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10.5: How to select and close folders quickly in list view Desktop
I just noticed that -- finally as of 10.5 -- Mac OS X's Finder is a lot more useful for us keyboard shortcut fanatics: You can now close folders with the left arrow without having the focus on the folder to be closed. Put another way, it's now possible to close a folder while having focus on one of the files within that folder.

For example, assume you have focus (in list view mode, of course) on a file named ASCIIMoviePlayer on this path: /Users » tve » TMP » ASCIIMoviePlayerSample. In 10.4, if you wanted to close all of the opened folders (one at a time), you'd have to use a combination of Up Arrow and Left Arrow to move back up the hierarchy while close parent folders. But in 10.5, the first press of the Left Arrow takes you to the focused item's enclosing folder, and the second press closes that folder. So in the above example, you can get to the root level of the disk by hitting left arrow quickly 10 times in a row -- note that's just a theoretical example; I'd probably just hit Command-Shift-C in this case!

Probably not a popular statement, but OS X finally works as well as Windows, which has been doing it correctly for years. (I have not been using list view on Apple hardware since 9.2.2, due to this problem. PS.: ASCIIMoviePlayer is a huge entertaining piece of software.

[robg adds: The 10.5 behavior in list view mode is a huge timesaver; I only use list views on a few key windows, but this change makes it much easier to use those windows. BTW, we covered ASCIIMoviePlayer in this older hint.]
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10.5: How to select and close folders quickly in list view | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Mac OS 9 feature in Mac OS 10.5 "as good as Windows"? Why not "as good as Mac OS 9"?
Authored by: VRic on Nov 05, '07 12:14:30PM

Even "as good as Windows and OS 9" would nix the "popularity" weakness of that statement, if that's your concern.

As hinted not-so-clearly in the hint, it was standard Finder behaviour before OSX (apart from the deploy/fold shortcuts that used Command-arrow, not just arrow which may or may not prove a bit confusing now that it does two different things depending on the selection).

Windows users may not have liked the Finder, but only us Mac users could find it inexcusably bad, for we knew most of it sucked ferociously compared to old beloved Classic Finder. So it's odd to describe that "new" shortcut as some sort of catching up to Windows when it probably also (hopefully first) answers our gripes, giving us back what used to be ours.

For some time I even used Classic mostly to replace OSX' Finder by a hacked OS9 Finder and Greg's Browser, for those very reasons. And it made much more sense: consistent spatial mode in Classic's Finder, consistent column mode in Greg's Browser, and non-stupid keyboard access in both -- don't get me started about keyboard access in OSX columns mode :-) Maybe that's fixed in Leopard too?

That being said, maybe Apple really forgot all those things that old users are so pissed about, and only reinstated that old Mac feature by copying Windows, but that would be, well, sad.

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Doesn't work?
Authored by: melquiades on Nov 05, '07 01:52:57PM
Am I completely misunderstanding this hint? It doesn't work at all for me. I open a Finder window and switch to list view (cmd-2). The left and right arrows behave exactly the same as the up and down arrows. They don't open or close any folders. This is driving me nuts — I used to use the left and right arrow all the time in List view. If you're using the to open and close folders, I'd love to know about it!

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Doesn't work?
Authored by: TvE on Nov 06, '07 01:21:20PM

Hmm - maybe you're not running OS X 10.5?

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10.5: How to select and close folders quickly in list view
Authored by: corienti on Nov 05, '07 02:40:37PM

Interesting; I just tried it and see what you mean. You forgot to mention, however, that you were using the expansion triangles to open folders; I first had to figure out that that's what you were talking about.

I'm an extreme keyboard fanatic and use list view exclusively 100% of the time; I cannot stand any other views; *especially* column view (and don't even talk about icon view). Coverflow is quite useful sometimes though.

But I never use the expansion triangles. I don't find them useful at all. To go into subfolders, I simply open them, with cmd-down, and go back up with cmd-up. I also use cmd-back (square brace) a fair bit.
Never really got the point of the expansion triangles.

Now that I understand your hint though, I do agree, the keyboard functionality of the expansion triangles, if you use them, is greatly improved in Leopard.

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10.5: How to select and close folders quickly in list view
Authored by: mantrid on Nov 05, '07 02:54:00PM

It's nice if you want to see everything at once.

Try selecting a folder, then press option+<right arrow>. Boom - all of your subfolders are expanded.

Oh, did I mention that System 7 could do that, even though OS 10.0-10.4 couldn't? Well, it's overdue but at least they finally brought that one back.

Unfortunately, there's still a bug. With the folders expanded, try renaming something inside an expanded folder, and press the left-arrow a few times. Instead of moving the insertion point, the folder snaps shut right. Oh well, it is still 10.5.0.

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Yes, the hint title should read "fold", not "close"
Authored by: VRic on Nov 06, '07 06:44:23AM

The feature is called "fold/unfold", not "close/open".

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10.5: How to select and close folders quickly in list view
Authored by: MJCube on Nov 06, '07 10:19:45AM
OS X finally works as well as Windows, which has been doing it correctly for years.

A bit heavy on the opinion of what's "correct" but I'm certainly glad for the change. I have to imagine they did this in response to complaints from Windows switchers.

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10.5: How to see all files within all folders contained in one view
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Nov 12, '07 03:23:49AM
Also if you want to see everything in a folder (assuming there are several folders contained within the main folder)... Simply Command-A, then Option-Command-right arrow And to close everything Option-Command-left arrow If there are folders within folders then just hit Command-A as many times as it takes.

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Arrows work in Finder, not in Save dialog
Authored by: PJASchultz on Dec 15, '08 09:24:42PM

I am having a bit of a weird problem. I use the arrow keys to expand and collapse folders all the time when I'm browsing through files.
However, recently I somehow managed to turn off the folder expansion triangle in the Save/Save As dialog box and don't know how to get it back. Not only can I not use the arrows to navigate folder contents, but the triangle is gone altogether.
Anyone know how to get it back or "turn on" that feature that I somehow turned off?

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