Basic question about moving files in 10.6.5

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by RonArt, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. RonArt macrumors member


    Jan 22, 2010
    Southern California
    I've been using Macs since the mid 90's and as long as I can remember it was simple to move a file or folder into another Finder window (i.e. folder) by simply dragging it to the column discription 'bar' while the Finder window was in Text view. (the 'bar' I am talking about is not the toolbar but the bar that discribes the columns... i.e.. "Names," "Size," "Date Modified," etc.)

    But I finally upgraded to Snow Leopard 10.6.5 and I can no longer do this.

    Instead I must either aim for an open space below the listed items (IF there is one) or 'thread-the-needle' by aiming for the folder icon in the path bar (and with a high-res monitor that can be a very small target to hit).

    Why would Apple have eliminated such a standard?

    Is there another way that is just as simple now?

    Dragging to a window and simply letting go will often end up putting an item that is being moved in to a sub-folder and then you have to go looking for it.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  2. jamietshaw macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Never noticed that. You need to drag it into the main bit of the window where the files are listed, so the blue border appears. If your mouse is not over some text (e.g. between the filename and the modified date) then you won't accidentally put the file in some subfolder. But this isn't as foolproof as your old method!
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    What is that? List View? (I use Icon View 90% of the time)
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yeah, they changed this in 10.6, and it was the only change in 10.6 that I didn't like. Honestly, I have no idea why they did; the drag target for "this folder" in list view was already small enough.

    That said, you're aiming in the wrong area; so long as you're not dropping the item to be moved on top of the actual text in the name, size, etc of a folder in the list, it will go into the folder being displayed.

    Try it--when you hover a dragged item over a filename or other text, the name will highlight, indicating it's going to go in that folder, but as soon as you drag off of the actual text to one of the gaps to the left or right, the folder will de-highlight and you'll see a thin colored highlight line around the edge of the window indicating you're going to drop the file in the folder itself rather than a subfolder. If the drag targets are too small, try spacing out the columns more, so there's a nice gap between, say, size and date. Or, what I do, have a very wide name field, so there's almost always plenty of whitespace to the right of the name before the date modified column. This even works if you use the disclosure triangles to drop down the contents of folders--so long as you're not hovering over the text of a sub-item, you're going to be dropping at the very top level, as indicated by the whole-window highlight border.

    The one time this is problematic is if you have the folder partially obscured sticking out of the left side beneath another window, so you can see the start of the filenames in it; this doesn't show any whitespace to the right, so there's not much to aim for. Of course, if there are non-folder items in the list, you can just drag onto one of those; any non-folder item will target its containing folder. This also gives you a larger drag target if you DO use the disclosure triangles and want to aim for a sub-folder.

    Of course, if Apple just had some other, easier-to-hit drag target for the top level of a window it would be much easier, but I think they just assume everybody uses column view.

    [Aside: It is SO much harder to explain this in words than to just demonstrate, ironically.]
  5. RonArt, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010

    RonArt thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 22, 2010
    Southern California

    Thanks everyone for the very helpful replies.

    I had gotten so used to using the 'bar' with the column descriptions over the items in list view as a very large, consistent 'drop-zone' that it will be a little awkward for me to start having to always aim for 'moving' targets (unless of course I want to always aim for the folder icon in the path bar).

    Why in the h_ll Apple changed this after so many years is beyond me.

    Well... I see they at least got the bug for the immovable search column fixed (i.e. where you had to click to the Desktop and then back to the search window in order to resize the search columns).

    Don't get me wrong... I love Apple products and recommend them to anyone that will listen, but it's beyond me sometimes how they can actually make it harder to do something that has been so easy to do for so many years.

    Again... thanks.

    In this one thread you have answered my question.

    I have an ongoing thread at Apple for the last few days where people are dumb-founded over this problem and... I'm not kidding... telling me I don't know what I am talking about, that I am not clear, and that it hasn't changed since Leopard, blah, blah, blah.

    Thanks for being respectful regarding a simple question and not treating it as a 'dumb' question.

    Looks like I'll be coming here in the future if I want questions actually answered and not denigrated. Apple's forums are getting worse.

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