OS X Mavericks: Drag and drop

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Drag and drop

You can drag and drop to do just about anything on your Mac: move files and folders to new locations, add a photo to an email message, or move a chunk of text in a document. You can also drag items to the Dock or a Finder window sidebar so you can get to them easily.

To drag an item, select it, then hold down the mouse or trackpad button while you drag it to a new location. Release the button to drop the item into place.

  • To move an item on the desktop or in a Finder window, drag it.

    To make a copy of the item instead of moving it, hold down the Option key while you drag and drop.

  • To add an item to the Dock, drag it to the Dock and release the button. Notice that there is a separator line in the Dock. Place apps to the left of the line, and files and folders to the right. If you moved the Dock to the left or right side of the screen, place apps above the line, and files and folders below.

    When you drag an item to the Dock, an alias to the item is placed in the Dock. The original item is not moved.

    To remove an item from the Dock, just drag it out. Only the alias to the item is removed from the Dock; the item itself is not removed from your Mac.

  • To make an alias to a file or folder appear in every Finder window, drag the file or folder to the Favorites section of the Finder window sidebar. To add an app, hold down the Command (⌘) key while you drag.

    You can also drag an item to the top of a Finder window. When a green plus sign (+) appears on the icon, release the mouse button.

    When you drag an item to the sidebar or top of the Finder window, an alias to the item is placed there. The original is not moved.

    To remove items you added to the sidebar or top of Finder windows, press the Command (⌘) key while you drag the item out. Only the alias is removed; the item itself is not affected.

  • To move text or graphics within a document, select the text or picture you want to move, put the pointer over the selection, then hold down the mouse or trackpad button while you drag the selected item to the new location. Release the button to drop the item into place.

You can use drag and drop in combination with Mission Control to swiftly and easily move items among windows and workspaces. For more information, see:

Move and copy items between windows

Published Date: Oct 20, 2015
Helpful?