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?


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? – DublinJimbo Aug 10 '11 at 20:03
  • A quick check on my SL machine shows the same behaviour. A discovery for me, so. – DublinJimbo Aug 10 '11 at 20:15
  • Please edit my answer to make it better :-) – bmike Aug 10 '11 at 20:17
  • 1
    This behavior has been existing since Classic Mac OS. – MacLemon Aug 10 '11 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). – DublinJimbo Aug 10 '11 at 22:08

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