Drag & Drop from Spotlight in Mac OS X

Apr 6, 2012 - 8 Comments

Drag and drop from Spotlight

You can drag and drop files directly from Spotlight to elsewhere in the OS X Finder. To try it out, use Command+Space to search for something, then click and hold on the item while dragging it out of the Spotlight menu.

Default behavior moves the file from it’s source location to the new destination, but if you hold own the Option key during the process you can make a copy of the file instead. To undo the location change, hit Command+Z.

This can be much faster than digging around in the file system to locate a document or folder manually, especially with files buried far within subfolders. OS X Lion or later is required to use drag and drop in Spotlight.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Michael says:

    I just wish Spotlight had an option to show the path when hovering over the files…

  2. Apprentice says:

    Yes, it can show you the file location when your mouse cursor hovers above an item with Command+Option pressed.

  3. Blaine says:

    Right/Option+click > Reveal in Finder would be ‘great’ too! Or does Cmd+R work?

  4. Rick says:

    Please note: “it’s” is the contraction of “it is.” It is NOT the possessive form of it (like “his,” “her”). Thus, one doesn’t write “it’s book” when meaning “the book belonging to it.” One writes, “its book.”

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