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Longtime Mac users are used to moving files around in Mac OS X by dragging and dropping them between folders and folders, or perhaps by using the more Windows-like ability to cut and paste files. Both methods work fine for moving files and moving things around, but another lesser known option for moving a file can be done when that file is currently open, just by using the file window title bar.
This is pretty hidden feature in Mac OS X, so if you’ve never seen moving files done entirely through the title bar of the active document window, don’t be too surprised. Hidden or not, you’ll find it convenient and a breeze to use. You need Mac OS X 10.8 or 10.9 or later to have this feature, so make sure your Mac is running a modern version of Mac OS X, then launch a file in an app before trying it out for yourself.
How to Move an open file directly from the title bar on the Mac
- With a file open, click on the file name in the window title bar to display a context menu (make sure to click on the text name itself, not the small document icon)
- Click the drop-down menu next to ‘Where’ (the location shown is where the file is currently located)
- Select the destination you want to move the file to from the list (including iCloud), or choose ‘Other’ to browse the file system and select somewhere specific
- Click away from the context menu of the title bars to hide it and resume work in the document as usual
That’s it, the document has been moved. By simply changing the “Where” selection, the file is immediately moved to the chosen destination. There is no confirmation, no drag and drop, nothing else is needed to move the file, it will be moved immediately when the window title bar action is executed, to the location specified by “True”:
This is incredibly useful feature for those of us who use “All My Files” to manage files and don’t necessarily pay attention to where everything is stored, and it’s also extremely useful if you’ve used Spotlight to directly open a file wherever it was saved.
While the example here used a document opened in TextEdit, moving a file from the “Documents” folder to the “Desktop,” you can move a file from anywhere to almost anywhere in Mac OS X. The same menu can even move a file to iCloud so that it can be accessed from other Mac OS X and iOS devices with the same Apple ID, offering this as an alternative option for more traditional file sharing.
The title bar moves feature is only available in newer versions of Mac OS X, but is largely supported by most new Mac apps. Likewise, in Mac OS X, you can also rename a file from the title bar by using the same drop-down menu. Apps that support any of these features always support the other as well.
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