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  1. #1


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    Cut/Paste files on Mac?
    This has frustrated me since I got my Mac and can't figure out why it happens. When I try to cut/paste files, it just makes the BEEP "can't do this" sound. Instead, I have to copy them all over, then delete them, or re-arrange the window sizes so I can drag and drop. Really silly that I can't just cut/paste to accomplish the same thing!

    How can I fix this/why does Mac not allow me to do this?

  2. #2

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Can't "fix" it. Mac OS does not support cut for files. Never has, not sure it ever will. Don't get mad, adapt.

    But, you don't have to copy and then delete. You can move them. Essentially, that's what cut and paste in Windows is. To move files, just drag them from one location to another on the same drive or device.

  3. #3

    cradom's Avatar
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    And to move to another device, just command-drag.
    Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. Then do it!
    -Lazarus Long

  4. #4

    cwa107's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if the feature was added with 10.7 or just the fact that I use TotalFinder, but I can cut/copy/paste files to my heart's content.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    It's a safety thing. People are too distract-able these days, so you can copy/paste files but not cut/paste them, since you might forget to paste (because the phone rang, or a shiny thing went by, etc).

  6. #6


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    Ironic they have a safety measure for not accidentally cutting/not pasting while not supporting automatic saving in iWork. Ohhh Mac...

    Is there a way to move the stuff without physically dragging? Doing that often requires re-sizing the windows to allow for a drag. It's not a huge deal, but definitely takes a bit longer and becomes a pain when doing it frequently.

  7. #7

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    What version of OSX are you running? iWork and most apps in OSX Lion Auto Save.

  8. #8

    Discerptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo8899 View Post
    This has frustrated me since I got my Mac and can't figure out why it happens. When I try to cut/paste files, it just makes the BEEP "can't do this" sound. Instead, I have to copy them all over, then delete them, or re-arrange the window sizes so I can drag and drop. Really silly that I can't just cut/paste to accomplish the same thing!

    How can I fix this/why does Mac not allow me to do this?
    Command + C on the file you want to move as if you were going to copy it, but use Command + Option + V to paste it and it will act as a cut instead of a copy. This is assuming you're using Lion, of course.

  9. #9

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Disceptor, is this new to Lion's finder? I don't remember that working in older OSX versions.

  10. #10

    Doug b's Avatar
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    Lol... Yeah, it's a new Lion feature. I've mentioned it a few times, and it went ignored because people (old Mac hens) don't give a hoot.

    Another new feature I really like (and wish they'd make global somehow) is when in Preview, hold down the tilde key, and it opens an magnifying box.

    Doug

  11. #11

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Lol... Yeah, it's a new Lion feature. I've mentioned it a few times, and it went ignored because people (old Mac hens) don't give a hoot.

    Another new feature I really like (and wish they'd make global somehow) is when in Preview, hold down the tilde key, and it opens an magnifying box.

    Doug
    I somehow missed your posts about it. Me Bad!

    Want a Hen egg Doug?

  12. #12

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Or you can just purchase a copy of TotalFinder, one of the best purchases you'll ever make for your Mac, and cut, copy and paste just as you would in most other OSes.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  13. #13

    Aqua's Avatar
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    (copied from How to cut/paste files & folders in OS X [Archive] - MacRumors Forums

    1) command+drag = move
    2) option+drag=copy
    3) option=command+drag=make alias(shortcut)

    Just to clarify a few things...

    File management within the same drive/partition:
    1) The act of drag-drop alone will move the file. There is no need to use "command+drag"
    2) If you want to duplicate the file. Then option+drag is what you want (as others have pointed out, a green circle with a "+" will be displayed under the curser).

    File management across two different drives/partitions:
    1) Drag-drop alone will duplicate the file onto the second drive by default. Option+drag not necessary.
    2) If you wish to move the file (leaving no copy on the original drive), then command+drag comes into play. The green-circle with the "+" icon will disappear from beneath the cursor.

    Both cases:
    3) Making aliases is the same for each. alt+command+drag

    NOTE: for PC keyboards Command (Cmd) = windows key and Option = Alt

    if you want to install your own keyboard shortcuts for cut/paste functionality until Apple decides to make it official do this:

    Install OnMyCommand from free.abracode.com/cmworkshop.
    (By copying the program file to Applications.)
    Install OMCEdit from inside the OnMyCommand package (by copying the program file to Applications).
    Install Shortcuts from free.abracode.com/cmworkshop.
    Go to free.abracode.com/cmworkshop -> Online archive of user submitted commands -> view "File" commands by category -> 212 Cut Item(s) -> Open (Firefox gives a inappropriate error window.) Then save that text file somewhere.
    Do the same with 213 Paste Item(s).
    Run OMCEdit and File -> Import those two commands.
    You can now ctrl click -> Cut and Paste Item(s) Finder items.
    Now quit OMCEdit and run Shortcuts.
    On the Setup tab start the ShortcutObserver and add it to your login startup.
    On the Assign Hot Keys tab under File select Cut Item(s) and assign it Shift Command X.
    Under Folder select Paste Item(s) and assign it Shift Command V (or whatever you want that doesn't conflict with other shortcuts).

    Quit Shortcuts and give it a try!

    Many thanks to Abracode, Knut Lorenzen and Fredrik Andersson!

    or you could try Pathfinder from Path Finder 5 by Cocoatech
    invincible ignorance” is an example of ignorance that can not be removed by any amount of evidence. It's now a widespread form of pollution. (Revised quote) An apple a day, keeps the psychiatrist away.. If you play a Windows install CD backwards it has satanic verses

  14. #14

    Doug b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    I somehow missed your posts about it. Me Bad!

    Want a Hen egg Doug?
    Is it golden?

    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    Or you can just purchase a copy of TotalFinder, one of the best purchases you'll ever make for your Mac, and cut, copy and paste just as you would in most other OSes.
    I actually have a copy of this, but was always wary of running another file manager just because, well... it seems weird to run one when it just takes up more resources on top of Finder. I really wish they'd just enhance Finder.

    @Aqua: I don't think the issue is a matter of being able to move files and not just copy them, it was the issue of using keyboard shortcuts to do so IMO. It's a different dynamic which some people prefer over the former method.

    Doug

  15. #15

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Is it golden?



    I actually have a copy of this, but was always wary of running another file manager just because, well... it seems weird to run one when it just takes up more resources on top of Finder. I really wish they'd just enhance Finder.
    It's not another file manager though - it grafts right on top of Finder and adds to existing window/menus and expands them. I'm not usually one to run extra bloat to supplement the deficiencies of an OS, but in this case, I make an exception. I have yet to see any downside from a resource utilization perspective.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

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