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Just about every Mac user knows it how to select a single file in the Mac OS X Finder, but I’ve come across many users who are perplexed by selecting multiple files. Most of the confusion boils down to not knowing the primary methods of choosing groups of files, which is what we want to fix up here by focusing on the main way to choose groups of files: click and drag, shift click, click commands, and select all. They are all slightly different, but all are useful for moving files within the Finder file system or even sending them somewhere else to another Mac or iOS device.
Any of these tricks work to select groups of files in any Finder list view, be it an icon, list, columns, or Cover Flow.
How to Select multiple files on Mac: 4 ways
We’ll cover four different ways to select multiple files at once in MacOS or Mac OS X, including using click adjustments, dragging, and keyboard shortcuts. This selection of multiple files tricks work in all versions of Mac OS system software.
Select contiguous group of files with Click + Drag or Shift + Click
Multiple files can be easily selected in Mac OS X with the Click + drag, that works exactly as it sounds; click and hold while dragging within a window to draw a marquee and select more files.
Another option is to use the Shift + click, which also works for selecting groups of contiguous files in the Mac OS X Finder. Select the first file, hold down the Shift key, then click the last file, and you immediately select all the files between those two files.
Both methods work with files that are displayed contiguously (that is, side by side in any view), but do not work if you want to select files that are not directly grouped together. That’s when you want to use Command + Click instead.
Select multiple nonadjacent files with Command + click
Command + Click allows you to select multiple files that are not side by side in a Finder view. This can be as varied as needed, be it any other file, or one file at the very top of a list view and two more files at the very bottom, or some other variation in between.
You can scroll through a Finder window and select more items as you go down, but don’t forget to hold down the Command key when selecting a new file (s).
Command + click can also work to subtract and deselect files that are already selected. For example, you can use Command + A to select all, or Shift + Click to select a large group of files, then use Command + Click to fine-tune the selection of a few files you don’t want active in the group. deselect.
Select all files in a window with Command + A
Selecting all is self-explanatory, it selects everything in a particular Finder window and it’s just a matter of hitting Command + A, the Select All shortcut.
This has been around for a long time and apart from the drawing rectangle, it is probably the most famous trick to work with groups of files. For those who aren’t fans of the keyboard shortcuts, you can also select any file in a window by pulling down the Edit menu and choosing “Select All”.
As mentioned in the previous trick, using Select All in conjunction with Command + Click to deselect things you don’t want is very useful.
Finally, working with multiple files can be easier with the Finder status bar enabled at all times, as it updates when files are selected, showing a live count of the total number of documents selected. That, and more Finder tricks can be found here.
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