Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Pausing Finder Copies and Dragging to the App Switcher

Tim Hardwick:

When you copy a large file or folder to another location in Finder using the Copy and Paste options, a pie chart progress indicator next to the copying item’s name gives you an idea of how long the copy will take to complete. If it looks like it’s going to take longer than you’d like, you can always pause the copy and resume it later.


An oft-overlooked function of the App Switcher is its ability to open files. Simply begin to drag a file from a Finder window, then invoke the App Switcher and drag the file onto the relevant app icon in the overlay. Let go of the file and it should open in the selected app.

This is a good list of some less commonly mentioned tips.

6 Comments RSS · Twitter

The Finder copy pausing and the batch renaming interface were both new to me. I guess I’ve been reaching for Name Mangler and shell scripting long enough that I didn’t notice when they added batch renaming. It’s certainly not the most powerful option, but in plenty of cases it’s more than sufficient. These small details are the kind of thing that keep me on the platform.

Yeah, multiple rename is new, as are Folder Actions. Nice touch, those. Not sure why I'd want to interrupt a file transfer, and text snipping really is Mac spice, along with Finder's "Duplicate" command, which will even duplicate volumes into folders on your Desktop. Really wonderful.

But I'm sure Calendar once had a list view? Maybe when it was iCal? In trying it now, I find loads of events that I can't seem to delete despite selecting them and Edit > Delete.

Forgot to add, I thought you should know that you can move files from the Finder using the keyboard. Copy in the usual way, but paste using Opt-Command-V. This mirrors the Option-drag-drop, and is UI-consistent in that the operation is visually atomic without requiring invisible state. This too is relatively new; in the past, if you were a keyboard user, you used Terminal to move files instead of using Finder to copy and then delete, which is less efficient within the same filesystem. (If you're blind, you get to sardonically observe that Apple's feel-good commitment to accessibility is as nothing compared to its upholding of dogmatically-inspired but ultimately impractical and unimportant visual metaphors which other platforms are happy to set aside. You know, just to keep things balanced.)

Yeah, the move command in Finder is good imo. If you think about it, the cut command on other platforms’ file browsers makes no sense: when you cut text, it’s immediately removed from the document, but when you cut files, the files are still there (maybe with some visual effect to indicate state). If only it didn’t take them over a decade to figure this interaction out.

Another good one that they’ve updated recently is the Go to Folder… (⌘⇧G) command in Finder and file dialogs. It now has a recents list, and supports tab completion with partial substring matching (eg ~/Pies will suggest ~/Pictures).

As for Folder Actions, haven’t they been around a really long time? I remember seeing them back in Panther.

The list view of the Calendar is still there, with a twist: put a comma , into the search field an you get an list of all events.
Also the Delete in list is working by select some events and prss the forward del-key. Be careful, the events will be deleted from the calendar but they stay in the list until you do a refresh.

@Ghost Quartz I agree, glad they figured it out and it makes sense for the platform, but I think it's precisely this sort of exacting conformism that really distinguishes it, and it's not clear to me that alternatives wouldn't have been possible, albeit that they would mean departing from using the pasteboard metaphor. It's great when it works, less good if you're stuck because it only works visually and you're (intentionally or unintentionally) non-visual. Didn't they have a way to examine the pasteboard once, something called "Clip Book"? And, perhaps as a counterexample, you can close the file transfer windows in Finder and run file copies in the background essentially invisibly (also very recent, I think), so it's not clear to me that it's an iron-clad rule anyway. But still, all good things come to those who wait, eh?

Yup, Go To Folder is awesome, except when it tries to autocomplete URLs for network protocols, then it buggers up your typing and you have to go back and carefully edit ...

And you're right, sorry, I mean Quick Actions, e.g. converting images. Came in very helpful for me recently. Like "Services" but exposed in UI. Yup, Folder Actions still work and are good too. In fact the whole platform is just one big bag of nuts and bolts you can put together in useful ways, if you aren't willing to pay someone. I do love that aspect.

@bb Thanks for the heads-up and warning. I have a lot of junk wants clearing out of my calendar.

Leave a Comment