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How to cut and paste files, merge folders System
There is finally a way to cut and paste files and merge folders in Snow Leopard. A new (shareware) Mac menu bar application, called moveAddict, provides this function, so you can use Cmd+X and Cmd+V in the Finder.

First of all, install moveAddict from Kapeli just like any other application. Follow the on-screen instructions and it will place a menu in the upper right System Menus area of the menu bar. You can set the application's preferences from this menu. The application will function in a limited mode until registered.

To move a file:
  • Select the file you want to move (in a new Finder window or the desktop)
  • Press Cmd+X
  • Navigate to the folder where you want to move the file to
  • Press Cmd+V
If you do not want to use keyboard shortcuts, you can click the menu icon to cut and paste.

To merge folders, repeat the steps above, moveAddict will show an alert asking if you want to fully replace folders or merge to them.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. Worth the $4.99 if you need the functionality.]
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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: asmeurer on Jun 29, '10 10:07:33AM

Copy and paste already works. So it seems the only thing this adds it the ability to cut, which eliminates just one extra step.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: kapeli on Jul 01, '10 01:27:07AM

Cut and paste and also folder merge :)

Edited on Jul 01, '10 01:28:52AM by kapeli



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: satcomer on Jun 29, '10 10:13:09AM

I already have this in 10.6.x. So what's the purpose of this hint?



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: crarko on Jun 29, '10 10:15:56AM

The 'merge' feature is something often asked for by folks used to using Windows.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: gidds on Jun 29, '10 10:28:54AM

When I tried it just now on 10.6.4, pasting the folder replaced the existing one; it didn't merge with it.

For example, suppose you have a folder called MyFolder containing a file called File1, and you paste it somewhere that already has a MyFolder containing a File2, then that'll delete File2. Merging would end up with a copy of File1 and the existing File2 together in the resulting folder.

---
Andy/


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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: kapeli on Jun 29, '10 12:07:40PM

That's exactly how moveAddict works. Are you sure you used the Finder or moveAddict? Did you get an alert from moveAddict asking if you want to merge or replace the folders, or the standard Finder replace alert?



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: llee on Jun 29, '10 12:20:26PM

I've been using a script for years to do what you describe, which I call "overlaying", but I'm curious about what the term "merge" means for the moveAddict method regarding files with the same name that exist in the same relative hierarchical location in both source folders. What happens to those? Is one or are they both renamed so that both exist as unique files in the resulting merged folder, or does only one remain in the merged folder, essentially resulting in replacement by one or the other (which is, incidentally, the result of my overlay script)?



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: kapeli on Jun 29, '10 12:52:51PM

If there is a file with the same name in both the source and the destination folder. The source folder file will replace the destination one.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: everkleer80 on Jun 30, '10 12:32:58PM

Wow, I didn't realize SL had the copy & paste feature for files, thanks for pointing this out! And nice to see that Apple finally implemented this! Now I don't know why they wouldn't have also added cut & paste... I'm sure my usage habbits are not the same as everyone else's, but I move files/folders a lot more often than I copy them...



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: mmn on Jul 02, '10 06:32:58AM

this has been here for like years before SL…



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: stephen.m on Jun 30, '10 07:32:14AM

LaunchBar also provides keyboard shortcuts for moving and copying files from one folder to another, though I don't think LB can merge folders.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: mantrid on Jun 30, '10 08:38:28AM

This anonymous hint sure sounds like an ad. You would think a "hint" would have mentioned the price instead of leaving it to the editor, and described what the "limited mode" actually limited.

Also, it's probably just me, but I hate these "I didn't like my old platform so switched to the Mac but here's how to make the Mac more like the old platform I didn't like" type of hints.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: Fairly on Jul 01, '10 12:14:23PM

Fully agree. And there's a good reason John Siracusa and others opposed this feature for so long: it's not only Windows, it's also unintuitive and some would say a downright lie. This has "Bad Idea" written all over it.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: kapeli on Jul 01, '10 03:25:30PM

I agree that drag-and-drop is a lot more user-friendly. However, this application is trying to fill a gap for the power users who prefer to use the keyboard. No one is forcing typical users to install this, it just provides an option that power users have always wanted.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: kapeli on Jul 01, '10 03:38:38PM

I, the developer of this application, have submitted this hint. I did not pay anyone to accept it. I thought that it would be a great addition to macosxhints, because there have been a lot of other hints showing how to add something like cut and paste for files. Before developing this application, I searched macosxhints looking for a way to cut and paste, and none of the solutions suited my needs.

If Apple would have provided a way of moving files using the keyboard, this application wouldn't have been needed. It's not about copying functions from Windows, it's about adding functions which Mac OS X simply can't perform.

I posted this hint as anonymous because I did not have an account at that time and because the submit a hint form did not ask for a name.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: ottonomy on Jul 05, '10 01:13:38AM
I've never understood the fierce resistance to this functionality from much of the Mac community. My computing experience has been largely Apple-centric since I first sat behind a mouse and keyboard. In my limited use of Windows through the years, the ability to move a file in this way is the only behavior I've wished would someday be imported to the Mac OS. It's not a single step that this saves. One either has to pre-navigate to both the from and to folders in separate windows on a Macintosh, or retrace one's steps to the source folder for deletion. The cut function (however poorly named it might be) allows one to select, cut, and then navigate to the destination directory with no mind to returning to, deleting in , and closing the source directory. The argument against this has always been, "what if you get distracted and forget to paste?" Windows answers this by not removing from the current location until the paste is executed. The subsequent argument to that is, "but that's inconsistent with the convention of 'Cut' in text applications!" True, but it is a safeguard which has no practical downside other than disturbing the purist's sense of semantics. So let's call it 'Move' instead of 'Cut', gain some functionality, and be done with the discussion... Which is part of the name of a little application I've been using for years, Move Items X. It operates from the Finder's contextual menu, so it doesn't really compete in purpose with the product suggested in this hint, but it does offer some additional functionality, such as creating aliases in other than the current directory. Now, with this new gem in my repertoire, I can do some of this from the keyboard and save myself heaps of time. Thank you!

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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: osxpounder on Jun 30, '10 02:05:30PM

I'm grateful for this hint, and of course for my fellow readers' comments.

I've been wanting this since I made the switch to Mac, so long ago I can't remember (it was maybe a year before OSX was shipping on Macs). I started out with PCs, eventually using Windows, and the cut/copy/paste behavior of Windows is one of few things I still miss.

Last year, I found an app that helps me sync folders, and I rely on it now. FoldersSynchronizer is its name. It gives you lots of control (way more than I wanted, but I've found uses for more of its features, over time). My main need was to copy a folder with hundreds of files and folder contents, from one computer to the next, without accidentally destroying a newer file on the destination computer. This app offers something even better than the Windows style of pasting, because I get a single window with all the files listed, marked to show which are about to be replaced. I won't go into more details; suffice to say I'm a happy user of FoldersSynchronizer. I didn't have time to compare many options, but this one fit my needs.



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How to cut and paste files, merge folders
Authored by: llee on Jul 01, '10 11:54:52AM

OK, that's the same action I get with Overlay (http://lonestar.utsa.edu/llee/applescript/overlay.html)

Here's the version I'm using now with Snow Leopard. This one is configured for use with OS X's built-in tar, but it can be used with Helios Xtar also.

----- begin Applescript -----
property the_src_choice : ""
property the_dest_choice : ""
property startnum : 0
property newline : ASCII character 10
property tmpfile : "/tmp/execme.command"

tell application "Finder" to set the the_items to (((folder of the front window) as alias) as list)
set the_dest_choice to (choose folder with prompt "Choose the destination folder or volume.")
my tarcopy(the_items)

on open the_items
set the_dest_choice to (choose folder with prompt "Choose the destination folder or volume.")
my tarcopy(the_items)
end open

on tarcopy(the_items)
set pos_dest to POSIX path of the_dest_choice
tell application "Finder"
set the_src_choice to (item 1 of the_items)
set disksrc to (get disk of the_src_choice)
set srcdiskname to ((characters 1 thru -2 of (disksrc as string)) as string)
try
set ignore privileges of disk srcdiskname to false
end try
set diskspec to (get disk of the_dest_choice)
set diskname to ((characters 1 thru -2 of (diskspec as string)) as string)
try
set ignore privileges of disk diskname to false
end try
end tell

set f to "/usr/bin/"
set c to f & "tar"
set pos_c to POSIX path of c
set the_source to POSIX path of the_src_choice

set theShellScript to "sudo umask 0" & ";" & "(cd" & space & (quoted form of the_source) & ";" & ("sudo" & space & pos_c & space & "clbf 1024 - .)") & space & "|" & space & "(cd" & space & (quoted form of pos_dest) & ";" & ("sudo" & space & pos_c & space & "xbf 1024 -);rm" & space & tmpfile)

do shell script "echo " & quoted form of theShellScript & " > " & tmpfile
repeat
try
do shell script "chmod +x " & tmpfile
do shell script "open -a Terminal.app" & space & tmpfile
exit repeat
on error
delay 1
end try
end repeat
end tarcopy
----- end Applescript -----



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