TUAW reader Chris Roberts was right: it's been far too long since our last post in The Little Things series, so I figured I'd pick up the slack with a really handy feature of Mac OS X: drag and drop. Sure, most OSes these days can drag and drop at least some things, but Apple has gone to great lengths to build this workflow-enhancing feature into so many facets of Mac OS X's experience, I don't really have time to cover them all (and there's no doubt that I don't even know about them all). Take my screenshot for example: I'm dragging an image of our puppy out of iPhoto on the left into iChat's icon well on the right. A simple gesture, sure, but a tiny example of how powerful this functionality can become. Try a few of these other drag and drop operations on for size:
- Drag a file onto an app's icon in the Finder or Dock; its icon should darken, signifying that it can handle whatever you're throwing at it. Hold the Command key to force an app to open a file if it isn't initially cooperating.
- Drag images from a browser (except Firefox and Camino) into a Mail message or iChat window to easily share them; no clunky 'right-click, Save, Open' workflows here.
- Pause a QuickTime movie, click on the video and drag out to the desktop to create an instant snapshot of the frame you paused on (this might only work in QuickTime Pro - can anyone verify?).
- Drag a file onto a Terminal window to instantly create a path.
- Highlight text in most apps, then click and drag it to the desktop to create a text snippet, or into another window (Mail, iChat and Yojimbo are great examples) for a drag 'n drop take on copy/paste.