Sorry for the long silence, I’m really busy with work!

This is only a quick note about the list view range selection behavior (shift-click) I’m observing in Mac OS X Lion’s Finder. There’s quite more to it than you might think!

  • First off, when there’s nothing selected and you shift-click on an item, all items from the top up to the clicked one (including itself) are selected.
  • When there is an existing selection, the result depends on the previous non-range selection action:
    • Regular selection: The range between that item and the clicked one is selected (including both items).
    • Deselection (cmd-click on a previously selected item): The range between the clicked item and the next selected one below it is selected. If there is none, the range between the previous selected item and the clicked one is selected.
  • In the previous step, if the previously selected item is part of a contiguous range, all other items of that range are deselected.

Did I miss anything? Please tell me via Twitter (@anlumo) or comment below!

UPDATE: @5minpause pointed me to an article, describing the same behavior in a much more elaborate way: Legendary Selections, Dude

UPDATE 2: Alright, discovered another peculiarity in the Finder selection behavior: When clicking onto the file name or file icon without any modifiers, the selection is changed on mouseUp: (the previous selection is also not changed in mouseDown: yet). When either any modifier is held down or the row is clicked somewhere else, the selection is changed in mouseDown:. I guess this is implemented so that you can drag a file without changing the selection.

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