4/26/219:00 am Mac Basics: Drag and Drop Drag and drop is one of the most basic skills you need to master to get the most from your Mac. You can use drag and drop to move files, rearrange items, move content from one app to another, and much more. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let me show you the basics of using Drag and Drop on your Mac. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 900 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. Drag and Drop is one of the most basic skills that you need to master to use your Mac. Basically, you're going to move your pointer to an item, like a file here in the Finder, and then you're going to click and continue to hold down on the trackpad or mouse. Then you can move and the item will move with the pointer. Then you move it to the location where you want it to go and release your finger on the trackpad or mouse. This is a drag and drop. So this is the most basic example. To move a file from one location to another using two Finder windows. You can also drag and drop within a single Finder window. So if I wanted to move that same file into this folder I can simply drag it into that folder. There's a lot that goes on that can help you when you're dragging and dropping. For instance if I were to do that again but hesitate above this folder it would eventually open up. This is called Spring Loading. Now I'm in that folder. I can move down even further into another folder and then drop the file in there. But you can also drag and drop to other locations. For instance, you have all these locations in the Finder sidebar. You can drag and drop to one of those as well. You could also select multiple items and drag them at the same time. The way to do that is to use the Command key. Select your first item then hold the Command key down and select another item. While you continue to hold the Command key down you could select several more items. So now I have four items selected. I can now release the Command key and then drag any one of those and all four will come together. So I can move all four of these to another folder. In Icon View you could also click where there is no item and drag and a rectangle will form. Anything that is under the rectangle will be selected. So I could select a whole group of files like this and then drag and drop that group. This works in other Finder views as well. So let's switch from Icon View to List View. Here we can see the files in List View and I could select one and drag it into a folder, drag it to another Finder window. I could select multiple ones using the Command key just like before. I could also select a file and then use the Shift key and it will select a range in either List or Column View. Then I could drag that whole group. But moving files around is just the beginning. You could also drag a file or other type of item onto to something to perform an action. For instance in the second Finder window here I'm going to go to the Applications folder. So now I see a list of all my applications. I can open a file in an application by simply dragging and dropping it onto Pages and it will open it up in Pages. But usually you don't open the Application's folder for that. Instead you use the Dock at the bottom. So you can drag a file like this to one of these icons for an application and it will open it up in that application. Now only the application's that support that kind of file will work. So, for instance, TextEdit will work and Pages will work and other apps that you have that will take text files like the Notes app will work as well. Now it's really handy when you have documents that can be opened by multiple apps. For instance you may have any image file and you could open an image file in Preview. But also you may have an app like Pixelmator Pro, Acorn, or Affinity Photo. If you double click it will only open it up in the default app. But if you drag and drop to that app in the Dock then you can select the app each time you open the document. Different apps deal with the document in different ways. For instance, let's drag this image file here into the Mail app. What it's going to do then is open up a new composition window, put the image there as an attachment, so Mail handles it differently than say an image editing app. Now you can also drag files into the document windows for other apps. So, for instance, here I am in Pages and I have a document open. If I want to insert an image in this document I could simply drag the image directly into the document and it will insert it in there. The same thing works in Mail. If I'm composing a message I can drag and drop an image into the message. In the Messages app here, right in the middle of a conversation, I could drag and drop an image right to the message area there and it inserts it in. But this also works going from App to App. So here I've got the Photos App and I can browse through all my Photos. Then here I've got Mail. I'm composing a message. I can drag and drop a photo directly from the Photos App into a Mail composition window and it inserts the image in there. I didn't have to export from Photos first and then take that file and attach it. You could see that works in Messages as well. I can drag right from Photos into Messages. You could drag and drop from Photos to the Finder to export a photo. But you could also drag and drop a file from the Finder into Photos to import it. Inside of apps you can drag and drop things. So here I am in the Photos app. If I wanted to add a photo to an album here in the sidebar I can drag and drop the photo right to the album. Likewise in the Music App I can drag and drop a song into a playlist. In the Mail App I can drag and drop a message like this one into a Mailbox or Folder. In Preview when you're viewing a PDF you can bring up the thumbnails in the sidebar here. You can move pages around by dragging and dropping the pages to change the order. I could even drag and drop a PDF file into another PDF file adding it right here as a page inside this document. Or if I open up the document here, view the thumbnails, I can drag and drop a page from one to the other to move documents around inside a PDF documents all with just drag and drop. Now you can move content inside of documents around with drag and drop as well. So, for instance, I can take some text here inside of a Pages document. Once I've selected it I can click and then drag that text and move it somewhere else in the document. But I could also drag and drop it into another document. Or even drag and drop text between apps. So here I'm going to drag and drop this piece of text from a Pages document into an email. I'm still only just scratching the surface. You can use Drag and Drop for so much. Any time you have an object, an item, or some content that you want to do something with consider what would happen if you were to select it and then drag it onto something or into something. Would that seem to accomplish what you want. If so then give it a try. Different apps support drag and drop at different levels so sometimes it may work and solve your problem without you having to search for a menu item, command, or special function. Here's some other places where Drag and Drop is the solution. In the Dock you have all these different apps. If you want to rearrange them simple click and drag and drop them into a new location. If you launch an app that's not even here, like I'll launch Chess, it will appear on the right side. But if I want to make it a permanent part of the Dock I can simply drag it from the right side to the left and now it will stay there in the Dock even when I've Quit the app. If I want to remove it all I need to do is drag and drop it up and you could see the little remove label. Now I drop it there and it's gone from the Dock. All that is done simply with Drag and Drop. Even the Menu Bar icons here could be rearranged and removed using Drag and Drop. But you have to hold the Command key down and then you could drag and reorder these or drag them down to remove them. If you ever want to rearrange items in the sidebar here you could do that using Drag and Drop. That works here in the Finder. It will work, say, in Photos moving your albums around. It will work in Mail moving you mailboxes up and down. In Launchpad you can rearrange the apps by dragging and dropping them and moving them around. Or you could drop one on top of the other to create a Folder for several apps. You could Drag and Drop events in the Calendar app. So here I have a lunch scheduled. I can drag and drop it to another day. In the Reminders app I could drag and drop reminders to rearrange them or to move them to other Reminders' Lists. Sometimes it's tricky to drag something because if I were to click here it will check the dot. If I were to click here I'm Editing the text. So I have to find a spot that's outside of all that like right here. So then drag and drop the entire things as an item. So here's one last tip. If you were to drag and drop a file from one location in the Finder to another it will move that file. You could see it's gone from here and now it appears here. But if you want to Copy instead, while dragging and dropping hold the Option key down. You could see the little green Plus button. Now the original stays there and a copy is in the new location. On the other hand if you're moving from one drive to another then by default it will copy. You can see here a Plus because I'm moving it from the internal drive to this external drive. If you do want to Move it then hold the Command key down and the Plus goes away. Then you could actually move it deleting the first copy and only having the second copy when it's done. So you can see how important it is on a Mac to master Drag and Drop. So many things that we do, like moving items, rearranging items, exporting and importing, is all done using Drag and Drop. So get good at using it and you'll be good at using your Mac. Related Subjects: Mac Basics (31 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 7 Responses to “Mac Basics: Drag and Drop” Tricia Joaquin 2 years ago Gary, thank you so much. I'm trying to learn digital scrapbooking and figure out how to download a file and get it to the right place so I can find it again and be able to use it. Most people use PC's so I feel a little challenged when it comes to the right way to do it. This one is encouraging. Your videos are always spot on and so helpful. You are a great teacher. I know there is much more to it, but this is a good start. Gloria Messer 2 years ago In your tutorial, I noticed that the the date in the upper right corner of the menu bar is greyed out. This has been driving me crazy since I upgraded to big Sur 11.2.3, However, yesterday the date stopped being greyed out and became visible. Is this a bug in Big Sur 11.2.3.. I hope it is corrected in Big Sur 11.3. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Gloria: That's just an indicator of Do Not Disturb being on. The date and time are dimmed when Do Not Disturb is on. In addition, you can Option+click it to quickly turn it on or off. Corin Moore 2 years ago Very clear and useful. Appreciated. All the vids are free and for non-nerds, like me, comparatively easy to follow. Joan 2 years ago Another great video Gary, thank you. I think even some long time Mac users don't use some of these and they really make things seamless. I just discovered another trackpad trick esp useful to seniors or others who don't have as much dexterity. In the Accessibility System Preference if you enable three finger drag on a window's top grab bar its very easy to drag and drop, once you get used to it. Thanks again Gary. Joan Saunders 2 years ago I just two days ago got a new MacBook Pro and it runs Monterey OS, I have tried and tried and searched and searched, and as near as I can tell, Monterey (2021) no longer allows that function unless you duplicate the file etc. I don't want duplicate files, I just want to move files from one folder to another. This is something I have to do many times a day for my work. Without this function I might as well stop working. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Joan: There's no change as far as drag-and-drop is concerned. You can certainly drag and drop a file from one location to another. Note that when you drag a file from one DRIVE to another, it copies it by default instead of moving. Hold the Option key down to reverse that default behavior so it moves to another drive (and copies to the same drive). But that has always been true, it isn't new. Comments Closed.