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Change window focus on drag-and-hover Desktop
I was about to write a letter to Apple because I couldn't understand why drag-and-drop from one finder window to another doesn't change the "focus" bringing the other window into the foreground. I decided to experiment a bit and I found out it does! Perhaps everyone already knows this, but I was surprised. The trick? You have to hover for a second over the title bar, or any other part of the window border - then the background window will come to the foreground.

This is great if you already opened a multi-column view to a specific folder and then open a new window to find an item you wish to drag to that location. Often the new window will obscure the target folder - but hovering over the title-bar or border of the background window will bring it to the forground and allow you to drop the item right where you want it.

[Editor's note: This is a feature of spring loaded folders, and they must be enabled (Finder -> Preferences) if you want the focus to change on hover. However, if you prefer to leave spring loaded folders disabled (as I do - too many accidental mis-filings!), then you can still use the 'force' method to change focus -- just hit the space bar while the dragged object is over some portion of the window you wish to focus on.]
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Change window focus on drag-and-hover | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Actually...
Authored by: Brian Kendig on Jan 30, '03 01:09:42PM

It works for me when I hover (or press the spacebar) over any part of a window in the background, not just the title bar or the border.



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Actually...
Authored by: kerim on Jan 30, '03 02:54:00PM

Yes, it works on any part of the window - if it is blank. If there is a folder there then spring-loaded folders will go into effect instead. That measn the folder will pop-open rather than bringing the other window to the foreground. Sorry I wasn't clear about this.



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off the screen
Authored by: zs on Jan 30, '03 02:44:10PM

I noticed that if the window is positioned partially off of the screen, it will slide into full view. Freaky. Place windows at the bottom with just the title bars showing to mimic pop-up folders (but not slide back down when something is dropped in there).



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Previous hint ;-)
Authored by: robg on Jan 30, '03 03:40:01PM
See this hint for more on sliding Finder windows... -rob.

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Ahh...
Authored by: zs on Jan 31, '03 02:19:56PM

I seemed to have missed that one. Thanks.



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Only in Finder!
Authored by: kerim on Jan 30, '03 09:28:15PM

I just wanted to clarify (in response to an e-mail) that this only works between two finder windows. It would be great if it worked between finder windows and the windows of other applications, but it doesn't. If you think it should, please leave feedback for Apple on their web site!



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