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In Windows to move a specific file(s) and/or folder(s), we can ctrl+x (Cut) after selecting sources & ctrl+v (Paste) - very simple way to move.

Another easy option is to just press F4 & type address where you want to jump in Windows explorer. (Yep! Even with auto complete.)

My question is somewhat like this - what is the best way to explore your files in Finder?

I mean, there is no option like cut - not even "move to folder" or "copy to folder", "create new shortcut" is far different - here alias.

I mean, I am feeling "not used to" to a Mac. What's your suggestions to have grip on Mac OS X? Why is it necessary to use a mouse to move files? Why am I forced to use a mouse? It's not like that I hate mouse use. The thing is it's very ridiculous to use mouse for each & every operation.

What are:

  • Better ways to explore in the Finder?
  • Tricks to help explore in the Finder?
  • How to operate the Finder most efficiently?
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In the Finder the keyboard shortcut to "Go to Folder…" is shiftG

Unfortunately, the Mac OS X Finder is widely regarded as the weak point to Apple's operating system. If you're looking for Cut/Paste support in the Finder, one solution to try is a Finder replacement called Path Finder. It has many other enhancements that make it a more powerful file browser than the Finder.

If you're looking for keyboard control in file manipulation/launching, you could try a utility like Quicksilver (free) or LaunchBar, both sport an easy way to navigate files with the keyboard. Quicksilver even supports an easy way to move files similar to, but more powerful than, Windows cut/paste.

Edit: Here's the Quicksilver tutorial page. From your question, I'm guessing this is the sort of utility you'd enjoy, as it gives you keyboard control magic.

Edit 2: Woo, old answer! Maybe about time I updated it. The Finder has added support for keyboard moving of files since OS X Lion. C to copy a file, V to paste a copy in the new location, V to permanently move the copied file to the new location.

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  • 3
    Might want to update the answer /wrt OS X Lion, which enables Cut/Paste
    – slhck
    Nov 25 '11 at 22:35
  • 1
    @slhck While it is finally possible to move files entirely with hotkeys, it doesn't work in quite the way a Windows user would expect Cut/Paste to function. Rather than Cmd-X -> Cmd-V, the command is now Cmd-C -> Cmd-Opt-V. That will move the Cmd-C'd file to the new destination. Dec 4 '13 at 23:09
  • @CoreDumpError To be fair, "cutting" a file is a dangerous operation. What happens if the power goes out or a software bug freezes the Finder when the file is on the clipboard? What if you change your mind during the operation but have already navigated out of the source folder of the file and forgot where it came from? Having the move be a destination command by holding option is more sensible and safe.
    – ghoppe
    Dec 5 '13 at 0:06
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    In Windows, "cutting" a file doesn't actually remove it from its original location until you paste it somewhere else. The file explorer fades the icon to indicate that it's been "cut", but if you put something else on the clipboard, the icon fades back in. Dec 5 '13 at 8:24
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In 10.7 you can press ⌥⌘V to Move Selection Here. ⌘C,⌥⌘V is equivalent to what ⌘X,⌘V should do.

Another thing that was finally fixed is that you can now copy files, move them to the trash, and then paste them from the trash.

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  • For people coming from windows: ⌘+C does the selection (copy or cut does not matter) of the file.The second step determines how it is done. Usually it is copied. Pressing ⌥ along with ⌘+C for pasting makes it cut the source file. In windows it is just vice versa. The first step select the source to copy or paste. The second step just inserts. Sep 14 '17 at 7:34
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Copy and Paste works with files in the finder. Cutting and Pasting (i.e. moving) was disabled for some reason. I miss it too!

You can always use the terminal to move/copy/link files (incl. auto completion!)

cp -R /source/folder /destination/
mv /files/to/move/* /destination/directory/
ln -s /file/to/link /file/to/link/to

There is a nice tool called "Visor" that lets you bind your terminal to a hotkey and pop it op like a quake console. Another way is using spotlight to open Terminal.

[edit] Another thing came to my mind: You can use "spring loaded folders" (i'm not sure if this feature is called that way) to move (cut-n-paste) files and folders. See this video to get a demo (skip the blabla at the beginning).

In addition to that you can use the modifier keys (ALT, CRTL, APPLE) to define the action you want to execute.

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  • Terminal - it ask for too much typing. Jun 24 '10 at 8:41
  • But there's (AFAIK) no faster way. At least if you are fairly fast on a keyboard and use the command and path completion wisely. And as i stated in my post: There is no such thing as "cutting". So either you drag-n-drop or use the Terminal.
    – lajuette
    Jun 24 '10 at 12:18
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Why not just open two windows, source and destination, and drag the file or files from the source folder window to the destination folder window. If the source and destination files are on different volumes, hold down the "Command" key so the source file is deleted after it is copied to the destination.

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  • Because being forced to use such a complicated mouse gesture, when other operating systems allow this operation with a simple pair of hotkeys, is ridiculous. Dec 4 '13 at 23:11
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I'm in a similar situation. The best I have found, using keys is:

  1. navigate to file
  2. +C to copy file
  3. +N to open new window
  4. navigate to move destination (+up to go up folder)
  5. +V to paste file
  6. +W to close window
  7. +Delete to delete the original

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