Feature Request: Send multiple items

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topfunky
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Feature Request: Send multiple items

Post by topfunky » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:03 pm

I often need to open multiple files in an application (for example, send a subset of files in a folder to Photoshop).

I can get 90% of the way there by using LaunchBar to navigate to a directory and narrow down the list of files so I'm looking at only the files I want.

However, I can't send all those files to Photoshop at once. (I know that I can do this in the Finder, but I'd rather be able to do it in LaunchBar without touching the mouse).

It would be awesome to be able to hit CMD-A to select all the files that LaunchBar has selected, then tab to send those files to another app, such as Photoshop.

Image

Thanks again for the fantastic, useful app.

FredSmith
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Post by FredSmith » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:02 am

Mmmm ... this multiple selection thing seems to be coming up rather a lot ... :)

ludwigschubert
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Post by ludwigschubert » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:15 am

How right you are :D

Should we all send in a feature request? :wink:

On a more serious note:
How would you actually implement it? I think it'd be a great feature,
but what keys should be used to select more than one item? "," ?
What visual clues would you give to indicate that more than one item is currently selected?
Keep in mind that those selections don't necessarily have to be in the same directory…

Let's hear your ideas, if we want to inspire the developer we have to offer strong and creative ideas 8)

Dennis
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Post by Dennis » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:04 am

My initial thought was to have it work the same way as multiple selections work in Finder's list view using Shift and up or down arrow key. Just about everyone is already familiar with the implementation and it seems like it would fit in nicely with LaunchBar's search results list.

One limitation, however, is that it wouldn't allow building a list from multiple search results. For example, you couldn't search for example.png, put it on the bar, and then search for test.txt, and also add that file to the bar. The only way to select both would be to somehow get them to show up in the same search results.

Another limitation would be handling non-contiguous selections. As far as I know, the Finder doesn't allow you to do this with only the keyboard (i.e. you need to Command-click with the mouse). And I'm not sure how you'd do it in LaunchBar either.

So it's probably better to use some key combination that adds the currently selected item to a growing stack on the bar. Maybe Command-Shift-G, or use Command-G for "Get Selection" and change "Get Finder Selection" to Command-Shift-G?

As items are added to the bar, it could display something like "3 Items Selected", which is similar to what currently gets displayed when you select multiple items in the Finder and put them on the bar (either by drag-and-drop or using Select->Get Finder Selection).

FredSmith
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Post by FredSmith » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:38 am

ludwigschubert wrote:How right you are :D

Should we all send in a feature request? :wink:

On a more serious note:
How would you actually implement it? I think it'd be a great feature,
but what keys should be used to select more than one item? "," ?
What visual clues would you give to indicate that more than one item is currently selected?
Keep in mind that those selections don't necessarily have to be in the same directory…

Let's hear your ideas, if we want to inspire the developer we have to offer strong and creative ideas 8)


Well I would try to keep with the single window metaphor that works so well here.

How about this:

A 'clipboard' that stores files, and a set of commands that goes with it

Show file shelf --> displays the files stored on the shelf in the drop down. From here, you should be able to move up and down with the cursor keys and delete items manually.

Store on shelf --> puts the item that you just searched for on the shelf. This would have to be one of those commands like 'copy' or 'move'

Clear shelf --> deletes all the items in the shelf.

A modifier key could change the standard file operation commands so that they work with the shelf.

I understand that OD are working on adding clipboard history, so I would think that it would operate in a very similar way.
Last edited by FredSmith on Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dennis
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Post by Dennis » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:40 am

That sounds interesting. But how would you launch multiple items? A command to launch everything on the shelf?

FredSmith
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Post by FredSmith » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:07 am

Dennis wrote:That sounds interesting. But how would you launch multiple items? A command to launch everything on the shelf?


Pretty much, yes.

I was thinking of a modifier + return key

I think the advantage of this approach is that you can leave the shelf, then come back to it to copy files etc.

In QS, I think that you have to do the operation straight after you have picked your files.

topfunky
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Post by topfunky » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:16 pm

I think it should be kept as simple as possible, i.e. CMD-A to select, then TAB to send all the files I'm looking at to some application or command.

Image

If you want to do something more complicated such as launch multiple unrelated files from different directories, just use the Finder.

Here's a short movie of how I would want to use it:

http://nubyonrails.com/system/uploads/2008/launch-multiple.mov

FredSmith
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Post by FredSmith » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:33 am

topfunky wrote:If you want to do something more complicated such as launch multiple unrelated files from different directories, just use the Finder.

Here's a short movie of how I would want to use it:


Mmmm ....

Yes, what you're asking for is different from what I was suggesting. I was looking for something a little closer to the Quicksilver comma command, which is actually much easier than using the Finder. For one thing, you cannot use the Finder to do this, because it cannot tag files from different locations and then execute a command on them.

ludwigschubert
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Post by ludwigschubert » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:30 pm

Actually if LaunchBar was using comma, the only thing we'd loose is the ability to search for files with a ',' in their name. Does anybody have such files? Would you think it's worth the sacrifice?

While I agree that command+a is easy enough, the Quicksilver like "comma" approach is just so much more powerful.

FredB
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Post by FredB » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:13 pm

IMHO, if LB could select multiple files, it would be sad to limit it to the current folder. A QS like comma trick would be perfect.

Combining that with a kind of shelf would be excellent. Add files to the shelf, then do something with all or some of them immediately or later.

Jono
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Post by Jono » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:56 am

Quicksilver's 'comma trick' to select multiple files gets my vote. People already know how to use it & are familiar with it.

But the ⌘A function to select all the files in a selected folder or smart folder could also work well as an addition to the 'comma trick'. Both have slightly different uses so it would be great if both were added.

FredSmith
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Post by FredSmith » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:44 am

Jono wrote:Quicksilver's 'comma trick' to select multiple files gets my vote. People already know how to use it & are familiar with it.

But the ⌘A function to select all the files in a selected folder or smart folder could also work well as an addition to the 'comma trick'. Both have slightly different uses so it would be great if both were added.



Mmm ... now I'm thinking if there is a case for adding a whole group of found files onto the shelf in one command.

:roll:

You could go mad with this stuff.

adman635
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Post by adman635 » Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:51 am

I vote for comma trick. A new icon could pop up next to the magnifying glass, arrows, and gear to indicate that you've got some files stored (perhaps their file type icon).

This functionality would be prime-time.

coolmemin
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Post by coolmemin » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:05 pm

This feature is actually the only thing that has me thinking of switching back to Quicksilver. I need to use it so often and I'm sure a lot of other people do too. I love everything about Launchbar but I really really really want to be able to use the comma trick! The Cmd-A is a good idea as well if possible

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