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Mac OS X Power Hound, Second Edition by Rob Griffiths

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Working with Files and Folders

When you’re not actually working on a document, you’re probably manipulating one or more files or folders in the Finder. The following hints will help you maximize your file and folder manipulation time.

Copying by Dragging

You can drag icons from one folder to another, from one drive to another, from a drive to a folder on another drive, and so on. Unfortunately, understanding when the Mac copies a dragged icon, as opposed to merely moving it, bewilders many a beginner. Here’s the scheme:

  • Dragging from one folder to another (on the same disk) moves the icon.

  • Dragging from one disk (or disk partition) to another copies the folder or file.

  • Option-dragging copies the icon instead of moving it—always. Doing so within a single folder produces a duplicate of the file called “[Whatever its name was] copy.”

  • Dragging an icon from one disk to another while pressing

    Copying by Dragging

    moves the file or folder, deleting it from the original disk in the process. (Press

    Copying by Dragging

    immediately after you start to drag.)

Note

This method is not recommended for moving batches of files. If a network connection (or the electricity) goes out during the operation, you have no way of knowing when the system will delete the originals, and you could lose some files as a result. When moving large selections, ...

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