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Drag and move background windows' file icons System
You may know that if you command-click on a window's title bar, then a pop-up menu appears showing you the hierarchy at which the file is stored on the drive. You may also know that if you click-and-hold-then-drag on the window's name or icon, then you can move the file that is associated with that window (to drag and drop it on another application, for example). Further still you may know that you can command-drag a window that is in the background to move it without bringing the window forward.

What if, however, you want to move the file associated with a window that is in the background? Command-clicking on the title will bring up the background window's file hierarchy, thus spoiling your attempt to drag the file in the background. You can work around this by using Command-Shift-Click instead of just Command-Click. Hold for a second, and then drag to move the file of window in the background. The Shift key avoids bringing up the pop-up menu and lets you drag the file!

This is very handy for dragging BBEdit windows into the developer tool FileMerge, for example, without playing window and application switching games.
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Drag and move background windows' file icons | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Drag and move background windows' file icons
Authored by: aranor on Dec 15, '03 12:39:24PM

Odd. I've been doing this with Finder windows for ages, but that doesn't require Shift, just command-click.



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Drag and move background windows' file icons
Authored by: osxpounder on Dec 15, '03 01:21:12PM

Hmm. I just tried it, and confirmed that CMD-clicking works this way for me, too. I was able to drag a folder's title icon to the Dock without bringing that folder into the foreground.

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osxpounder



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Drag and move background windows' file icons
Authored by: sjonke on Dec 15, '03 05:05:09PM

As it turns out the Finder does behave as you describe (I didn't try it with the Finder), but other applications including BBEdit and Apple's TextEdit do not and require the shift-key workaround. In the case of Preview I find that the shift-key workaround doesn't work because it always seems to come to the front when you try it. Go figure....

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Old hint
Authored by: elmimmo on Dec 16, '03 04:45:17AM

Yes, I know this sounds like a huff, but still my pride urges my to point it out. This exact very hint was published half a year ago by some individual called elmimmo. See Drag icons from unfocused windows without switching focus.

Yes, the Finder will avoid the need of the Shift key most of the times, but not always, and other apps will keep focus only this way. One example that comes to mind, in the Finder and whatever other app that supports it (all Cocoa, and some Carbon such as Photoshop), is trying to drag icons from the title bar:

Open a window in the Finder, go to Text Edit, create a new document. You will want to save it in the folder opened in the background. But if you do the "click for 1 sec in the title bar's icon, in order to drag it to the Save sheet in TextEdit, the Finder will steal the focus. Command is the usual way to drag windows in the background, but command clicking in the title bar will bring up a drop down menu showing the path of the window. Shift+Command+Click during 1 sec in order to drag the title bar icon in the background without loosing focus.

I know this sounds a bit quirky to remember, but it is really not once you try it and realize the mechanics. I use it every day.



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Old hint
Authored by: osxpounder on Dec 16, '03 04:09:41PM

Really? On my version of TextEdit, a new unsaved document has no title bar icon until it's been saved once. What are you dragging? I tried dragging the "Untitled" text in the title bar, with no success.

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osxpounder



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Old hint
Authored by: elmimmo on Dec 16, '03 04:21:43PM

You misunderstood me. You drag the title bar icon of the FINDER window in the background into the Save as... sheet of TextEdit so that you navigate to that folder in the Save as... sheet. In order to be able to do that without switching focus to the Finder you must cmd+shift+click in the title bar icon of Finder window in the background.



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