Looking for some equivalents to Mac OSX shortcuts


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Hello,
I have recently received a Windows 7 PC. I've used Macs all my life, so getting used to a Windows system is taking a bit of effort. A few things that I do on the Mac all the time, and I've yet to find an equivalent are:
1. Dragging a file into a file selector dialog box to navigate there
For example:
On a Mac: I have a folder (eg. "Photos") open on the desktop, with a bunch of files in it. I want to import one of these files into an application. I go to the application, do File > Import and the file selector appears. To navigate to the file, I just drag it into the file selector dialog box, and the file selector instantly navigates to the "Photos" folder. I can then choose one of the files from there and import it.
Is there a way to do this on a Windows system?

2. Hide current app, without making all the desktop folders vanish
Why, on Windows 7, when I go to the desktop (either via the unlabelled end chunk of the taskbar or by doing a windowskey-D), do all the open folders suddenly disappear? Obviously the only reason I'd want to "show desktop" is to see what's on it (ie. a load of folders I've opened previously). I'm not interested in seeing my desktop picture (which I've set to a neutral grey anyway). Obviously I want to see the things on my desktop - ie. open folders. Is there a way to fix this bug? It's bonkers! I then have to repeatedly do an alt-tab thing to re-open those windows.

3. Up arrow/down arrow should go to the start/end
This is a really simple one that catches me out on Windows all the time. On a Mac, if I've selected a single line of text (a filename for example, but it works system-wide) and press the up arrow key, the cursor goes to the start of the text. The down arrow key takes it to the end. On Windows, up/down seems to do the same as left/right in one line on text.

4. Compressing files
On a Mac, if I want to compress a folder/file/bunch of files, I select it/them, right click and choose "compress". That's it. On Windows, there's a bewildering array of "add to zip file", "add to archive", "send to compressed folder" (that doesn't even make sense, and that option just generates an error). I've read the help on using WinZip, but it is just ludicrous - 6 or 7 steps to compress something. There must be an easier way.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

- Paul
 
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TrainableMan

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1. In windows the file extensions are associated with a program, so if you simply double-click (two rapid left mouse clicks) on the file it will open in the default application. And if you have multiple applications that can handle that file extension and you do not wish to open it with the default application, you would instead right-click and choose "open with >" and then choose the application from the list of programs known to handle such an extension.

2. Open Folders are not part of the desktop, once open they are being displayed in the Windows Explorer application and so when you display desktop it is merely hides all windows, including Windows Explorer, and shows the icons available on the desktop. If your objective is to see another hidden window, such as a Windows Explorer window, you should instead use alt+tab to scroll through the list of open windows and bring it to the front.

Really, the way windows is designed, you wouldn't even normally leave a folder sitting on the desktop very long; it allows it, but really folders should be stored in libraries. Libraries allow you to sort your files/folders into the default library classifications of Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. Each library type can be customized to display certain fields, for example you might want to know the length/duration of videos but this field would not be displayed for pictures at all. You can even create addition libraries if you wish but you still have to assign it a display format of either Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, or "General Items".

There is really nothing preventing you from storing some pictures in your videos library, etc but then the fields displayed for those pictures will be based on the column settings for videos.

3. Windows is not Mac and this will probably just take getting used to ...
For most applications I believe the action you seek would need be done with the Home and End keys rather than up & down arrows. And if you are editing text, Home and End merely go to the start/finish of the line, in that case you would need to use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End to go to the Top/Bottom

4. Simply select the file/files/or folder and right-click, choose "send to > compressed (zipped) folder". Note, that if the files/folders are in a protected system folder, such as if you try to zip Windows OS files then you will get an error because you are not authorized to create files there, not even a zip of the files that are already in that folder. Even your libraries, by default, are protected from direct access, you need to go through the Libraries rather than directly to C:\Users\Paul\Documents .
 
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Thanks for your help, TrainableMan!

Firstly, the issue with the file navigation is not to open a file, but to navigate to it using a program's file browser. For example, if I'm running After Effects, I've got a project open, and I want to export something. I've got the folder sitting there, open, in Windows Explorer. So all I'm looking to do is find a quick way to navigate to that folder (from the program's file browser) which I can see there on the desktop, without having to go through the tedious up and down through the directory structure. On a Mac, I'd just drag one of the files from that folder on the desktop into the file browser, and it would change the file browser's location to wherever that file is, so I can then export/save into that folder. On Windows, if I try that, it tries to move the file. Which is not what I want.

Open folders - one of the reasons I have a couple of large monitors (I'm hoping to get a third one soon) is to show many windows/folders at the same time. When I'm working on a project, I might have a folder full of scripts which I'll be looking through, a folder of audio files which I need to access, various folders of textures for some 3D models, folders of rendered output.....plus many more folders, most of which I need to be open at the same time, so I can jump around them. Not having them instantly visible when I hide a program is a very big problem. It seems completely pointless to have a command to show an empty desktop, when there should be folders sitting there. There must be a workaround - I can't be the only person to have discovered this glaring bug! Having the "desktop" and "windows explorer" as two separate applications seems bizarre.

Predictably, I am not enjoying my transition from Mac to Windows, but since Apple basically told its pro users where to go, we have no choice. Unfortunately the Linux market is still way too small for the large app developers to take seriously, which is a real shame.
 

TrainableMan

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I'm not aware of any way other than cut (from windows explorer path bar) and paste to change the folder path when you are saving something.

If you have multiple monitors you could position an open Windows Explorer or two in the other monitor so they are always visible, but other than that Alt+Tab is the option to scroll through open windows. And I agree, show desktop is pretty much worthless for me because I only have two text files on my desktop, some people start their applications from the desktop rather than from Start and that's really all "show desktop" is good for.
 
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Aha! I tried copying the folder's filepath, and it almost works - except Windoze is so stupid that when I paste it into the filepath of another window, it has a bunch of quote marks, and it doesn't work (come on, Windows 7, just figure it out! "D:\stuff" is the same as D:\stuff) unless I manually edit the filepath, by which time I could have navigated there the old-fashioned way. I also tried a shift-right-click > copy as path to get a filepath, but again, it adds those ridiculous quotes around it.

Wow. This awful OS continues to amaze me on a daily basis with its bugs and general lousiness. I suppose I can count myself lucky that it's not Windows 8!

I suppose showing the desktop is useful for those peculiar people who like to have dozens - or maybe even hundreds - of icons and shortcuts thrown all over it.
 
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TrainableMan

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I'm not sure how you are copying and pasting but I do not get quotes. Older software may use quotes to handle spaces. When I go to the Windows Explorer path, left click it so it's highlighted, and then copy it, I can go to the "save as" filename in Corel Paint Shop Pro X6 or Microsoft Word 2010 and hit enter and it takes me to the copied folder; I do not get any quotes.

Any change is hard. I remember when I first came here years ago it was to vent about the annoying differences between Windows XP and Windows 7, so I can only imagine the differences you will need to get used to, but it will come in time.
 

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