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Drag and Drop

Between Panes

4Pane uses Drag and Drop (D'n'D) to Move, Paste or Link files or directories. The destination will usually be a directory displayed in a different pane, but it can be in the same pane (or even sometimes the same directory).

To start dragging, place the mouse on the name of the item to be dragged, press the left mouse button and start moving. For multiple items, first highlight them, then press the Ctrl key as you begin to drag one of them; release it once the drag has "caught" if you don't need it. Within the first centimeter of movement you should get a visual feedback to show that dragging has started. You can configure how easily you want this to happen in Options > Configure 4Pane > Misc; however too low a trigger distance might result in unintended changes to your filesystem!

The visual feedback will depend on what you're trying to do:
If no metakeys are being pressed, you are Moving and you will see Move

With the Ctrl key pressed you're Copying, and you will see Copier
With the Ctrl and Shift keys pressed you get a Hardlink, and you will see Hard link
With the Alt and Shift keys you're making a Softlink, and you will see Soft link

If you change keys in mid-drag, the icon will change appropriately. You can choose different metakey-patterns in Options > Configure 4Pane > Misc.

Apart from this "What am I doing?" feedback, you also need some for "Are we there yet?". This is provided by the cursor: if you can't drop in the current position, the cursor looks like   Can't Drop cursor
Once you're over a suitable target, so you can drop, it changes to   Can Drop Here cursor

What if you are dragging, and you realise that your target directory isn't actually visible? Well the easy answer is to stop dragging (in "mid air", so you don't accidentally drop the files in the wrong place), expose the target, and start again. But if you want you can force a scroll while dragging, in three ways: Once you are over the name of a directory, the cursor will change and dropping is possible. If you are doing a Move or a Paste, it will just happen. For Linking, a dialog will appear. In this you can: Instead of dropping onto a directory in a dir-view, you can drop in a file-view. If you drop onto a file, it will be the file's parent directory that accepts the drop; if onto a subdirectory in the fileview, it will be that subdirectory.

If you Move or Paste a file by D'n'D, but drop it back into its own directory, this will usually be accidental: either D'n'D triggered unintentionally, or you released the mouse button too early. If this happens a dialog appears, allowing you to admit to the mistake, but also giving the option to Duplicate the file instead. However creating a Link in the same directory is perfectly reasonable, you just need to give it a different name.

Starting with 4Pane 4.0 Moving or Pasting a file by D'n'D usually happens in a separate thread. This allows large, time-consuming ones to be cancelled if you wish; see the Edit menu. Note that cancelling doesn't always work, particularly when pasting from a slow device like a usbpen or over NFS.

D'n'D to elsewhere

You can use D'n'D from a pane in three other situations: It isn't possible to use D'n'D from 4Pane to other applications, or from outside into 4Pane.