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Use Command-select and drag-select together Desktop
We all know that if you select an item in a Finder window (in column or list view) while holding down the Command key, you can select non-contiguous items in the column/list by clicking on them.

If you try to select contiguous items, though (by dragging through them), you end up dragging your previously selected items, unless you drag through the empty space to the right of the filenames. If you drag in the empty space with the Command key down, you can select contiguous items, and then command click to add/subract from the selection.

This is very handy for selecting groups of files that are scattered in a list/column view window.
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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: jt777 on Oct 06, '05 07:05:39AM

Welcome to the Macintosh. I can't remember for sure, but I think this has been around since MacOS 1.0. I'm in the middle of moving across the country, otherwise I'd fire up my 128k to check it out.



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: MJCube on Oct 07, '05 10:35:58AM

Command-click to add or subtract individual discontiguous items from the selection in a Finder window does go back to the beginning of the Mac, yes. But Command-dragging over a blank area in a list view, as a way to add an additional range to the selection without dragging the items at the same time, was new with OS X. In the old Finder, Command-clicking on a blank area did not add to the selection in any view. When column view (from NeXT OS, of course) came to Mac, certain subtle changes in the way list views are handled came with it.

More recently, deselecting has changed a bit in Tiger, as ChaChi notes below. Command-dragging over a range of already-selected items doesn't work to deselect them in column view (exception carefully noted in thread below). It does still work the intuitive way in list view, so I don't know why this change was made. Also, when I mis-drag like this and drop the items in the same location, the Finder still makes the file-operation noise even though nothing happened, which is a bug IMO.

And you can still get the old selection rectangle in icon view, if anybody uses that any more.



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: diegs on Oct 06, '05 07:42:56AM

Well, I found it extremely useful, having only ever used Mac OS since 10.4, and always struggling to find a way to select multiple, non-contiguous items in a list quickly.

With other OSes, I used to click, hold shift, and click at the bottom of my first range, then control-click, hold control and shift, and click at the bottom of my next range. This would select two non-contiguous ranges.

The behaviour in Mac OS (X) is different, if you follow the process above (using command in lieu of control of course) it will automatically select everything between your two ranges.

This method, which imho is not immediately intuitive (or perhaps I'm just too trained with the other way), lets you be nearly as efficient when selecting multiple, non-adjacent groups of items. Thank you for probably saving me several minutes a day in selecting things!



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actually it works the way you describe in SOME apps.
Authored by: nick on Oct 06, '05 08:39:38AM

works as you discribe in:

- addressbook
- iphoto
- mail (mails and mailboxes)
- safari (in the bookmarks)
- ichat (in the buddy-list)

sadly doesn't work in:

- finder
- itunes

it's the same as with the interface-mess (aqua, metal, unified... uno saved me): consitency, apple! please!

regards, n.



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actually it works the way you describe in SOME apps.
Authored by: jctull on Oct 06, '05 10:19:53AM

Agreed! This is a PITA. Often I want to select noncontiguous selections in iTunes to drag over to the iPod. I have not found a method to do so other than selecting a large range and command-clicking to deselect. This is a major flaw in the app in my opinion.



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actually it works the way you describe in SOME apps.
Authored by: simonpie on Oct 06, '05 11:01:55AM

Works fine in the finder.

iTunes does not do much correctly interfacewise, so its not surprising it does not work.



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no.
Authored by: nick on Oct 07, '05 11:19:21AM

it doesn't work in my finder for shure. tiger. i'm pretty shure it didn't work in panther, too.



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: TriNeuro on Oct 06, '05 10:00:33AM

Nearly as efficient?

1. Cmd-drag a few items
2. Scroll to next items if needed
3. Cmd-drag a few more
4. Cmd-click a few of previously selected away, if needed
5. Repeat as necessary to select all desired items...

It really works quite fast..



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: ework on Oct 06, '05 09:18:44AM

I believe you can simply select your first item, hold down shift, then click your last item to select a range. Then simply command-click the ones you don't want. This is similar to what was mentioned in the hint but doesn't require any messy dragging. Works better when you want most of the items in the range, otherwise you would have just command-clicked the files to begin with.



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: teamhasnoi on Oct 06, '05 10:10:49AM

In 10.2, you can select items by dragging through the names. If you had item names that were longer than others, you could grab just those names by making a 'select box' through the longer names down the right side of the Finder window. The shorter names would get skipped.

Handy feature that went away with 10.3.



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 06, '05 02:50:25PM

Now that you mention it, I used to appreciate the fact that I could drag a 'box' around items in Finder, by dragging from some white space area, and only those items that visually intersected my box would be selected. Hmm.

Anyway, I'm grateful to the original poster -- thanks! I do lots of such selections in a day, so this'll help quite a bit.

---
--
osxpounder



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Tiger has killed this feature!
Authored by: ChaChi on Oct 06, '05 10:24:15AM

In all previous versions of OSX (in the Finder) you could press "CMD + a" (to select all of the items in a folder in column view) and then you could press (and hold) the CMD key and "click + drag" through the items you wanted to unselect. There was no need to try to find an empty space in the name or anything of the sort! You could click and drag anywhere in the list, on any of the items, in either direction (up or down the list) to unselect the items in the middle.

Now, when you attempt to do the same thing in Tiger, you end up actually dragging the items and not unselecting them no matter where you click on the items!

Is this a bug or a new "feature" of Tiger? I really cannot stand the new behaviour AT ALL!



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Tiger has killed this feature!
Authored by: RobertBen on Oct 06, '05 01:39:59PM

Didn't notice this because I hardly use Column View, (I find the view options in Column View too limited) the behaviour you're looking for does work in list view though.

Since you can switch really fast between the two view with Command-2 and Command-3 maybe this is an option for you?



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Tiger has killed this feature!
Authored by: RobertBen on Oct 06, '05 01:44:27PM

And as a little ad-on, this works only if you don't drag on the icons themselves, but a nit to the right of them.

Takes a second to figure out, but once you get the feel of it it's o.k.



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Workarounds are not solutions.
Authored by: ChaChi on Oct 06, '05 06:45:46PM

The second I start doing 2 or 3 extra steps to accomplish the same thing is when I feel like I've taking a couple (if not a few) steps backwards from improving an already great OS!

I do appreciate your time in trying to help find an alternate "solution" to this problem but I don't find adding steps to my daily workflow a solution.

Do you agree that this seems more like a bug than a feature? If the new behaviour is a feature what actual benefit does it provide us with? Do they want us to use list view now that they've started ironing out the bugs in it? I can't stand list view!



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Workarounds are not solutions.
Authored by: RobertBen on Oct 07, '05 12:02:12AM

I experimented a bit more and it DOES work in Column View, your columns just have to be wide enough.

I do agree that this is far from elegant though, (you probably still have to make your columns wider) and I think that Shift-Command-Click would have been a much better solution...



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I'll be damned!
Authored by: ChaChi on Oct 07, '05 03:34:18AM

I tried making my columns as wide as the screen and it wasn't working for me. Actually it doesn't even matter how wide the columns are it's just REALLY picky about HOW you start the middle drag.

I just got done experimenting some more myself and have found that you have to do the following:

(in column view of course)
1.) Select all of the items in a folder (Command + a)
2.) Press and hold the Command key down
3.) Click once on one of the middle items of the selection to deselect it
4.) Click ANYWHERE on the same item BUT THE NAME OR THE ICON and then start dragging

Then it does indead work.

I'm so much happier now that at least we've found a way to get this to work again. I just wish it was a little less picky about it. Actually I wish it was the way it used to be since I see no logical benefit to the change in the first place but at least it works.

Just curious, why would Command + Shift have been a better solution? What other purpose preexists for Command clicking and dragging items within a column view?



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Tiger has killed this feature!
Authored by: mistersquid on Oct 09, '05 06:21:26AM

Since you can switch really fast between the two view with Command-2 and Command-3 maybe this is an option for you?

Hot diggity. I've been using Mac OS since System 6.x and I am stunned at how much I don't know few menu bar "hints." I'm a somewhat knowledgeable OS X user (run SSL-enabled Apache, BIND, VNC over SSH tunnel, PERL-and-AppleScript-assisted backup, etc.) so I don't really spend a lot of time in menu bars anymore. Yet so much functionality is stored there.

We really are at a stage where our computers and operating systems are arguably too complex. Small additions to features (e.g. Smart Folders) have massive ramifications that take years to fully register, and here I am and I've been clicking on Finder's toolbar widgets rather than Cmd-2 and Cmd-3.

Thanks for the tip.



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Tiger has killed this feature!
Authored by: gullevek on Oct 07, '05 07:23:43AM

works for me in 10.4.2

cmd+a
and then cmd+mouse drag to unselect



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You must have a special install of Tiger then.
Authored by: ChaChi on Oct 07, '05 12:25:50PM

Do me a favor gullevek:
-Go to any Library folder (or any folder that displays a scroll bar when selected in column view)
-Select all of the items in the folder (Command + a)
-Then try clicking and dragging on any item in the middle of the list

Are you saying that this works for you doing it exactly this way or are you selecting all and then Command + Clicking and dragging from under the selected items in a column view window that does not display a scroll bar?

I've used numerous computers with Tiger installed (10.4.2) and they all exhibit the same behavior. If this works for you then you have a special install of Tiger that I have not previously run across.



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: Unsoluble on Oct 06, '05 01:25:53PM

Just to clarify for the folks who are saying you can't do this drag-selection thing in Tiger: Yes, you can -- I use it all the time -- but the trick is to start your drag in the white space to the right of the filenames. You don't even need to hold the Command key down; just drag-select, then if you want to actually move or copy the files, click and drag again, except aim for a filename this time.



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: Unsoluble on Oct 06, '05 01:29:37PM
Oops -- more clarification needed! Just realized that the previous poster was talking specifically about column view, which is something I never use, so I didn't notice that it doesn't work there. Or rather, only the drag-to-deselect doesn't work. Everything else is the same as in list view, it seems.

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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 06, '05 02:54:02PM

Ephraim: in 10.3.9, it doesn't work in List view, either. Any drag in white space selects the file that's on the same line in the list, no matter how far to the right or left I try my dragging.

In fact, I can't even start a drag in the white space to the right of the rightmost column. In my case, it's the "Kind" column.

---
--
osxpounder



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: Unsoluble on Oct 06, '05 08:10:49PM
Could you clarify what you're saying there? When you say, "Any drag in white space selects the file that's on the same line in the list, no matter how far to the right or left I try my dragging," did you mean to say Any drag moves the file on the same line? Because it's supposed to select it... it's just that it shouldn't start moving unless your click was aimed at the filename itself.

And when you say you "can't even start a drag in the white space to the right of the rightmost column," what do you mean by "can't start a drag"? Can't begin to select/highlight more than one item? Or can't begin to move/copy the items that are already selected? Just trying to get things straight here. :)

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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: digitol on Oct 06, '05 01:42:04PM

When did this website become FluffyBunny Kiddie hints for the brain impared? Gahhhhhh,, this function or simmilar has been around since the start of the Apple system days.. Gahhhhhh!!! Uhhhhh! Hyuk Hyuk Hyuk



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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 06, '05 02:57:28PM

digitol: whatever, dude. Seems like it's a favorite pastime for some clown to post "this has been in Mac OS since [whenever]". It's not too much trouble for you to skip the hint if you don't like it. What I can't understand is why you clowns complain about your precious time being wasted by obvious hints, yet you gladly spend time posting a complaint about it.

---
--
osxpounder



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An Applescript to select multiple noncontiguous items
Authored by: thornrag on Oct 06, '05 03:19:21PM
I think I'll write an Applescript to select multiple noncontiguous items...

tell application "Finder"
  set selectedItems to the selected items
  repeat with each item in selectedItems
    -- whatever you wanted to do with the selected items here
  end repeat
end tell
Now just copy and paste this into Script Editor, save it as an application, then presto! You can select multiple items in the Finder, then run this script! Of course you'll have to modify it to perform your desired action... your mileage may vary! I'm new to AppleScript so bug fixes etc welcome!

[thornrag adds: the script of course doesn't actually do anything, but you could change some things to make them different. Also, it only works in the Finder, but you could spend a few hours making one for each of your applications. This technique wasn't covered in any of Apple's documentation, so sure, why not post it.]

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Use Command-select and drag-select together
Authored by: Frungi on Oct 08, '05 06:34:28PM

Cmd-drag actually *toggles* selections, i.e. if it's selected it'll be deselected and vice-versa. If you're really bored, try this: cmd-click every other item so the selection alternates, then cmd-drag through it to reverse the selections.



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Specific Command-drag selection behavior
Authored by: MJCube on Oct 11, '05 06:51:48AM

Yes, but it's important to note that you must start the drag on a blank space other than an icon or filename, otherwise you toggle only individual items. And even then, as ChaChi notes above, in Tiger this drag-toggle works only if you start on an unselected item. When you start a Command-drag on a selected item, you deselect it and begin moving it. This is the recent change in behavior we're trying to elucidate and complain about.



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Works in Leopard, but only if you start the drag on a nonselected file
Authored by: mbrowne on Jun 08, '08 10:58:11AM

This was not obvious to me after reading the comments until I played around with it some more...

I'm running Leopard but my guess is this would work in Tiger too... In column OR list view (it DOES work in both), the important thing to remember is that if an item is already selected, you can't start dragging on that one. Make sure a different item (or no items) are selected, then start dragging on the first item in the group you want. You can then hold down command to select another group.

Does not work in iTunes though, sadly.



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