Apple has made macOS excellent at dealing with drag and drops. For instance, I typically pull an image proper out of the Images app or Safari and drop it into iMessage or Slack. One factor that’s all the time slowed me down, although, is shifting round extra conventional files, like PDFs or different paperwork.

However then I learned that fairly just a few apps, together with lots of the built-in ones, have a fast shortcut to get on the file you’re viewing. Utilizing this shortcut (which is formally known as the proxy icon), you’ll be able to simply do issues like add a PDF you’ve gotten open in Preview to Google Drive with out having to go in search of the file in Finder. Right here’s the way it works:

Nary a Finder window was opened.
GIF of somebody dragging a file from Preview to a Safari window with Google Drive.

The trick is utilizing the title bar, which is the realm the place Apple places the visitors light-style window controls and the identify of the file you’ve gotten open in addition to different buttons, relying on the app. If you happen to hover over that file identify for a second, it’s possible you’ll discover that somewhat icon seems to the left of it. (Some apps don’t require the hover.) That is what lets us do our magic. If you happen to click on and drag that icon, you’ll mainly be clicking and dragging the precise file as if you happen to had been utilizing the file supervisor.

To be clear, that is not a brand new function of the newest macOS beta or something. I’m fairly positive I learned about it when somebody talked about it within the context of options which have been round so lengthy that younger whippersnappers like me have by no means even heard of them. So, sure, I am a bit late to the occasion right here. However now that I lastly learned about it, I use it on a regular basis.

Considered one of my most typical use instances is when I have to learn by way of a PDF for work after which add it to DocumentCloud so I can embed it in an article. I used to try this by minimizing Preview after which looking round for the doc on my crowded desktop, utilizing Fast Look (the factor that previews a doc if you press the house bar) to be sure I wasn’t importing the fallacious factor. Now, I can simply drag and drop the factor I’m studying straight from Preview, very like I do within the GIF above.

I’ve additionally discovered loads of different methods to use the function. If I have Finder in a sure mode, I can use it to rapidly copy the trail of the folder I’m in into Terminal. (Bonus tip: if you happen to drag and drop a file or folder into Terminal, macOS will simply insert the trail to it.) I even used this function on QuickTime to make the display recorded GIFs you’ve been seeing on this article.

Gif of someone dragging a file from QuickTime onto the Choose File button in a website.

Oh yeah, do you know you’ll be able to simply drag files onto the default Select File button?

Whereas this received’t essentially apply if you happen to’re simply utilizing this function to share files between apps, I do have one phrase of warning if you happen to, like me, suppose “wait, what occurs if I drag the file from the title bar right into a Finder window?” The reply is that it’ll transfer the file from wherever it’s presently to wherever you dropped it. That’s an affordable default, I suppose, but it surely might find yourself being complicated if you happen to assumed that it might copy and paste the file moderately than lower and paste it.

Sadly, this isn’t one thing that each single app can do. I couldn’t discover a way to seize files from Obsidian or Photoshop, for instance — although the latter isn’t precisely shocking. However there are a good variety of apps that I have been ready to use it with, together with Pages, Blender, Logic Professional, Nova, and even Microsoft Phrase of all issues. If there’s an app you’re taking a look at files in continuously, it’s value checking if it helps this function; you by no means know when it’ll come in useful.

However wait, I’ve obtained one final bonus tip if you happen to’re sticking round within the title bar — although if I’m being trustworthy, it’s a bonus as a result of I haven’t run into any conditions the place it’d be helpful. As well as to having the ability to drag the file icon, you can even right-click it to see which folder that file lives in (and which folder that folder is in, and so forth and so forth). From there, you should utilize the checklist to rapidly open a Finder window navigated to that folder.

Proper-clicking on the file icon permits you to simply inform the place it’s situated in your disk.

Whereas discovering this technique wasn’t an earth-shattering revelation that 10x-ed my productiveness, it has helped lower down on the period of time I’ve spent trying to find files I have already got open. And that’s nice as a result of having to do that may, satirically, be an actual drag.

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