open Word, select a bunch of text, and cut. The text disappears (it gets moved to the clipboard). But when you cut a file it copies it to the clipboard, then deletes the original when you paste.

    Edit: HiRez beat me to a similar point.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    In Windows, I am pretty sure that *nothing* happens to the cut file until the paste operation is successful. At least that has been my experience. If something happens before the paste can succeed, the cut file reverts to being uncut.
     
  9. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #9
    Not entirely correct. If you drag'n'drop while holding only the command (aka apple) button (you'll see the little green circle wit the + in it go away), it will move it, even from one volume to another. :)
     
  10. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    #10
    Even MS Office isn't consistent. Cut something in Excel and it stays right there!

    I've only been a Mac user for a few days (if you consider thousands "a few" :eek: ), so that must be why I never ran into this trick before. Thanks!
     
  11. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #11
    My idea for a temporary place to store files before a copy or move operation: HUBCAPS™, or FileSocket™. Some programmer wish to make a program out of this idea?

    Here the screen shot of my mock-up.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

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    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Snellville, GA
    #12
    Well I don't know about you guys, but the Desktop is my clipboard... I usually just leave everything on my desktop, and once I'm done with that project or task, I delete everything I don't need (and later realize I do need) or sort it around in my home folder...

    But for rearranging my folder hierarchy and stuff, I'll just create some folders on the desktop, move junk in them, then move the entire folder to wherever it needs to be...

    reality
     
  13. jalagl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    #13
    This is exactly was I was looking for... THANKS!!! :D

    Too bad you can't do that with the keyboard, but at least I'll now be able to make it in one operation instead of two (copy, then delete).

    :D
     
  14. jalagl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
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    #14
    This is exactly the behavior I would like to see, but that doesn't happen. I attached a partial screenshot of the Edit menu when I select a file - the Cut option is disabled for some reason, but Copy is enabled.

    I have grown to like the spring loaded folders, and with the tip of using command-drag to move instead of copy between volumes, I'm going to let this strange (at least for me) behavior slip by ... ;)
     

    Attached Files:

  15. edwin.bossier macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Belgium
    #15
    In Windows the files remain where they used to be until the paste operation is completely done. So, nothing happens to the files if the cut/paste operation is not succesfull for some reason.
    Apple should implement this, you would use it...
     
  16. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

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    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #16
    I thought if you cut something in Windows, and then cut something different, the first thing you cut disappeared forever. At least that is what I remember of cut in Windows. Anyway, I like copy more because you never know if an operation will botch itself for some reason, and then you have a good copy to work from.
     
  17. edwin.bossier macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2005
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    Belgium
    #17

    Not true, if you cut some other files while files had already been cut without being pasted, the files remain where they were. Nothing disappears.
     
  18. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Los Angeles
    #18
    You are correct in the context of cutting files. If you cut text, such as a filename, and then cut something else, the first content is of course lost. When After G said "something", I think it was with files in mind, so your answer is reassurance that things work as one would expect. And it's interesting that what we except isn't logically consistent!
     

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