I Bet You Didn’t Know You Could Select Multiple Files This Way in OS X

My son, Perceval, discovered a neat iTunes tip, and passed it on to me yesterday. It involves an interesting way to select multiple files, one that I had never come across. When I tried it in the Finder, I saw that it worked there as well. This may be new to Mountain Lion, or it may have been lurking in the background for a while. No matter what, this is certainly a surprising way to select multiple items. Here’s how it works.

  1. Click on one item.
  2. Press the Shift key, then click on a second item; this extends the selection from the first item to the second item.
  3. Now, press the Command key and click on another item, not contiguous to the first group.
  4. Then press the Shift key and click on another item, further down in the list, to extend the second selection. The screen show below shows what this looks like:

You’re probably familiar with the ability to Shift-click to extend a selection, and Command-click to make a non-contiguous selection. But the ability to combine both of these can be very useful when you want to select a number of items in a list. While I show an example above in iTunes, this also works in the Finder, in Numbers, and may work in other applications as well.

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13 replies
      • stephane says:

        1984? Seriously?

        The gap is not kept when you extend the selection on Mac OS X v10.2.8.

        This smart behavior was introduced for the Finder in Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

  1. Tapas Relia says:

    I’ve also been using it for quite a while and always assumed it was a well known feature.

    Second that…

  2. heidl says:

    Cool, i didn’t know this! and I’m using iTunes since the first day.
    It even works in the Windows version of iTunes. Doesn’t work in Windows itself though…

  3. Michael Scott says:

    This has, as others have said, been around for a long, long time. Nevertheless it’s extremely handy and I’d venture to say that I use it at least every three days.

    So thanks for posting it again!



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