Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders Desktop
There's a quick and easy way to restore the pre Mac OS X Command-N shortcut to New Folder. It doesn't require any third party software, although it does require Terminal access (or a .plist editor).
  1. Create a New Folder shortcut using the System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts panel. The system won't let you choose Command-N, but it will let you choose Command-Shift-N. Use that.

  2. Edit ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist with your favorite editor. Search for your newly added shortcut (New Folder). Duplicate the entry and rename it to New Finder Window. Remove the $ from the New Folder key. This makes Command-N into New Folder and Command-Shift-N into New Finder Window. You need to have both or Finder doesn't behave.
You don't need to restart the Finder for this to work. Just save the file, go to the Finder and type Command-N and watch the new folder appear.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
    •    
  • Currently 1.75 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (8 votes cast)
 
[58,394 views]  

10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders | 32 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the '10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: fwiffo on Dec 01, '03 11:53:33AM

The hint worked but I had to relaunch the finder to see the change.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: TvE on Dec 01, '03 01:20:18PM

I have done similair tests with this methode (using CMD-something as the shortcut) just before the official release (I am an ADC member ;-)

I found that it worked in a version pre 7B85 (can't remember which), but then I was unable to reproduce this feature in the released version and hence could'nt get it to work.

My problem was that AFTER I had made the change in the pref-file the control panel would then recreate the previous settings when I launched the control panel. I then stopped digging in the problem.

Could you verify that your "behind-the-scenes" changes work even after you have used the control panel to do domething else?

PS.: It might be that the problem I had observed only was present in 7B85 OR that i made a mistake somehow (naaah... ;-)



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: sjoerd on Dec 01, '03 06:54:59PM

I can also confirm that it works that way.
The change seems to stick - after making it work it will show up changed in system preferences (using panther).

I can only say THANK YOU!!! This was the hint I have been waiting for ever since 10.0, and a great birthday present...

Now if only the name of the folder (in list view) were editable [it is, but you need a slow computer and type really really fast before the finder changes from text edit mode to selection mode].



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: TvE on Dec 02, '03 08:46:56AM

I don't have any problems renaming a newly created folder in list view - after hitting CMD-SHIFT-N it creates a folder and put's it in renaming mode (the text is selected...)



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: petruk on Dec 01, '03 03:08:51PM

For those who have trouble finding the right key, it's under:
Root->NSUserKeyEquivalents
I also confirm that finder needs to be relanched for the change to take effect.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use the Sustem Prefs in Panther
Authored by: Diggory on Dec 01, '03 06:29:57PM

In Panther you should use the Keyboard Preference Pane in System Preferences.

It allows you to redefine any keyboard shortcut in apps.

---
*****
monkeyfood software - http://www.monkeyfood.com



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use the Sustem Prefs in Panther
Authored by: robg on Dec 01, '03 06:42:11PM

Ummmmm ... that *is* the panel that's mentioned in the hint ... isn't it??

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use the Sustem Prefs in Panther
Authored by: TvE on Dec 02, '03 08:49:42AM

NO - you're unable to create shortcuts based on COMMAND-something - you're only allowed to create shortcuts that also involves another modifier, EG COMMAND-ALT-something when using the GUI - hence the need to go "behind the scenes"

THAT is the trick in this hint - NOT that you have the control panel!!!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: patricksm on Dec 01, '03 09:54:09PM

This does take a Finder restart, regarding the rest of this hint, it does work as advertised! Which is a good thing, particularly for pre OSX users. This change to the Finder also sticks, even after you launch System Preferences again. You can confirm the change by clicking on the 'File' menu in Finder after its been restarted.

Enjoy!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: zorgaliscious on Dec 02, '03 06:54:34AM
doesnt work for me... I have it this way (i did this with TextEdit btw... )

	<key>NSUserKeyEquivalents</key>
	<dict>
		<key>New Folder</key>
		<string>@N</string>
		<key>New Folder Window</key>
		<string>@$N</string>
	</dict>
what am I doing wrong?

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: sjoerd on Dec 02, '03 05:44:59PM

It's New Finder Window, not New Folder Window!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: zorgaliscious on Dec 03, '03 09:34:13AM

DOH! corrected it and it works fine...



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: r.b on Dec 02, '03 06:06:39PM

I used the same above code that you used and it worked for me. i just had to relaunch the Finder by holding OPTION and click+hold on the Finder icon in the dock.

this is a 10.3 ONLY thing right ?



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: EatingPie on Dec 02, '03 08:46:05PM

Waited 2 years for this hint... and in that time I've become used to Cmd-Shift-N. D'oh!


---
-Pie
<http://www.storybytes.com>



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-W to create new window
Authored by: Udo on Jul 31, '04 03:55:32PM

Just made the change. It worked without a hitch.

I went one step further in the key assignments. For me, a cmd-shift-something is a reversal of a cmd-something command. Following this paradigm, I changed the keys as follows:

Cmd-N is now New Folder (cmd-shift-N is Apple default)
Cmd-W is now New Window (cmd-N is Apple default)
Cmd-shift-W is now Close Window (cmd-W is Apple default)

---
Have a nice day
Udo



[ Reply to This | # ]
Bad Idea
Authored by: bakalite on Dec 03, '03 12:27:22AM

OK. I know that apple occasionally changes something that we've all gotten used to, and often it's downright stupid (as in this case). However, I have learned over the years that it's best to simply play along and accept the change. If you try to fight it you'll have to jump through hoops more often than not, and you'll be incredibly frustrated if you ever use a friends computer, because you'll constanly hit the wrong key combos. Eventually, you'll be assimilated, it will just be more painful ;-)

Trust me on this...my first mac was a mac+

:-)



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: fy on Dec 04, '03 05:59:05AM
1. An equivalent and easier way is to type on the terminal

defaults write com.apple.finder NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict 'New Finder Window' '@$N' 'New Folder' '@N';
osascript -e 'quit application "Finder"'; open -a Finder;
2. Two strings depend on the language in which the Finder is running.

Dutch -- 'Nieuw Finder-venster' 'Nieuwe map'
English -- 'New Finder Window' 'New Folder'
French -- 'Nouvelle fen\U00eatre Finder' 'Nouveau dossier'
German -- 'Neues Fenster' 'Neuer Ordner'
Italian -- 'Nuova Finestra Finder' 'Nuova Cartella'
Japanese -- '\U65b0\U898f Finder \U30a6\U30a4\U30f3\U30c9\U30a6'
 '\U65b0\U898f\U30d5\U30a9\U30eb\U30c0'
Spanish -- 'Ventana nueva del Finder' 'Carpeta nueva'
da -- 'Nyt Finder-vindue' 'Ny mappe'
fi -- 'Uusi Finderin ikkuna' 'Uusi kansio'
ko -- '\Uc0c8\Ub85c\Uc6b4 Finder \Uc708\Ub3c4\Uc6b0' '\Uc0c8\Ub85c\Uc6b4 \Ud3f4\Ub354'
no -- 'Nytt Finder-vindu' 'Ny mappe'
pt -- 'Nova Janela do Finder' 'Nova Pasta'
sv -- 'Nytt Finder-f\U00f6nster''Ny mapp'
zh_CN -- '\U65b0 Finder \U7a97\U53e3' '\U65b0\U5efa\U6587\U4ef6\U5939'
zh_TW -- '\U65b0\U589e Finder \U8996\U7a97' '\U65b0\U589e\U6a94\U6848\U593e'
are possible based on the output of

cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Resources;
grep -A 1 -E '<object class="IBCarbonMenuItem" id="(139|186)">' *.lproj/Menus.nib/*.xib
| perl -e 'foreach(<STDIN>){if(/([^\/]*)\.lproj.*"title">([^<>]+)</){print $1." -- \x27".$2."\x27\n";}}'
| iconv -f "UTF-8" -t "UCS-2"
| perl -e 'while(1){$c = getc(STDIN);if($c eq ""){last;}elsif(ord($c)==0){$c = getc(STDIN);
if(ord($c)<127){print $c;}else{print "\\U00".unpack("H2",$c);}}else{print "\\U".unpack("H2",$c);
$c = getc(STDIN);print unpack("H2",$c);}}';


[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: sjoerd on Dec 08, '03 04:14:24PM

And this means that if you apply the original hint, and then change your language preference, Command-N will be back to it's original value. So apparently, the Keyboard Shortcuts in System Preferences do not apply to all languages at the same time. Disappointing!

Btw. I never would have guessed the meaning of the above mentioned portuguese word, and even a portuguese dictionary tells me that it really means the obvious "caldo engrossado com farinha". Any portuguese who can clarify this?



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: bossa nova on Dec 07, '03 10:10:45PM

Yes we should just fall in and go along with Apple's suggested changes because more often then not there is a good reason, but making the new folder command have the added shift modifier key was the dumbest thing they have done. (I think making a new folder is something you do alot more then opening a "New" window, as opposed to doing something with your already open windows by using the arrow keys etc.)

does anyone agree?

---
Thanks!

John



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: Professor Shiny on Dec 08, '03 01:10:55PM

It is hard to adjust to changes in the keyboard shortcuts. However from a usability standpoint, this change was long overdue. Most other applications use command-N to open a new document of some sort. The creation of a new folder object within a window is an anomaly in the Finder and confusing to new users.

The difference is there for a good reason. So please take a moment to consider it, and appreciate that Apple is still working to improve interface. Then, by all means pop a terminal window and customize to your heart's content. It's your computer!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: formido on Dec 10, '03 12:24:35AM

Sorry, that's a terrible argument. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Finder is a different type of application. Obviously, it doesn't have documents. Plus, you're not abstracting at the right level. In reality, applications use command-n to open the most important object it knows about. For most applications, this *is* a new document. But for Finder, it obviously isn't.

As the original poster said, this was a horrible design decision. It's the type of thing that happens when a developer gets too caught up in a problem and loses perspective. He forgot that the end goal is ease-of-use and not "consistency".



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Dec 10, '03 12:55:32AM

Yes, Professor Shiny does make a poor argument. The real way to think about this issue is, Command-N has always created a new CONTAINER (or window) in whatever application you're in--when in the Finder, the new "container/window" it creates is a new folder into which you can put stuff, though it leaves that folder's window closed so that you can rename it something other than "Untitled folder". In an application, Command-N opens a new window into which you can put stuff (text, graphics, etc). So, it makes perfect sense for Command-N to have always created a new folder in the Finder, since when you open that folder, it opens that folder's WINDOW. This does not violate any supposed Mac interface rules. Besides, when we also apply simple common sense (which I often enjoy doing), we all create new folders in the Finder far more often than we open new windows to see what volumes are mounted. Though I find OS X's "New Finder Window" option very handy--it's sort of the precursor to Expose's function to clear away the clutter of open windows on the desktop, and show just the currently mounted volumes--I still wish Apple had made it Shift-Command-N, and retained Command-N for New Folder. You need to apply Occam's Razor in such decisions, which Apple clearly didn't do; and users shouldn't just blindly accept whatever Apple does--that's not what Open Source computing (let alone being an effective human) is about. I know OS X isn't true Open Source, but at least Apple should make a few more nods in its direction than it currently does.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: MJCube on Dec 18, '03 01:18:04PM

I agree with Apple's choice and Professor Shiny's take on it, and I disagree with you detractors. (And my first Mac was a 128K.) I have 2 good reasons:

1. With the OS X Finder (and especially column view, which I use almost all the time), I found I wanted to open a new window much more often than make a new folder. It's easier and less messy to undo mistakenly opening a window than accidentally creating a folder.

2. I help a lot of people with their Macs, and found that, before OS X, a lot of neophyte users (and long-time non-power-users) ended up with untitled folders scattered around their HDs when they wanted a new Word document, and they couldn't understand what was happening in the Finder. And of course they didn't know what the folders were, but were afraid to throw them away.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: BarracksSi on Mar 15, '04 07:17:06PM

That's what I say, too. I create & close Finder windows all the time now, while I create a new folder only once in a blue moon (last time I did that was a week ago... and before that one, maybe a month ago). It only makes sense to activate the more commonly-used command with fewer keys.

People forget that, once upon a time, they didn't know a blasted thing about computers, and had to get used to the Cmd-N keyboard shortcut in the first place. We all learned one way; there's no reason we should be afraid to learn something that just might be better than before.

Heck, didn't we get used to having the close, minimize, and maximize buttons in the upper left corner of windows?



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: NeutronMonk on Mar 16, '04 08:17:28AM

While I'm now used to it, and don't really mind the change, my take on this (and other, similar interface issues) is simply: Choice! It would so easy to add this functionality to the already extant Keyboard pref panel... there is one caveat with this implementation, however. If one heavily modifies all the shortcuts on their personal computer, it would make using another computer clumsy at best- but, again, that choice would be yours to make!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: DSNLG on Dec 09, '03 12:40:18PM

Has anyone figured out how to add shortcuts to menu options that end in an ellipsis? I've tried three periods and the single character ellipsis with no luck.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: fy on Dec 10, '03 09:42:42AM
Some lines of the result of what I replaced (139|186) of my script above with (202|203)

English -- 'Burn Disc\U2026'
English -- 'Find\U2026'
Italian -- 'Masterizza Disco\U2026'
Italian -- 'Cerca...'
Japanese -- '\U30c7\U30a3\U30b9\U30af\U3092\U4f5c\U6210...'
Japanese -- '\U691c\U7d22...'
zh_TW -- '\U71d2\U9304\U5149\U789f\U22ef'
zh_TW -- '\U5c0b\U627e\U22ef'
helps you? For example, the following command seems to work.

defaults write com.apple.finder NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict 'Burn Disc\U2026' '@$D';
osascript -e 'quit application "Finder"'; open -a Finder;


[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: MJCube on Dec 18, '03 01:33:12PM

It's much easier to edit the keyboard shortcuts in Panther System Prefs. Type the ellipsis there, then if you're curious you can open the corresponding .plist file and see it in XML. Viewed in the Mac charset in a Carbon text editor like BBEdit, the (Unicode) ellipsis looks like "…" (that's low-single quote, A-dieresis, paragraph).

You can tell whether the menu item has an actual ellipsis character or 3 periods by typing each in Lucida Grande 14pt and comparing with the menu. The periods look slightly heavier.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: fy on Jan 03, '04 10:33:48PM

Isn't it how to add "shortcuts that end in an ellipsis" to menu options? And DSNLG means it?



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: connell on Mar 08, '04 10:25:41AM

I would like to add a shortcut to the 'Secure Empty Trash' item in Panther Finder's File menu, but the Keyboard Prefs won't allow me to include the delete key. Does anyone know what the code is that I can use for the delete key if I manually edit the .plist file, and for future reference, where to go to find this info out? Thanks.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Use Command-N to create new folders
Authored by: fy on Aug 06, '04 08:54:26AM
I don't know where/whether this info is, but making tests shows now that - none, one, or some of modifier keys:

@ for cmd key
~ for option key
$ for shift key
^ but how it works?

plus - one of normal keys:

a,...,z,A,...,Z but case-insensitive
\b for delete key
\t for tab key
\n or \r for return key

makes a shortcut.

For example, the default for "Empty Trash" is '$@\b'. And, use '~\b' if you want to assign option+delete.

------

Finder.app's Menus.nib/objects.xib shows the modifier of UpArrow, used by default for "Enclosing Folder", is a hex string "ef9c800a" ("ef9c810a" / "ef9c820a" / "ef9c830a" for Down Arrow / Left Arrow / Right Arrow)

To put it into .plist, you can use a binary editor or type on a terminal defaults write com.apple.finder NSUserKeyEquivalents... in the form as I mentioned before for this hint. In the latter method, use:

'@$'`perl -e 'print pack("H8","ef9c800a")'` for (cmd+shift+) UpArrow
'@$'`perl -e 'print pack("H8","ef9c810a")'` for (cmd+shift+) DownArrow
'@$'`perl -e 'print pack("H8","ef9c820a")'` for (cmd+shift+) LeftArrow
'@$'`perl -e 'print pack("H8","ef9c830a")'` for (cmd+shift+) RightArrow

[ Reply to This | # ]