Shift-arrow list item selection. Does it annoy you too?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I'm thinking of starting an online petition.



Here is what it would say:



Quote:

We, the undersigned, believe that OS X's keyboard "shift-arrow" list item selection behaviour is counter-intuitive and functionally flawed. We request that Apple modify the behaviour thereof, for both 10.3 Panther and 10.4 Tiger, such that it is similar to keyboard "shift-arrow" text selection in applications such as TextEdit and Mail.



To observe the shortcomings of keyboard "shift-arrow" list item selection:



1. Open a Finder window that contains several items, such as your "home" folder (In the Finder, press shift-command(apple)-H).



2. If not already in list view, change to list view by going to the "view" menu and selecting "as list".



3. Click on an item in the middle of the list.



4. Hold down the shift key and press the up arrow a few times. You will see that the selection extends upwards.



5. Now, imagine that you have over-shot your target, i.e., you have selected more items than you intended. You should be able to contract the selection by holding down the shift key and pressing the down arrow. Unfortunately, doing this just extends your selection downwards.



6. Now, launch TextEdit. Copy and paste this text into the new blank document. Place the cursor somewhere in the middle of all the text, hold down the shift key and press the up arrow a few times.



7. Now hold down the shift key and press the down arrow. Observe the different behaviour.



8. Note that the flaw does not only effect the Finder. It can also affect any application that displays items in a list, such as iTunes.



Conclusion: Keyboard "shift-arrow" list item selection is counter-intuitive because it behaves in an unexpected manner, different from "shift-arrow" text selection. It is functionally flawed because there is no way to contract a selection if you have accidentally over-shot your intended target.



I am thinking of starting a petition because I filed a bug report with Apple about this and they closed it stating that it worked as intended.



What does everyone think?



Does this behaviour annoy you too?



Do you have an explanation as to why it behaves the way it does?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    akheron01akheron01 Posts: 152member
    If you've overshot then simply press command and click on item you want to deselect, it seems to me the finder's way is a lot better for massive selection starting from any point within the folder.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by akheron01

    If you've overshot then simply press command and click on item you want to deselect, it seems to me the finder's way is a lot better for massive selection starting from any point within the folder.



    But that requires you to move from keyboard to mouse. It is inefficient. If I wanted to use the mouse, I would have been doing that already. The whole point of keyboard "shift-arrow" is that you are using the keyboard only. And what if you overshoot significantly?



    Do you not agree that it is unintuitive to have this behaviour as opposed to the way "shift-arrow" text selection works?
  • Reply 3 of 7
    akheron01akheron01 Posts: 152member
    I think the behavior should be left as it is, I don't see that behavior as the problem. The problem, I feel, is that the finder is lacking in keyboard control for selection, there needs to be another modifier key, perhaps option, that, when held, deselects from the keyboard.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by akheron01

    I think the behavior should be left as it is, I don't see that behavior as the problem. The problem, I feel, is that the finder is lacking in keyboard control for selection, there needs to be another modifier key, perhaps option, that, when held, deselects from the keyboard.



    Well, yeah. I almost agree with you.



    In the interests of consistency, with "shift-arrow" working the way it does for text selection, and, incidentally, on Windows (the OS) for list items, it is the Finder's current behaviour that should have its key combination changed.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    I hate this too... Worked fine in OS 9.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    the Finder sucks a big bunch. Luckely, OS 10.5 will bring us a new Finder.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dacloo

    the Finder sucks a big bunch. Luckely, OS 10.5 will bring us a new Finder.



    This doesn't just affect the Finder. Seemingly, there is some sort of API for shift-arrow selection, as it affects (amongst many others) iTunes and 3rd party products such as CyberDuck.



    And, it bears repeating that Apple closed a bug on this, stating that it worked as intended.
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