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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder System 10.6
Snow Leopard only hintMany ex-Windows users are frustrated by the fact that (in a standard Snow Leopard installation), there is no way to move files/folders using only the keyboard. In Windows, this is a Ctrl+X/Ctrl+V keystroke pair. In OS X, the Command+X equivalent is not enabled in the Finder.

I have developed an easy way to get equivalent functionality for free using by creating an Automator service in OS X 10.6.

There are some shareware utilities to enable 'Command+X' -- but for relatively minor functionality, they are big RAM hogs. Besides, I think that cutting and pasting a file is illogical and not directly connected to what the you are doing - you are really moving the file!

My Automator workflow is called 'Move Selected Items.' I have bound it to the keyboard shortcut of Command+Control+M.

To install it and assign the keyboard shortcut:
  • Download the workflow and save it to ~/Library/Services (for the use of the current user only) or /Library/Services (for the use of all users).
  • Double click the workflow to activate it in Finder. Automator will open. When you have finished looking at the Workflow, save it and exit.
  • Open System Preferences » Keyboard » Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Click on Services, and scroll down to 'Files and Folders'. Double click in the shortcut space to the right of the 'Move Selected Items' label and press Cmd+Ctrl+M (or whatever keyboard equivalent you wish to use).
That's it; you can now move files and folders using only the keyboard, to your heart's content. Don't forget that you can navigate up and down the folder hierarchy using Cmd+Up Arrow; or Cmd+Down Arrow.

To use the service, you:
  • Select the files/folders you want to move,
  • Press your keyboard shortcut (Cmd+Ctrl+M). A Finder dialog box will appear asking you to choose a destination for the items you are moving.
  • Press the Down Arrow key to navigate the file structure using the keyboard.
  • When you have the destination folder selected, press Return and the files will be moved there.
NOTES:
  • The Finder 'Undo' function does not work with this. Once your items are moved, it is done.
  • If you try to move items to a subfolder of the item you are moving, or if you don't have write permission to the destination folder, you will get a workflow error.
  • If a file of the same name already exists, it will not be moved. There is no message to warn you of this.
  • If you change your mind before you have selected a destination, just press the Escape key.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described.]
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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder | 8 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder
Authored by: sfgecko on Feb 03, '11 09:32:23AM

i use TotalFinder which does cut/paste of files in finder.
http://totalfinder.binaryage.com/



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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder
Authored by: afingal on Feb 03, '11 11:49:09AM

I think a better metaphor for moving files in the Finder with keyboard shortcuts would be "pick up" and "put down." So, command+u would make sense for "pick up."



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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder
Authored by: dgrman on Feb 03, '11 08:21:04PM

Great work dude, this is really handy. I am amazed at the ingenuity on display in this forum. It's becoming a part of my daily ritual to check the forum and usually learn something new. I thought I had a reasonable grasp of OS X, but I'm learning that I don't use it to anywhere near its full potential. I would never have come up with this by myself. Thanks.



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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder
Authored by: dboone21 on Feb 08, '11 04:48:13AM

This is great. Having one problem - can't save to /Library/Services because I can't find the folder... why can't I find my /Services folder? I searched in spotlight, unhid hidden files and folders, checked from my user folder /Library, my other device folders then /Library... and it's not there. Running MBA on latest version of Snow Leopard, and feeling pretty dumb...



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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder
Authored by: tbuddy on Feb 08, '11 08:55:24AM

Holding the command key and dragging a folder moves the files and you can undo it. Invoking Automator seems like more work than depressing the command key.



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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder
Authored by: dboone21 on Feb 08, '11 07:38:17PM

Nevermind, saw in another posting that if you can't find Library/Services, just create the Services folder. The workflow works great. Thanks!



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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder
Authored by: durgadas on Feb 15, '11 05:31:46PM

Yes, Move Addict also does this.

Regis Chapman
regischapmandesign.com



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10.6: Create a shortcut to move files in Finder
Authored by: Stibble on Mar 18, '11 04:30:08PM

This sounds like just what I need BUT....when I get to the 'services' pane in sys prefs...there's nothing in the box, nothing to scroll down to etc. And when I try to add one (across 'all apps') it asks for an exact name. I havent really used Automator in the past (tho am an experienced macuser generally). Should I be copying the workflow title in here ? Or dragging ? Ha sit changed in 10.6.6 ? Any help appreciated as dragging files into obscure folders via the finder takes forever and an inadvertant click can really mess me about

T.I.A.



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