Moving Files, there has to be an easier way!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by crazylegsmurphy, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. crazylegsmurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #1
    Hey Everyone,

    As a long time Windows user I have grown not only very used to, but very fond of cut and paste in regards to files.

    As a graphic artist (and just someone who likes files organized in general), I am constantly moving file around into different directories.

    Since making the switch over to the mac however, I find that doing what was once a simple task is now taking me almost three times as long.

    I can't figure out how to cut and copy files from one directory to another. If I select a few folders and want to move them back a folder, I find I have to go all the way to the parent folder and allow the spring loaded thing to bring me all the way down the folder tree until I get to the one I wanted.

    I realize there is a "copy" option, but I don't enjoy having to go back and delete all the files because there are times when I only select certain folders, meaning I have to weed through everything to find duplicates. Also, as you can imagine, when working with graphics the last thing someone wants is a hard drive full of duplicate files, it's a version control nightmare.

    So, is there a better way that I don't know of to do this? I'm really not getting the paradigm shift here.

    Thanks for your help!

    Jeff
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Couple of things:
    • Use Column view so you have direct view of the parent folder and can easily drag and drop.
    • From the View menu, choose Show Path Bar. This gives you a horizontal folder structure at the bottom of the Finder window. You can drag files to the folders there.
    • If moving files across drives hold down the cmd button while dragging the files and don't let go until after you drop the files. This does a move rather than a copy.
     
  3. crazylegsmurphy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #3
    Ahhh, that little path bar is nice! I like working in icon mode because I like seeing the image thumbnails, but that path bar will help greatly.

    As will the hint of holding the cmd button.

    Thanks so much!

    Jeff
     
  4. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #4
    May be obvious but I always open another Finder window. Makes drag & drop a little easier, at least for my feeble mind since it doesn't take a whole lot for me to get lost.o:
     
  5. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    #5
    That's pretty much what I do also. I just open up two finder windows and then drag the files I want to move over to the other window. You don't need to hold any buttons. It automatically does a "cut and paste" over to the new folder.

    Macs are more graphical so I can understand why Apple chose to do it this way. I don't really have a preference as to which way I prefer. They both do the job.
     
  6. wallaby macrumors 6502

    wallaby

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #6
    Yep, for now, you just have to get used to the "Apple Way," which is drag 'n drop. We can always hope they'll see the light of a 'cut' command someday.
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    Open 2 windows

    Select file and drag, THEN hold command key while you release the file.
    or
    the slightly longer way, select file and drag, and put original file in the trash (empty trash after you make sure it copied)

    Done
     
  8. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #8
    If you're moving files regularly to a certain folder, you could drag said folder into the Finder's sidebar (or the Dock) and it will be there from that point on and you can drag and drop to it.

    Or you could make an alias (shortcut in Windows speak) of the folder and put it where ever it would be convenient, Desktop, within the source folder, etc. to drag and drop to it.

    If you're relocating files within a hard drive, flash drive, etc. drag and drop will move from one place to the other. If you're relocating files from one hard drive, flash drive, etc. to another, drag and drop will copy from one place to another (unless the Command key is held down).

    Also, as others mentioned multiple Finder windows helps a lot when moving files around.
     
  9. macrem macrumors 65816

    macrem

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #9
    Copying works in the way that the OP suggests with cmd-c/-v; however, cmd-x is grayed out in the Finder Edit menu, which means there is probably a way to enable it. Ah, yes, if you Google "Enable cut items in Finder" you'll find it. Personally I use the methods other posters already mentioned or the command line. This would probably be useful, though, when connecting to a machine remotely via ADC with a high latency connection.
     
  10. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #10
    If you always move files to specific folders, you could automate the process with AppleScript, or you could open Automator and create a service.

    mt
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    There is no cut/paste for files in OSX and I'm sorry that its not there. Its one of those nice features that windows has but not OSX. Nothing beats being able to cut then paste files in a new location. Much easier imho then opening two windows and dragging (holding the appropriate key down to change it from a copy action to a move action)
     
  12. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    If you're referring to this trick for enabling cut, then it doesn't really work in a way that the OP would be happy with since it just sends the file to the trash. Unless this has changed with Snow/Leopard?
     
  13. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #13
    And, using Expose, you can force them to be polite to one another, not overlapping and hiding the contents of one or the other. For me, that's F9 to get them side by side. (Warning: that scales them down.) Then drag, and hit F9 again, and it's back to full size.
     
  14. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #14
    Here's what I don't get about cut and paste. You still have to open the folder you're pasting to right? So what's so different about Mac OS X and having to open the folder you want to drag a file to?

    Also, I agree with the path bar thing. A lot of times I'll be in list view anyway and I'll just expand a folder down with the triangle and drag the files to another folder in the same list. It's easy and quick. Windows doesn't have that feature.
     
  15. stevearm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #15
    I switched to mac about a month ago. Really loving it so far, except file and folder management, as the OP states.

    Windows Explorer, with it's folder hierarchy/tree view on the left hand column + cut/copy/paste and the ability to drag files and folders easily and quickly = far superior to that of OS X.

    It's a shame because the finder itself is a wonderful application, it's just certain aspects of usability where it struggles compared to Windows.
     
  16. coops macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #16
    There are some other file manager options....

    one free one is mucommander - it allows cut/paste and has the usual dual pane keyboard shortcuts (f5 for copy, f6 for move) - presently it does pop up a window to allow renaming, so have ti hit return/enter also... but ok.

    http://www.mucommander.com/

    Pathfinder is my choice - costs but worth a trial - has dual pane but no keyboard shortcuts for moving YET - but does allow command-x to cut a file or folder for moving.

    http://www.cocoatech.com/
     
  17. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #17
    I don't get that either, in spite of another discussion (perhaps not on this forum) wherein someone attempted to explain how to do it in Windows with only one Explorer window open.

    Column View on your Mac doesn't measure up? In what way(s)?
     
  18. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #18
    Doesn't Finder's list view serve the same function as Windows folder hierarchy/tree view?
     
  19. coops macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #19
    Using cut/paste or the keyboard shortcut of f6 to move a file/folder would be when using a 'dual pane' file manager and NOT generally windows explorer (although windows explorer does still allow cut/paste of files etc).

    With these dual panes you can navigate to whatever folder you like on either side - and copy/move from one to the other however you prefer (drag, control-x or f6 keyboard shortcut)... i used freecommander on my windows pc's for years - it's excellent. It is to Windows explorer as Opera or Firefox is to Internet Explorer ;) ..... they'll all get the job done, just the non original/alternative to the original (either Microsoft's Explorer or Mac's Finder) is better.

    You'd have to use it (a dual pane file manager, that is) to really appreciate it... describing it doesn't work too well - sorry!
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #20
    Nope

    Window's file explorer has a file tree pane on the left which you can use to then paste the files in. Basically you can move files in one window with a minimum amount of work. Its much better then needing two windows, dragging it from one to the other.
     
  21. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    Touched on before... The advantage is that you can browse and find the file you want to move, cut it, then in the same window browse to where you want it to be and paste it.

    Rather than on a mac, you basically have to do it in the opposite order.

    Either with two windows, one for where its' coming from and one to where it's going and drag across.

    Or you can browse to where you want to paste it and drag the folder to the dock or to the side bar (temporarily, you can drag it off later), and then browse to where the file is. Then you can drag and drop and it will move.
     
  22. elberggreno macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #22
    If you haven't already, I strongly recommend turning on active corners, having one of them to go to exposé and the other to show the desktop.

    It's great for quick jumping between apps aswell, couldn't live without it!
     
  23. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #23
    I use my corders for App Expose, All Expose and Spaces. My last one is Dashboard, but I think you have a point that Desktop could be pretty useful for dropping things. Even using the desktop as a temp spot while moving files.

    Find the file you want to move, instead of cutting, drop it on the desktop. Go to where you want it and drag it back. With Desktop and Expose on your corners it'd be easy (If the new Magic Mouse didn't track so slowly!!! :()
     
  24. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #24
    Maybe I've been using Macs for too long (since '93), but I can drag and drop a file(s) anywhere I want it to go on my Mac. I don't have to drop it on the desktop or in the dock, or anywhere else, I don't have to open multiple Finder windows (if I don't want to) I can just drag and drop from point A to point B. I don't have much experience with Windows so maybe that's why I don't get what's so difficult about the Mac way.
     
  25. macrem macrumors 65816

    macrem

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #25
    On that page there are other suggestions as well, such as:
    "Go to System Preferences;
    KeyBoard & Mouse;
    KeyBoard Shotcut;
    In this windows press + on left botton;
    All Applications
    Menu Title:Cut
    KeyBoard Shortcut:command+X
    OK"
     

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