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Column view keyboard navigation Desktop
An interesting thing I found: let's say you're about at the 4th level of your hard drive -- /users/you/documents/stuff/.

If you use the tab (and shift-tab) key when the Finder window is active, it will go through each active folder in your filepath forward (and backward) and essentially flip through all the columns you have. NOTE: It takes one extra "tab" to get back to the top level of the drive, as the tab prior to the last one seems to take you to the column containing the preview.

This is different than using the left/right arrow keys, which actively move your selection; the tab key simply changes the highlight column.

Once the column of your choosing is highlighted (the highlight is on the folder that contains your furtherest-right window), you can use the up and down arrow keys to move down into other folders within that column.

[Editor - Tip from Gorgonzola; modified by yours truly as I experimented with it. Pretty nifty way to navigate the finder, actually!]
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Authored by: Anonymous on May 06, '01 04:23:35PM

Thanks, Rob -- I didn't realize shift-tab did the whole thing backwards. Interesting.

Another funny trick -- if you make a gigantic column view window and select down to about the 15th level of your drive (or more, if you can), you can hold down the tab key and watch as the Finder goes positively nuts scrolling through the filepath as fast as it can. :D

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...but I HATE that!
Authored by: dzurn on May 18, '01 04:04:42PM

I always used the ability to type a file or folder name in the OS 9.x Finder List view to select that file. The Finder would helpfully scroll the window to show the item that was selected. But this is gone when using the List view in OS X, instead hitting tab now sorts by a different column.

It also used to be possible to use the Tab key to go to the next item alphabetically from the one selected. So even if a Finder list was sorted by Date Modified, if I had "System" selected then hitting "tab" would select "System Folder" (for example) even if it had to scroll to show it. This is gone in list view now. :(

The ability to sort is not as useful as seeing the items I have selected. I find myself selecting an item, inadvertently tabbing, and now the item isn't visible since it sorted further down the list!


[ Reply to This | # ]
...but I HATE that!
Authored by: larrywood on Mar 14, '02 04:22:40PM

I was hoping to find here that somehow it was still possible to navigate through "open" dialogs with the keyboard as it was previous to OSX (e.g., once I'm at the top of my directory and I want to bring a course outline up in Word, I can find the Course folder by just beginning to type "cour", and then pressing return. That opens the folder with all my course info, so I can find the folder for Interface Design by beginning to type "interf", then pressing return, etc. Hopefully, you get the picture. Now I have to do everything with the mouse with clicking and scrolling as near as I can tell. Sounds like it's just gone? Or is it really there, and I just can't find it.

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