C-Command Software Forum

Making the Source list active

I’m likely missing something, but wondering if anyone can tell me if there is a state-independent keyboard-shortcut to make the Source list active.

I often find myself wanting to use the Go keyboard shortcuts to navigate to a particular folder in the source list, then use the collapse/expand keyboard shortcuts, and/or type the first letter of a folder to navigate to it in the source list. As far as I can tell, though, if the Source list isn’t already active before I Go to the initial folder, I then have to determine whether or not it’s the Records list or the Records viewer which is active … then determine which state-dependent keyboard shortcut to use to make the Source list active.

For example: I often find myself wanting to collapse the Records folder in the Source list and then navigate to the Unfiled folder. The way I am doing it currently requires…

    1. Keystroke ⌥⌘1 to navigate to the Records folder
    1. Determine if the Source list is active (i.e. the Records folder has focus)
  • 3a. If the Source list is active … skip to step 6
  • 3b. If the Source list is not active, then determine whether it’s the Records list or the Records viewer which is active
    1. If the Records list is active, keystroke ⇧-Tab … If the Records viewer is active, keystroke ⌃-Tab … to make the Source list active
    1. Once the Source list is active, keystroke ← or ⌥← to collapse the Records folder
    1. Keystroke “u” to navigate to the Unfiled folder

Could someone please let me know if there is a keyboard shortcut that will make the Source list active regardless of what part of the browser is currently active.

If there isn’t one, then Michael, please consider this a feature request. Alternatively (preferably for myself, though I don’t know about others) maybe you could add a preference or an esoteric preference for the Go command to automatically switch focus to the Source list?

Thanks in advance for the help.

There may be a better way to do this, but I focus the source list by pressing ⌥⌘F to focus the search field in the toolbar, then pressing Tab.

Currently, there is no single keyboard shortcut that will do that.

Thanks for the suggestion. I think it would probably make sense to have the numbered Go commands switch focus to the source list, no preference necessary.

nriley: Thanks for the tip on your workaround – I hadn’t thought of that.

Michael: Thanks – that sounds like an ideal solution. While I’ve got your ear, a couple more navigation requests for your consideration…

  1. Have Escape key turn off title-editing in the Source List and Record Viewer? I often find myself double-clicking on a title by accident, and doing this in the Finder has trained me to use the Escape key to get out of title-edit mode. (I know the Return key can already do this.)

  2. A keystroke combo to jump between folders at the same level in the Source list? Maybe ⌃↑ and ⌃↓ ? (For example to jump directly from Parent 1 to Parent 2 in the example below, without having to down-arrow through Child 1 and Child 2.)

Parent 1
…Child 1
…Child 2
Parent 2
…Child 1

Thanks for considering.

This seems like a good idea. Thanks.

I don’t recall seeing this in an application before. Would others find it useful?

Hmm - no seconders, yet.

Well, at the risk of being unpopular, I’m going to add yet another navigation request in here.

In addition to a wish to have a keystroke combo to jump between folders at the same level in the Source list, I also wish that I could right-arrow from the Source list into the Records list once I’ve reached the bottom of a given folder hierarchy.

Records

      1. Stuff I’ve Read
      1. Generic Stuff
      1. Personal Stuff
        • Commerce
            • Pay Stubs
            • Supplier Statements

In the example above, I would generally keep everything collapsed, then when I want to navigate to a PDF in the Pay Stubs folder, I would use the Go to ‘Records’ keyboard shortcut … down-arrow to ‘3. Personal Stuff’ … right-arrow to expand ‘3. Personal Stuff’ … down- then right-arrow to go to and then expand 'Commerce … and then I would like to use down- then right-arrow to go to ‘Pay Stubs’ and then jump into the first pay stub in the folder. But because the folder’s documents are in the Records list rather than the Source list, I run into a wall here. Then it takes me a moment to switch gears and realize I have to move my fingers away from the arrow keys on the bottom-right of my macbook, to the tab key, on the top left. It feels like an unnecessary navigational and cognitive stumbling block, where the arrow keys can get me everywhere I want to go – except to my very final destination.

Doing it the way I’ve requested would also replicate the finder’s behaviour in ‘View as Columns’.

For your consideration, Michael. Thanks.

This is nonstandard behavior, but it’s a useful shortcut that I’ve seen in NetNewsWire and perhaps a few other apps. It’s actually already on the to-do list.

Great to hear, Michael – thanks.

After giving it a bit more thought, here’s a clarification of a number of thoughts I had on this. Perhaps…

  1. and … move to the next folder at any level in the Source list, or the next record in the Records list (as they currently do)

  2. ⌃↑ and ⌃↓ … move to the next folder at the same level in the Source list, or the next record in the Records list (allows jumping expanded sub-folders in the Source list without having to collapse them or iterate through them one by one).

  3. … a) Expands folders w/ sub-folders in the Source list, b) Jumps from folders w/out sub-folders in the Source list to the first/selected record in the Record List

  4. ⌃→ … Jumps from any folder in the Source list to the first/selected record in the Record List.

  5. … a) Collapses folders w/ sub-folders in the Source list, b) Jumps from the selected record in the Records list to its containing Folder in the Source List

  6. ⌃← … Jumps from the selected record in the Records list to its containing Folder in the Source List

For me, this would really make the bottom row of the keyboard (arrow keys + modifier keys) command-central for navigating through EagleFiler.

Thanks again for considering, and hope you don’t mind me trying to make a case for these adjustments.

Can you think of good names for these commands?

These sound good to me.

I’m hesitant to add these because these Control-arrow shortcuts are commonly used for Spaces, and I’ve never seen them used for this purpose. You can already Tab and Shift-Tab.

  1. ⌃↑ and ⌃↓ … move to the next folder at the same level in the Source list, or the next record in the Records list (allows jumping expanded sub-folders in the Source list without having to collapse them or iterate through them one by one).

Can you think of good names for these commands?

That’s a tough-one. Before I get to the name, I realize there was one part I wasn’t precise about: If you were going to implement this, using the down direction as an example, the modifier key would essentially be saying, “Skip Children, if that’s what’s directly below me, OR, Skip Siblings, if that’s what’s directly below me.”

So in this example…

A
–B
----C
----D
----E
F

…hitting ⌃↓ would jump from ‘A’ or ‘B’ or ‘C’ or ‘D’ or ‘E’ directly to ‘F’.

Name-wise, the things that keeps coming to mind are Leapfrog or Jump or Bypass. Using Outliner nomenclature like Children and Siblings and Parents means that the menu-title would be state-dependent. Essentially, though, you would always be Jumping or Bypassing whatever’s immediately below you to a Folder at the Same or at a Greater Level. Perhaps, upon using it, the behaviour would be intuitive enough to a user that Bypass-Down/Up or Leapfrog-Down/Up would immediately convey the meaning? Definitely just thinking out loud here – if I have any other thoughts later on I’ll post 'em.

  1. ⌃→ … Jumps from any folder in the Source list to the first/selected record in the Record List.

  2. ⌃← … Jumps from the selected record in the Records list to its containing Folder in the Source List
    I’m hesitant to add these because these Control-arrow shortcuts are commonly used for Spaces, and I’ve never seen them used for this purpose. You can already Tab and Shift-Tab.

Two thoughts.

  1. Rather than using the control key modifier, maybe the cmd shift keys could be used here instead? To me, although it’s not standard behaviour, I think it would be superior to not to have to move away from the arrow keys to the Tab key. You mentioned NetNewsWire - they already do this, but in my opinion, they have the keyboard shortcuts backwards. The right-arrow key will jump from any folder or feed in the Source list (even if there are sub-folders) directly to the first record/feed in the Records list, and the cmd-right-arrow combo will expand the selected folder in the Source list. I think your implementation of the unmodified arrow keys in EagleFiler is superior, but I would also love to see a modifier+arrow key behave the way NNW’s arrow keys behave in terms of traversing back-and-forth between the Source and Records lists.

  2. Whether you end up adding these shortcuts or not, I wonder if the Tab key behaviour might be adjusted so that it always selects a record in the Records list when jumping from the Source list?

Hope at least some of these thoughts/ideas make some sense – feeling a little brain-dead today.

Thanks again for taking some time on this with me.

Hmm, just noticed that the command modifier is not assigned to any arrow keys in the Source list, except for the up-arrow – I see that [cmd + up-arrow] already does something similiar (in the upward direction) to what I was saying above re. Leapfrogging/Bypassing. Currently though, it always goes directly to a Parent folder, rather than just skipping over whatever level is displayed adjacently (in the upward direction).

As you already know.

For whatever that’s worth.

Hi Michael,

An attempt to clarify…

= = = = = =

IN SOURCE LIST:

Down: Move down, to next folder displayed

Cmd-Down: Move down, skipping next folder displayed and folders below it at same or lower level

Up: Move up, to next folder displayed

Cmd-Up: Move up, skipping next folder displayed and folders above it at same or lower level

Right: Expand folder if expandable, otherwise move to first (or already active) record in Records list

Cmd-Right: Always move to first (or already active) record in Records list

Left: Collapse if collapsable, otherwise same as Cmd-Up

Cmd-Left: Always same as Cmd-Up

= = = = = =

IN RECORDS LIST:

Down: Same as in Source list

Up: Same as in Source list

Right: Move to containing folder in Source list

Left: Move to containing folder in Source list

Cmd: Does not modify behaviour of arrow keys in Records list

= = = = = =

Thanks.

Hi Michael – had another thought re. naming and describing part of the above…

KEYSTROKE … NAME … DESCRIPTION

Down … Step Down … Move down to first folder or record below selection
Cmd-Down … Skip Down … Move down to first folder outdented from folder(s) below selection

Up … Step Up … Move up to first folder or record above selection
Cmd-Up … Skip Up … Move up to first folder outdented from folder(s) above selection

Alternatively, for descriptions: “Select first folder or record below current selection … Select first folder outdented from folder(s) below current selection”

Thanks.

In EagleFiler 1.5.7, the Go menu commands will make the source list active.

I’ve added this in EagleFiler 1.5.7.

With EagleFiler 1.6, you can use the Left and Right arrow keys to navigate between the source list and the records list.

Thanks for all your great work on EagleFiler, Michael. 1.6 looks dynamite, and I’m loving the new keyboard-navigation behaviours.