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I'm using Mail in Lion in three-pane full screen mode. Let's say I put my pointer over a message in the middle pane. I push the touchpad with my thumb to click and hold, and start to move the pointer with my index finger in the direction of the new folder where I want to file the message. Mail does one of two things:

  1. Begin to highlight a range of messages, or
  2. Begin to move the selected message to another folder.

I can never tell which one I'm going to get. I almost always want (2), but maddeningly often I get (1). What am I doing to cause the ambiguity? How do I clearly signal my intent to the UI?

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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Selecting happens when you start dragging in the empty part of a line and have a major vertical movement. You can prevent message moving from happening by immediately starting to drag across after clicking.

Moving happens when you start in the text part of a line. Moving is also easier invoked when your major movement is in the horizontal axis. If you click and hold on a spot for a moment and then start dragging message moving will be invoked.

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You should see an icon of a small envelope appear under the pointer when you hold your thumb down (and the icon changes to include a count when more than one message – or a conversation – is selected). Once that is there, and ensuring that your thumb remains held down, the drag with your index finger should be unambiguous.

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One trick I use is to click and drag to the right - over the viewing pane - and on to the target folder. This always results in the move rather than the select option.

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right area to drag message, everywhere else to select messages. see here

EDIT: sorry for the NSFW link. I moved from droolr to cloud app and my previous references are broken now (yes, I use a custom domain)

correct link http://sldn.info/9t7P

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