How to cut/paste files & folders in OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by osxnewbe, Feb 28, 2006.

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  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    #1
    I am a OS X newbie after using Windows for almost 15 years. One thing I am having trouble figuring out is how to cut & paste files and folders similar to what can be done in a Windows environment (i.e. cut using Ctrl-X, paste using Ctrl-v).

    An example is if I want to move files from my hard drive to a flashdrive...is there way to cut and paste (i.e. move) the files? My current method is to just drag the files the new destination (which copies them) and then drag the files from the old location to the trash bin....

    When I look at the 'edit' menu in Finder, the 'cut' and 'paste' options are grayed out which makes me think they are unavailable...

    Thanks in advance

    OS X Newbe
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #2
    OS X is all about keyboard shortcuts.

    To cut... cmd+x
    To copy... cmd+c
    To paste... cmd+v

    (After selecting the file)

    cmd (Command) is the button with the apple on it.
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    You cannot cut and paste a file. It simply does not work this way. If you want to move a file then move it. Cut and paste is not move. What happens if you forget to paste? Lost file.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    #4
    As robbieduncan said, you can't cut a file in OSX, presumably to prevent file losses...

    What you can do is drag the desired file to the location you want to MOVE it to and before "dropping" it (releasing the mouse button), just press and hold either command or control (can't remember which and I'm at work so can't test). Doing so, the green "+" graphic should disappear. That means you will move instead of copy.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    #5
    Thanks! Holding down the 'cmd' button when dragging the files makes sense.

    I knew is was going to be something easy....I just had not stumbled upon it....

    OS X Newbe
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    munkle

    Joined:
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    #6
    It's the option button rather than the cmd button :)

    Edit: Just to clarify, using the option button will create a copy of the dragged file/folder. The original will still be intact.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    #7
    command+drag = move
    option+drag=copy
    option=command+drag=make alias(shortcut)
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    #8
    Are you sure? Option is copy on my machine.
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    munkle

    Joined:
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    #9
    Just to keep it simple.

    osxnewbe, if you want to copy files to your flash drive just drag the files to the flash drive icon. A mini green plus sign will appear, signifying that you are copying the files to the flash drive. There is no need to option or cmd click.
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #10
    I think that's what he said, too. It's the option key for all of us. ;)
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    #11
    I thought he was referring to this... Was he not?
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Orlando Furioso

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Bezerkeley
    #12
    Just to clarify a few things...

    File management within the same drive/partition:
    1) The act of drag-drop alone will move the file. There is no need to use "command+drag"
    2) If you want to duplicate the file. Then option+drag is what you want (as others have pointed out, a green circle with a "+" will be displayed under the curser).

    File management across two different drives/partitions:
    1) Drag-drop alone will duplicate the file onto the second drive by default. Option+drag not necessary.
    2) If you wish to move the file (leaving no copy on the original drive), then command+drag comes into play. The green-circle with the "+" icon will disappear from beneath the cursor.

    Both cases:
    3) Making aliases is the same for each. alt+command+drag
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #13
    Installing your own keyboard shortcuts for cut and paste in Finder

    Ok, if you want to install your own keyboard shortcuts for cut/paste functionality until Apple decides to make it official do this:

    Install OnMyCommand from free.abracode.com/cmworkshop.
    (By copying the program file to Applications.)
    Install OMCEdit from inside the OnMyCommand package (by copying the program file to Applications).
    Install Shortcuts from free.abracode.com/cmworkshop.
    Go to free.abracode.com/cmworkshop -> Online archive of user submitted commands -> view "File" commands by category -> 212 Cut Item(s) -> Open (Firefox gives a inappropriate error window.) Then save that text file somewhere.
    Do the same with 213 Paste Item(s).
    Run OMCEdit and File -> Import those two commands.
    You can now ctrl click -> Cut and Paste Item(s) Finder items.
    Now quit OMCEdit and run Shortcuts.
    On the Setup tab start the ShortcutObserver and add it to your login startup.
    On the Assign Hot Keys tab under File select Cut Item(s) and assign it Shift Command X.
    Under Folder select Paste Item(s) and assign it Shift Command V (or whatever you want that doesn't conflict with other shortcuts).

    Quit Shortcuts and give it a try!

    Many thanks to Abracode, Knut Lorenzen and Fredrik Andersson!

    Kevin Serwick
     
  14. macrumors 68020

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    Utopia
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #15
    I dont understand why you guys said cut and paste could lost file. In windows, you cut and didn't paste will not result lost files. The cut operation is really started when you paste it. When you do cut, it only tells windows which to be cut later, not really cut it immediately until you paste it. And the cut and paste background procedure really is copy and delete the one cut for you. Because you do cancel in the middle of the operation, the file is still there. I have been using windows more than 10 years, and never seen lost file due to cut and paste.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #16
    You are correct, there seems to be a blind spot amongst Apple fans here as to this shortcoming. Cut & paste files/folders works well in Windows and there is no 'lost files' danger with it (well I have never experienced in 20 years of using PCs anyway).
    Msft stole enough stuff from Apple, why they cant steal one simple and useful feature back is a mystery. I believe this finder replacement implements it so its not as if its impossible to do on OSX.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #17
    The salient point here is that OSX is different from Windows. There will be several things that a Windows user is used to that simply don't function the same way on a Mac. The OP seems to be aware of this, and that's the first step on the adjustment path. The Windows users who insist on making their new Macs work "the same way Windows does" will never be satisfied.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    #18
    This is a common misconception amongst a minority of Apple users. They feel that Windows users want to change Mac OS into Windows. Now that wouldn't make sense would it? Windows users WANT to learn how to use a Mac, otherwise we would not have made the switch (it ain't cheap). However, with knowledge of how other OSes work (such as Windows and Linux) we can sometimes spot areas that does not seem very logical but have been ignored by long time Apple users. Suggestions are made to improve the Mac OS is such a way that makes using it easy and enjoyable, and most importantly, WITHOUT disrupting the habits of existing Mac users.

    This is an excellent example. Honestly, the CUT FILE function is extremely useful for many people. Implementation of this "feature" would in no way be an issue for Mac users who are more comfortable with their own methods. Sometimes, I think Apple programmers try so hard to be different (from Windows) for the sake of being different. I'd be very happy to do things the Mac way, if it is simpler and better. But there is no shame is acknowledging that other OSes have worthy features too.

    I just thought I should make it clear that Windows users are not here to insist that Macs have Windows features. Only in cases where it makes sense to do so. Stop thinking of this as a Windows vs Mac issue, but a "how to improve the Mac" issue and discuss it objectively.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #19
    Why not campaign for cut&paste in documents to be removed as thats in Windows as well ?

    Cut/paste files and folders on Windows is often superior for useability to drag drop on OSX , and it wouldnt turn OSX into Windows, it would just make it better than it is, if it was offered as an option (not replacing it obviously). You can do both in Windows, only one in OSX, how does that help OSX be better? Seems you just want it different, not better !
     
  20. macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #20
    No, I think he just thinks anything Apple does is the right way.

    Anyway, that was one of the first features that irritated me about the Mac OS. To do the same thing on a Mac, you have to copy, then paste, and then go back and delete (unless you can easily drag the file). I also don't like how Mac's handle emptying one or more files in Trash (i.e., they don't. You have to empty the entire trash, unless you have a script to use Terminal, which I do). Of course, the same kind of argument are given for why we don't need that feature too.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #21
    All three of you are wrong about what I think, but, that's ok.

    And, I've seen many posts from switchers who explicitly say they want the Mac OS to work the same way as Windows. Perhaps they are in the minority, but they exist.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    dcorban

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #22
    Anyone who has ever used this feature in Windows know what this is not true. You never lose a file if you fail to paste it. The file is marked as "cut" but not removed until you paste.

    I personally know three people who have switched from PC to Mac. Every single one of them, myself included, wondered how to do this most simple Windows function. It is a very useful feature, especially given the Mac "single window" method of browsing Finder. It gets a little tiring when you have to open multiple windows just to drag when it could be done in one window with the keyboard.
     
  23. Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
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    Location:
    London
    #23
    Which is the logical inconstancy with the feature. As if you cut some text in a Word document (using the same keyboard shortcut) it's cut immediately. So Apple don't do it as consistency makes it easier for people to model what's happening in their heads.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #24
    I dont know anyone who ever had a problem "modelling" what happens with it in the two very different circumstances. Maybe some pedantic Mac users cant cope with it? And I certainly know its easy enough to accidentally drop a file being dragged and wonder where the h*ll it went.

    Anyway, the point is, its not either/ or, provide both & let users choose.

    We've only got your words to go on , which if I recall correctly are to the effect folks just want it to be the same as Windows. But none of the responders here want it to be the same because its like Windows, we want it the same because its an improvement. BUt anyway, what would be your reason for not implementing a useful feature that you wouldnt have to use if you didnt want to?

    Thats not whats at issue in this discussion, its that here's one feature that Windows does better, so copy it. Not because its the same as Windows, because its better than current.
     
  25. macrumors 601

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #25
    I never said that was my position. You drew your own conclusion there. My point is that the Mac OS doesn't have that feature, that's all. I've seen others argue that Apple should not make that a feature, but I certainly haven't taken that position here, or anywhere else for that matter.

    That was just my response to someone else's comment.
     
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