Check tutorial of Cut and Paste Files & Folders in Mac OS X
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The Mac now has the highly sought after “Cut and Paste” file feature on the Mac OS X desktop and in the Finder, allowing users to actually cut and paste to move the selected documents or folders to a new location, instead of just making a copy of them. In this sense, the cut and paste capability behaves just like its Windows Explorer counterpart, and it represents a fast and efficient way to move and move files from one location to another, without using the default drag-and-drop method used by default on the Mac since the inception of the operating system.
Use the cut and paste file feature may seem a bit tricky at first, but it’s really not complicated. All you need to do is learn to distinguish between the keystrokes that perform the action. Let’s deal with it exactly how to cut and paste to move files and folders on Mac.
How to Cut and paste files and folders in Mac OS X with keyboard shortcuts
What you need to do first is select files in the Mac file system browser, also called Finder, and then combine a series of keyboard shortcuts. The keystrokes required for cutting and pasting files on Mac are as follows:
- FIRST: Command + C copies the files or documents in the Finder, note that they are not ‘cut’ yet
- SECOND: Command + Option + V pastes the documents to the new desired location on the Mac, cuts them from the previous location and moves them to the new location
Keep in mind that you must have selected a file in order to cut and paste on the Mac.
Important: Simply pressing Command + V will only move a copy of the files to the new location, like a real copy and paste function, instead of a cut and paste function. Note that holding down the Option key also changes the menu text to show “Move items here” to further illustrate the difference when using the menu-driven approach described below.
Cut and paste files on Mac with menu options
You can also cut and paste files and folders completely from the Edit menu in the Mac Finder.
- Select the files / folders you want to move in the Finder, pull down the “Edit” menu and choose “Copy”
- Now navigate to the new location in the Finder where you want to ‘paste’ the files
- Go back to the Edit menu in Finder and hold down the OPTION key to display “Move Items Here” (the Paste command changes to this, choose that to finish cutting and pasting the file in Mac OS X.
You must hold down the “Option” key to display the “Move Items Here” choice to actually cut and paste (move) the files.
You will notice that you cannot select “Cut”, so choose “Copy” in the Finder instead. The Copy command changes to “Cut” when you move to “Move” with the Paste command. You can view this sequence directly by pulling down the menu itself to also see the corresponding keystrokes, found in all modern versions of MacOS and Mac OS X:
Being able to cut and paste files and folders is one thing feature many Windows converts have wanted for a long time. Prior to this, users dragged items to their new locations to move them, or used the mv tool on the command line. Those methods still work, of course, but the cut and paste method is a very welcome addition for many Mac users.
This works the same within macOS Mojave, Sierra, macOS High Sierra, El Capitan, OS X Yosemite, OS X Mountain Lion, and Mac OS X Mavericks, and will likely pass as a feature also in future versions of the MacOS desktop.
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