Finder question, I always ask, never answered

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Barbarism, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. Barbarism macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I've posted this question to many many Apple forums and have never received a competent answer. I converted from Windows to OS X about six months ago and one of the most missed features is cutting and pasting files. Sure, you can drag and drop to move but, it's far easier to hit CMD-X, move to new folder, CMD-V.

    The option exists within Finder but it's grayed-out. Was this feature disabled because of some fatal flaw? Does anyone else not miss this feature? I actually end up copying the file(s), pasting them, then deleting the originals.

    Sure, sure, you can not use Finder and use one of the many Finder replacements, but come on, this seems like such a simple feature to be overlooked.
     
  2. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

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    #2
    I'm booting up panther right now to check if it works there.

    EDIT: Doesn't work in the latest build of panther either.
     
  3. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #3
    Re: Finder question, I always ask, never answered

    This feature works for me on both files and folders in the Finder. Is it greyed out in the contextual menu as well? (Control-click on the folder/file and there should be a "Copy Untitled Folder" or some such item.)

    (What version of Mac OS X are you running, anyway?)

    UPDATE: Err, you asked about CUT and paste, not copy/paste/delete.

    This is disabled for an obvious reason: when you cut a file, and then cut (or copy) a different file, what happens to the original file? Does it get put back to its original location? Does it get deleted? Any way you do this, it's confusing (or potentially dangerous), and so cut and paste should never be supported.
     
  4. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

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    #4
    Re: Re: Finder question, I always ask, never answered

    It's a good idea to add it, basically, you cut a file, it disappears from it's folder, and then you paste it into a new location. Removing the step where you need to go back and delete it. If Apple implemented it, I'm sure it would work fine.
     
  5. Barbarism thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Confusion?

    How can you say that it's wrong because you "cut then cut again and where is the original". I guess you haven't worked with other modern OSs recently.

    The action of moving the file doesn't take place until the actual paste -- the file doesn't even look like it moved, just grayed out. Cut simply says; mark this file for move. Paste does the actual move. This is actually far better behavior, in my mind, then what is typically implemented within text editors, say. When you cut, it's out of sight and sitting waiting to be pasted. If you cut again, bye-bye last item waiting.

    Windows has been doing file cut/paste forever and has always worked well. I cannot see why Apple would decided to disable the feature within Finder. If they didn't want to support the feature then why have the menu item in the first place?
     
  6. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #6
    Re: Confusion?

    Excuse me, but just because Windows does it and is a "modern" OS doesn't make it right.

    The Mac has always been known for its consistency across applications, so it does what you expect when you perform an operation. Including this pseudo-cut functionality breaks this consistency in many ways: first, it doesn't actually cut the file, but it marks it for moving, as you said. That's not how cut works in text editors or in other applications, making it inconsistent -- the Finder won't do what you expect if you use the Cut operation, since you have to deliberately make it inconsistent to protect against a dangerous operation.

    Secondly, marking a file for moving by dimming it also encroaches upon what's already reserved for that appearance: partial/invisible files. When you start copying something to another place, a dimmed file shows up where the copy is going to be deposited. Also, when you have invisible items showing up in the Finder, or you go to an invisible folder via the "Go to Folder..." menu item, the invisible folder/file shows up as dimmed. Adding yet another meaning to the dimmed icon will cause more confusion.

    As it stands, the cut menu item is for two things in the Finder, for selecting text in file/folder names (click an icon, press return, and then look at the Edit menu -- Cut is now activated because you're going to cut the text), and for cutting icons in the Get Info/Inspector windows, so it's not a useless menu item. It's just not activating itself for a potentially dangerous operation: the Finder wants to deliberately make sure that you really want to delete that file by not enabling the cut command for files and folders.
     
  7. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

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    #7
    Re: Re: Confusion?

    It makes the mac more user friendly for switchers, which is what Apple really needs right now.
     
  8. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #8
    Re: Re: Re: Confusion?

    By introducing inconsistency or a dangerous operation? I don't think that's really user-friendly, it's just adding a dubious operation from a different operating system.

    It doesn't really add that much functionality either, since you can just open two windows (one for where the file exists and one for where you want to move it), and then move the file; it takes just as much effort as the cut/paste operation, since for that operation you still have to open both folders, just in a different order.
     
  9. LimeLite macrumors 6502a

    LimeLite

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    #9
    Yeah, you guys keep talking about it as if it's a feature that exists in OS X that Apple disabled for some reason. This is not the case. If you were using Word and had nothing selected, copy and cut and paste (assuming you haven't copied or cut anything) would be grey then too. It's not grey because it's disabled, it's grey because you haven't selected anything that can be cut or copied that way. You can, however, copy, cut, and paste the text of file and folder names, which is why the option is there in the first place.
     
  10. Barbarism thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    This has always been an argument within the world of interface design -- whether or not to be slightly inconsistent for a better user experience. In this case, I would vote on better experience.

    You say that greying out of the file is already used for hidden files, fine, how about another change to the icon or some other way of signifying that it's in a "cutting" state. Sure, I can see your point that it's is less then elegant but, it does add substantial value to the keyboard centric user.

    Typically you open a folder and navigate around using the keyboard -- up, down, enter to edit etc. Now you hit CTRL-C, to copy, then navigate to another folder and hit CTRL-V. All done quickly without any mousing around. Move is more likely the feature that you wanted and it is simply out of reach without using the mouse.

    How about a keyboard enabled move feature then. Something that allows me to move a file without having to reach for the mouse or drop to command-line.

    Move Command
    Dialog pops with a folder list.
    Up
    Down
    Right
    Down
    Enter
     
  11. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

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    #11
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Confusion?

    Dangerous, what's it going to do? Take your file hostage? :rolleyes:
    I'm not asking you to use it, but I think that it would be an adition. Apple wouldn't do it exactly the same as windows. All the things you guys are worrying about there, the inconsistencies would be removed, and I'm sure if you sent an e-mail to Steve himself, he could try to arrange for your copy to have a safety hitch, so it wouldn't be as dangerous.
     
  12. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #12
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Confusion?

    Or delete it.

    Lol, Apple probably would have done it by now if they knew how to remove the inconsistencies, don't you think? I mean, they DO have the copy/paste functionality in there.

    This is more sensible, but it should probably use existing methods. Like, maybe you could press Command-Shift-M to mark for moving, and then you just use the standard Command-Up, Command-Down, or left, right, up, and down arrow keys to move around in the Finder, and then maybe Command-Enter for depositing the file. That way it would be more consistent, which is good. :)
     
  13. Barbarism thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Ummm..

    " It doesn't really add that much functionality either, since you can just open two windows (one for where the file exists and one for where you want to move it), and then move the file; it takes just as much effort as the cut/paste operation, since for that operation you still have to open both folders, just in a different order"


    You've got to be joking. I'd like to time these two operations -- especially with a touch pad on a powerbook.

    1) Open Finder.

    2) Find your folder with your file.
    Click on the file.

    3) (let's go fast here) CMD-N for new finder.

    4) Find your drop folder with scroll bars and double clicking on folders.

    5) Reposition your second window so that it does not obfuscate the first.

    6) Drag the file the first to the second.

    7) Close the second window.


    Okay, as-is option two.

    1) Open Finder.

    2) Find your folder with your file.
    Click on the file.

    3) Drag and hold the file over an existing folder and wait for the pop of that folder.

    4) Rinse and Repeat step 5 until you've found your folder.

    5) Drop the file.

    6) Watch as it magically closes all of the opened folders -- sporty.


    Keyboard style.

    1) Open Finder.

    2) Find your folder with your file.

    3) Arrow over to the file.

    4) CMD-X - CUT

    5) Find your drop folder with the keyboard. left, down, down, down, right

    6) CMD-V - PASTE
     
  14. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

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    #14
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Confusion?

    Just what the switcher needs, more shortcuts, more filler, same features.
     
  15. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #15
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Confusion?

    This pseudo-cut functionality that is being talked about here is not the same as the regular "Cut" functionality, and therefore should not be labeled as "Cut". Simple as that. If it's a useful feature, then you add a new menu item.

    Barbarism: Two notes. First, I didn't think of the keyboard functionality that this cut/paste operation gives -- that's definitely a benefit. Second, when using spring-loaded folders, you don't have to wait for a folder to spring open: you can press space and it will immediately open, which is much faster than waiting.
     
  16. badhorsie777 macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2003
    #16
    I just switched, but had some linux knowledge that helped me through this same thing... it's grayed out because you don't have priveleges on that file (i.e. it's in a /users/shared folder - that was my problem.) Do a "get info" on the file you're trying to move and see who "owns" it. I changed it as an administrator to my own rights and could then cut them, delete them, whatever.

    hope that helps. For more detailed explanation, or if this could be explained better by a more experienced osx user, just ask. This board rocks and they all seem to know more than me.

    -Matt
     
  17. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #17
    I just don't get why since Windows has a certain function, that people insist that Mac OS X must have it, too. I think OS X and lesser versions have maintained a high level of finish and quality that is expected from Apple and to do things because Microsoft does flawed thinking. Windows is also buggy and easy to make unstable or completely rendered useless with a matter of changing a few files. If Apple does things in order to make things consistant and running *exactly* like you'd expect, then I hope they don't tamper with that formula. I'd take that anyday over having to wonder whether or not Windows is going to do what I want it to do due to unintuitive GUI programming. But as stated above, I've never noticed the cut/paste function not working like it should--it works exactly like it should.
     
  18. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #18
    Permissions have nothing to do with it, at least on my computer. The cut operation is always grayed out on all files/folders, no matter if I have the correct permissions or not. Copying works, but cutting does not.
     
  19. Barbarism thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    unfortunately people like you...

    This is one of the reasons that I cannot stand posting questions on OS forums. It's immediately attacked by uninformed and misguided zealots like you. I should not have even mentioned the word "Windows", for that word always seems to bring out the worst in the Apple folks.

    A simple question has degraded into mind-less slamming of operating systems.

    The question was, why doesn't Finder allow cutting of files [or some other keyboard enabled mechanism for moving files]. That's it and several of the folks have replied with valid responses that make sense -- especially SimX's comments about design consistency and I see his point.

    To defend Explorer a bit, most will agree that its keyboard functionality is far more usable then Finder. While, this is by design, as most Apple folks prefer the mouse and the OS is geared towards mouse usage. I would also like to add that yes, most will say that the mouse support in Finder is better then in Explorer, again, agreed.

    This doesn't mean that Explorer can learna bit from Finder and Finder can learn a bit from Explorer.

    I would personally be more then satisfied if Finder had a simple way of moving files with the keyboard -- through cut and paste or move or whatever. I would also be happy if Finder repositioned the highlighted item to the next or previous item after you deleted something. I would also be happy if when you paged down through a list of 500 files, that when you pressed the down arrow that the next highlighted item became the first item in the current page, not jump me back to the top of the list.
     
  20. cubist macrumors 68020

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    #20
    I don't see why Cut couldn't put the file in the wastebasket, but remember it's there so when you pasted, it would move it out of the wastebasket. That would be consistent with other programs, and consistent with user expectation.
     
  21. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #21
    Instead of regarding people's responses and simplyof zealots, realize you slammed Apple's design by insisting Windows is better than that Apple should do what Windows does. What has been pointed was was why Apple does it the way it does and how the function works. Microsoft does things how they do them, personally, I like Apple's way better since it is consistant and correct. I just don't see why Apple should do thing incorrectly and go towards a less integrated way of doing things because Windows does thing an incorrect way that you got used to. I'm sorry if my previous response was not objective enough, but just realize that cut/copy/paste is implemented the way that it is for a reason.
     
  22. Barbarism thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Well...

    These posts always seem to degrade. Let's start over and throw the the Windows comparison out the door.

    Tell me how to move a file (a simple operation) without reaching for the keyboard.

    Ask yourself if you could save time by not reaching for the mouse every time you need to move files.

    Please send feedback to Apple with your suggestion for implementing it. It just may make it in and we might all be better off.

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/
     
  23. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #23
    Well there are numerous ways to move a file as stated above, but as far as not using the keyboard (which is the quickest way for sure) I would drag and drop using spring loaded files. It's quick and easy without having to open any folders to move a file.
     
  24. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #24
    Re: Well...

    Sometimes postings on forums can seem a bit more degrading than the author intended (especially when it comes to Windows/Macintosh differences). As a rule of thumb, I always try to not take forum postings personally unless it's an obvious attack, which I definitely don't think Powerbook G5 wanted to do.

    I agree that, currently, keyboard navigation in the Finder isn't the greatest, especially when it comes to things like moving files and folders, and I think what I suggested before is probably the best approach. Feedback to Apple's Mac OS X page is definitely a good call, because I've suggested some ideas in the past and they seem to have been implemented a lot of the time -- if you like this idea and want the feature, then I'd definitely suggest using that feedback page as barbarism recommended.

    The problem with this (as I tried to point out before, but maybe I didn't explicitly point it out) is that this is a very dangerous implementation. Files and folders could be inadvertently deleted this way, and I think that Apple didn't implement the Cut feature like this specifically for this reason. While it is consistent, you wouldn't necessarily remember that you hadn't pasted the file or folder, and then the file/folder would go out the trash the next time you empty the trash.

    By not implementing the Cut operation like this, Apple forces the user to deliberately recognize that she is about to delete a file/folder, and so no confusion will arise.
     
  25. aaron128 macrumors member

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    #25
    I enjoy Cut-Paste functionality in a file browser, however, simX is certainly correct that it is incorrect and misleading. But I wish that the Finder had that functionality (I tend to use 'mv' in the Terminal). The OS X user experience would be better if it did (using something other than a grayed-out icon).

    Also, while I'm at it, why can't the #$)(#$# Finder list folders at the top of the list (optionally) instead of in sort order. This drives me crazy. (Sorry for the OT, but I'm trying to rally as many Apple suggestions as I can). ;)

    -Aaron

    [[[ ...::: OS X Feedback link: http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/ :::... ]]]
     

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