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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file Desktop
If you have a bunch of folders open in the Finder and you need to drag an icon to one of those folders, the folder you want to drag to may be behind another window. Therefore, you would have to bring it to the front first or use Exposť, but, this hint isn't about Exposť. Let me explain how to do this.

If you click and start dragging the file and then press Command-~, the Finder will not rotate through windows. Instead, try this. Click and hold on the file you want to drag but do not start dragging. Now press Command-~ to rotate through the open windows, stopping when the window you want is frontmost. Now start dragging your icon, and drop it wherever you like in the chosen window.

Also, if you are dragging a Application from a downloaded disk image, you can click and hold on the icon and press Command-Shift-A (or any of the other shortcuts in the Go menu), and the Applications window will pop to the front -- then you can continue to drag your file into it.
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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file | 12 comments | Create New Account
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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: momerath on Dec 11, '07 09:01:59AM

Good hint. I prefer starting the drag, hitting the exposť hotkey, and then dropping it where I want.



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: vekkt0r on Dec 11, '07 10:05:50AM

Thanks!
Have been looking for a way to switch window when dragging without expose.
Having problems using keyboard shortcuts when dragging files though, if I just click and hold the icon then press shortcut it goes to folder but I cant drag the file any more even though im still holding down the mouse button :(



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: vekkt0r on Dec 11, '07 10:11:54AM

hmm nvm, worked when the toolbar was invisible, which is the only time it is useful.



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: kikjou on Dec 11, '07 10:58:29AM

I prefer this method: I have set the lower left corner to activate "show all windows". I then click and hold the file from one Finder window and move it briefly into the lower left corner while still holding it. This will show all windows. I then hold the file over the destination window, wait a second until it becomes active and drop the file. This is way faster than hitting a key during the process nor does it require to be really quick with pressing command-~ while trying not to move your mouse.



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: MartiNZ on Dec 11, '07 02:33:16PM

I've always liked this method but given the 'don't start dragging' requirement, I've also always wondered if it was actually intended. I like having Finder windows set to appear in a particular position (approximately centred), at least those I can be bothered opening, repositioning, resizing and closing, and so the cmd-~ method tends to be very useful. The cmd-shift-A and other similar additions, I had not considered - cheers!

In Leopard, the cmd-~ method does not work in list or cover flow view. I don't recall if that was true of Tiger's list view.



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: sim on Dec 11, '07 04:17:43PM

I prefer the Expoť method : command-~ is 2 keys, Exposť is one key (or mouse button) away...



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: DarthMagnus on Dec 11, '07 07:54:47PM

This also works with Spaces. Drag a file or a window and use Ctl-arrow or Ctl-number and the dragged item will zoom along to the next space with you.



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: ihadmeavision on Dec 11, '07 08:04:55PM

Very strange, it doesn't work for me on a Macbook pro and Leopard. :(



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: ihadmeavision on Dec 13, '07 07:49:11AM

And it also doesn't work with my Mac Pro at work. And yes I followed the instructions. This would be a killer tip and I would use it all the time if it worked for me. Whatzup???



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: greed on Dec 16, '07 09:47:36AM

It's probably VERY difficult to do this with a mouse. Us trackpad and trackball users have the advantage of being able to leave the pointer perfectly stationary while pressing the button.

That's why a poster above suggested this one might not have been on purpose. Apple would have taken care to allow some "slop" in the pointer position, as the mouse is likely to shift a pixel or two on a button press. Well, I know it does when I use one...




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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: macintown on Dec 12, '07 03:37:43AM

The Finder windows work fine, but moving a file from a disk image or any other folder to the Applications (Apple-Shift-5) does not.



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Switch Finder windows while dragging a file
Authored by: nosredna1 on Dec 16, '07 02:58:55PM

I don't understand why you have to hit Command-~. I just experimented by opening three Finder windows, overlapping each other. I selected a file from the frontmost window to put it in a folder in the window furthest back. As I dragged from the front window to the next, to the middle one, to the back one, each one popped to the front, till I was able to drop the file where I wanted it. (My right hand was doing this with my mouse, and my left hand was doing nothing.)



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