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I was….inverted.

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inverted selectionWith Microsoft Windows Murphy makes frequent use of the Invert Selection menu in Explorer. When you need to select a group of files by dragging the mouse, it’s often more convenient to select the files you don’t need selected, especially if there aren’t as many. From there you invert your selection and you have the desired files highlighted.

In Windows, you could just go to the Edit menu in Explorer (My Computer) and click on Invert Selection. On your Mac it’s not so obvious. In a Finder window you can select a group of files. If you actually want to select the files you didn’t highlight: Hold the Command key on the keyboard and drag around all the files. This will reverse the selection.

Windows doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut for Invert Selection. And as far as Murphy can see there isn’t one for Finder either. Many key combos were attempted but nothing did the trick. Maybe you can find the keyboard shortcut?

This trick works in all three Finder views. In List view you need to start with your mouse pointer positioned to the left of a file, not below the list.

The feature is documented in this Macworld article. They even made the screencast – so now Murphy can take the rest of the day off.

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8 comments to “I was….inverted.”

  1. The Shift key seems to do the same thing in icon view… I can’t see the difference between the two, can anyone else?

    Also, I’d be more likely to hit command-A (select all), then hold down command as I click to unselect the files I didn’t want selected. Seems simpler to me…

    … though I guess in the way of the screencast you can invert/select only a portion of a large folder.

  2. Yeah – shift works for me too.

    I wouldn’t say there’s one way that seems simpler. One of the good things about Macs and Windows is that there’s more than one way to do something. People on these kind of sites always say “Wouldn’t it be easier to just…”

    I don’t mean you Matthew – but some times people do it in a really obnoxious way that suggests their way is the only way anyone should do it.

    End rant. Thanks for the tip – this is a good one!

  3. BTW – does this work in Windows?

  4. Bobby: yes it does (if I remember correctly-I’m trying to forget)

  5. I don’t check this site very often, but I wanted to compliment you on your subtle reference to “Top Gun” in the title of this post. :-)

  6. I was wondering if anyone would notice. And thanks, we’ll take any visits we can get.

  7. as far as I can tell, nothings changed in leopard.. Nuts. Sometimes I miss windows.

  8. He’s looked nifty aurnod the bag at times, but his range is almost non-existent. His quick progress aurnod the bag and avoiding contact there has been a pleasant surprise, but I wouldn’t have thought he was that much of a statue. Below average range sure, but it needs to improve a bit for him to really be considered there long term.The whole playing him real close to the middle might be part of the problem, they might look into over-shifting his positioning more to help things out.

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