While exploring the effect of different keys on menus in Finder in Lion, I spotted what seems like a redundancy in the case of the Go menu.

When pressing the ⌥ key while the menu is open, not only is the user Library added to the menu list, but the key combination for Enclosing Folder changes from ⌘↑ to ⌥⌘↑. The additional modifier appears to be redundant, since the same enclosing folder opens with both key combinations.

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At first I thought this was Lion-specific, so was surprised to notice that this also applies in Snow Leopard.

Can others confirm that they too experience this behaviour and, if so, explain why the two combinations exist?

1 Answer 1


In Lion and Snow Leopard, the option/alt key makes a subtle change:

  • + reuses the existing finder window (preserving sort, view and size of the child folder).
  • ++ opens a new finder window with the saved settings for that parent folder (closing the child folder)
  • That's certainly subtle. What about in SL? Aug 10, 2011 at 20:03
  • A quick check on my SL machine shows the same behaviour. A discovery for me, so. Aug 10, 2011 at 20:15
  • Please edit my answer to make it better :-)
    – bmike
    Aug 10, 2011 at 20:17
  • 1
    This behavior has been existing since Classic Mac OS.
    – MacLemon
    Aug 10, 2011 at 21:55
  • MacLemon – Thanks for pointing that out. This is the first time I've been aware of it, despite many, many years as a Mac user (I guess I don't often feel a need to go to the enclosing folder). Aug 10, 2011 at 22:08

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