Gather files fast with this Lion Tip


Gather files fast with this Lion Tip
Mac Tip #520, 25 January 2012

If you’re like me one or more of the folders on your Mac has a huge mess of unsorted files in it. To clean up you may like to move those files to various subfolders. Lion’s New Folder with Selection command makes this a whole lot easier than it used to be. Here’s how it works.

Quick Start

  1. Make sure you’re using Lion, OS 10.7.
  2. Select a group of files in the Finder.
  3. Choose New Folder with Selection ([x] items) from the File menu.

Want more detail? Read the full Tip below.

Select multiple files

If you’re cleaning up a mess of files you may want to move some to one folder and others to other folders. The old way involved making folders first. But in Lion you can start with selecting the files.

In Icon, List or CoverFlow view one easy way to select a bunch of files that are next to one another is to click near one of the files and drag a selection rectangle around the files you need. As you drag, files within the selection rectangle are selected. See later in this Tip for other ways to select multiple files.

Use the New Folder with Selection command

New Folder with Selection.

New Folder with Selection (8 Items).

Provided you have more than 1 file selected Lion now gives you the option to make a folder containing those files. Use one of these methods:

  • Control (⌃) click within the selection. A contextual menu appears. Choose the first item: New Folder with Selection ([x] items). The [x] will be replaced with the actual number of items you have selected.
  • Go to the File menu and choose New Folder with Selection ([x] items). The [x] will be replaced with the actual number of items you have selected.
  • Type Control (⌃) Command (⌘) N.

A new folder is created and named New Folder WIth Items. The name is selected ready for you to edit though.

New Folder with Items - rename this folder.

New Folder with Items – rename this folder.

Type a useful name for the folder and press Return to finish the task.

Select with a modifier key

If selecting a group of files in the first place is a challenge here are some tips. Note that the modifier keys may have different results depending which View you’re using.

Shift click

In List, Column or CoverFlow view click on one file then hold down the Shift (⇧) key. Keep the Shift (⇧) key down and scroll if you need to then click on another file. All the files between the first and second clicks will be selected.

In Icon view this technique simply adds whichever files you click on with the Shift (⇧) key down to the selection.

Command click

In all views click on one file then hold down the Command (⌘) key. Keep the Command (⌘) key down and scroll if you need to then click on another file. Every file you click on will be added to the selection. Command click on an already selected file to remove it from the selection.

If you already have the Command (⌘) key down the Shift (⇧) key has no effect.

Update: oops! An earlier version of this had Control (⌃) key where of course it should have been Command (⌘) key. Thanks to alert reader Graham for spotting this.

What do you think? Did you try this Tip out? Tell us in the Comments online how this Tip helped you.

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4 Comments

  1. Graham McKay said:

    Umm – last paragraph, when you say “Control key” I think you mean “Command key”? Or have I missed something?

    • Miraz Jordan said:

      Thanks for the catch Graham! I can’t believe I switched the 2 keys for the entire section there! Some brain glitch going on…

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