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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

clicking inactive finder and clicking again to select WITHOUT opening a folder


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MACoroni

 
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I frequently have to do some tedious comparison work looking at two folders side by side in different finder windows to try and make them mirror one another. In this process I like to have my folder in list view and to open folder trees using the arrow buttons to expand/collapse a directory tree rather than double clicking and opening a folder.

Often I have to switch active finder windows in this process and click on a folder in the inactive window so I can expand or collapse it. Clicking on a folder in the inactive window once makes it that window active but doesn't select the folder, I can deal with this, and in most situations that's a good idea but infuriatingly, clicking once again on the folder I want is interpreted as a double click which then opens the folder. I can work around this by either waiting at least 1-1.5 seconds between clicks or clicking elsewhere on the inactive window first and then moving the cursor down to where I want it with mouse or arrow keys but this is far from ideal. The task I'm trying to do is extraordinarily tedious and painstaking and these little annoyances waste a lot of time and slowly build up to a blinding rage. Is there no way to make it so it doesn't do this? Frankly I think it's a pretty terrible idea but maybe it's just because I have this specific activity in mind that perhaps most people don't have to do on their macs.

To double click a folder in order to deliberately open it rather than just expand it requires me to double click in such a way that it would be hard to accidentally do it, the double click speed is set to a normal amount that is workable and fine, it's only in switching from active and inactive windows that this changes and the time allowed between clicks before they're registered as separate clicks is lengthened considerably. I can see maybe this is done so that if you specifically wanted to open a folder in a currently inactive window rather than expand it, there'd have to be 3 clicks rather than 2 unless unless the double click speed is adjusted the way that it currently is and that I've described, but I basically never want to do that and would rather just have to click 3 times on those rare occasions and have the double click speed remain unaffected.

I hope I've explained this properly, it's a minor annoyance that gradually becomes infuriating.

EDIT: Okay just realised I haven't described this properly in fact my double click speed is unaffected by whether or not a window is active or inactive it's just that the initial click for making the window active is considered one of two clicks for selecting the folder but doesn't highlight it blue so that it doesn't SEEM like it is selected. The reason it opens isn't because there's a slower double click speed suddenly like I described it's just that I don't realise that I've already technically clicked a folder once already so when I click it again it's now a second click and is registered as a double click. I'd still like to know how to stop this. I don't want to adjust my double click speed because I like it as it is, I just want when I click on a folder in an inactive window for that folder to either: 1. be selected and highlighted the same way clicking once would do in an active window OR 2. not be selected at all requiring me to click once more but this second click would be registered as the first as the initial click was only for making the folder active.
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toMACsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACoroni View Post
Clicking on a folder in the inactive window once makes it that window active but doesn't select the folder,
It does for me. I can click a folder in the inactive window, then click Get Info in the menu bar, and it opens, thus "proving" that the folder was selected. Now, do you mean something different by "selected"?

Action on an Inactive Window:
Click directly on a folder or file. The window becomes active, and that folder or file is highlighted, or "selected" in my sense of that term.
Click on a space between folders. The window becomes active, but no folder or file is highlighted.

Am I missing something? (I have OS 10.5.8)
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BrianLachoreVPI

 
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If I read that correctly - you're not enjoying the fact that the first click is making that Finder window active - and then you have to do a normal double click. You could always use a keyboard shortcut to change active windows - and then a normal double click. For instance - try cmd+` to switch between active finder windows and then perform the desired action on a folder in that newly activated window.
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mrplow

 
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You might want to look at Total Finder. I think it's $12. Amongst other things it brings tabs to Findar.

CMD+U opens up two tabs side-by-side . . . .

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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6string

 
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Ok.... looks like I'm going to have to read this over and over again tomorrow when I've had more sleep, other than saying click on a window, and it is the active window, adjust your clicking speed accordingly, and use shortcuts if that doesn't work for you.
Don't mean to sound harsh, but this sounds like a rant!
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MACoroni

 
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Having examined my issue again I can describe it more simply. And yes it sort of was a rant but I didn't just come on to mac forums and dump a long rant at people there was a serious question about this aspect of the user interface for Mac OS.

So, to summarise,

What I want to happen: When one active window is selected and I click on a folder in another, inactive window, the folder clicked on should not only be selected but highlighted to indicate that it has been selected

What seems to be happening: When one active windows is selected and I click on a folder in another inactive window, the folder clicked on isn't apparently selected, so in order to highlight it I need to click again (irritating but tolerable). Clicking again causes the folder to be opened rather than highlighted because the first time I clicked it although it was not highlighted it was still technically clicked once.

To the person on 10.5.8, I can't explain why you don't have this problem, I wish I could say the same, it may be a result of the fact that I'm viewing my folders in list view but this is the view that best suits the task I'm trying to accomplish.

Thanks for help people.
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northrnchimp

 
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I know exactly what you mean, and I think this must be OS wide, as it happens to me with Thunderbird (though it never used to happen in Windows) - when focus is on a reply mail, but I want to switch back to the main mail window and select a mail item. Nope, can't be done without opening the item, UNLESS, as you say, I wait a moment for the second click. The only solution I could manage was increasing the double-click speed threshold to one below the fastest (oddly on the fastest setting I couldn't actually open folders with a double-click any more - I wasn't fast enough - I must be getting old, it never would have happened in my gaming years!)
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Discerptor

 
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Step 1: Download muCommander
Step 2: Use it instead of Finder.
Step 3: ????
Step 4: Profit
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toMACsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACoroni View Post
To the person on 10.5.8, I can't explain why you don't have this problem, I wish I could say the same, it may be a result of the fact that I'm viewing my folders in list view but this is the view that best suits the task I'm trying to accomplish.
That might be it. I neglected to say that my test was done in Icon View. I'll try List tonight.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
Step 1: Download muCommander
Step 2: Use it instead of Finder.
+1 for muCommander. It's a file manager program very similar to the old Norton Commander that some of used years ago on DOS machines. I use it all the time. It greatly simplifies the list view and find view for the Finder.
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toMACsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toMACsh View Post
That might be it. I neglected to say that my test was done in Icon View. I'll try List tonight.
Works the same for me in either list or icon view. (10.5.8)
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