Mac Tricks and Tips for those used to MS Windows

I used to really miss the ability in Windows to copy a folder location as text and paste it into another dialog box to go right there.

I just discovered that the Mac allows you to drag any file/folder right into the dialog box. So Cool, you can do it almost anywhere.

When doing an import into photos, you can click on Import and then drag the folder from finder right into the dialog box.

The other thing that I missed was the ability to do a . and see everything in a folder, including sub-folders. I just discovered that you can be in Finde, column view, select all of the sub-folders and hit the right arrow to see all of the files.

Hi Steve

Copy path is available - basically the location as text.

2020-12-29 at 7.42 pm


You can still get the file path in finder for an individual file or multiple selected files, with the file(s) selected right/alternate click, with the context menu showing press the option key and ‘copy [file]’ changes to ‘copy [file] as pathname’.

For photos, you don’t need to open the import box, you can just drag the photos straight onto the photos application window.

The one that threw me the most when moving Windows to Mac was Cut & Pasting files - on Mac you copy the file then hold option key when pasting to ‘paste & delete source’.
Not sure if it’s still true on windows but it used to be the case that if you cut a file to the clipboard it was removed from “disk” & only existed on the clipboard. If you cut/copied another file to the clipboard it overwrote the 1st file so you could unintentionally loose a file there. Hopefully no longer the case but in light of that the Mac way makes more sense! :wink:

In Windows, Control-X to “cut” the file appears to do nothing until you go to the destination folder and do a Control-V to “paste”. That moves the file. Likewise a Control-C to “copy” the file appears to do nothing until you go to the destination folder and do a Control-V to “paste”. If the paste is not performed before another cut or copy, the file remains unchanged in its original location.

On a Mac, at one time only the copy action was implemented, ⌘C and then ⌘V to paste. ⌘X to cut the file (for a paste) was not implemented at all because following the paradigm for ⌘X on selected text the file would have to disappear and this was viewed as a potentially disturbing operation. Instead at one point (I don’t remember which macOS version) ⌘⌥V was added to be a move following a ⌘C. This way the file doesn’t ever disappear.

I still come across Windows users who criticize macOS for the lack of cut and paste of files. The capability is there, it just works differently!


ah, cool, I thought they’d probably fix it at some point. I discovered the problem the hard way many years ago and kept meaning to investigate to see if it was still an issue.

My first Mac OS was Sierra and the ⌘⌥V was present at that point, even if I did have to google how to do it! :wink:

If you have Keyboard Maestro you can recode any windows shortcuts (e.g. print screen). I’ve also used it to convert windows paths sent to me to the equal Mac path which is incredibly handy.

Few resources for switchers