1 2 Previous Next 29 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2014 8:40 PM by GSydney
chenchao Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

whenever i hit the enter key on a file in finder, the highlighted file does not open rather is ready to be renamed. how can change this? thanks.


MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • 1. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    Eric Ross Level 6 Level 6 (11,660 points)

    You need to double click with the mouse or press command+O to open a file.

  • 2. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    chenchao wrote:

     

    whenever i hit the enter key on a file in finder, the highlighted file does not open rather is ready to be renamed. how can change this? thanks.

    You don't change it. You use the correct commands, like cmd-O, cmd-downArrow, or double-click it.

  • 3. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    timnicholson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I get that the Mac is different that Windows and I know most people here hate it when Windows users come in and ask for their Mac to work like Windows. However, when it comes to being able to open a file or launch an app by hitting the enter key, I have to respectfully disagree.

     

    Don't think of this request as a Windows user trying to change the Mac. Think of it as normal, logical behavior for a user interface. A good UI should default to whatever the most common task is and for files its open them not renaming them. Can anyone actually say they rename files more often than they open them? Its absurd when you think about it.

     

    If that argument doesn't work, then how about being consistent across Apple OS's? iOS certainly defaults a tap on an application to launch it, not rename it. Virtually all iOS apps that I've used that manage files also default to opening a file when you tap on it as well.

     

    At the very least, this should be a simple SETTING in the OS. They did this when they introduced reverse scrolling in Lion (made it optional via a setting) and they absolutely do this for the default behavior of the enter key in Finder. This is dead simple to implement and die-hard Mac users that still want enter to rename their files can leave the setting that way.

  • 4. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    I don't have an enter key on my iPhone. How do I hit the enter key to open an app on the iPhone?

  • 5. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    timnicholson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Of course you don't hit enter on an iPhone, but I would say its pretty commonly agreed that pressing enter on a file s the equivalent to clicking on it with a mouse or tapping on it from a touch-screen device.

     

    This is normal behavior for everything except for Finder on the Mac. In fact, the built-in and 3rd-party Mac apps that display a list of files let you press enter on the file or directory to open it. Its ONLY Finder that doesn't work that way.

     

    At any rate, my whole point is NOT to try to get everyone to agree on what the enter key should do in Finder, but rather to have Apple simply give us the OPTION to either have it open or rename the file. This really should be a no-brainer.

  • 6. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    timnicholson wrote:

     

    Of course you don't hit enter on an iPhone, but I would say its pretty commonly agreed that pressing enter on a file s the equivalent to clicking on it with a mouse or tapping on it from a touch-screen device.

    Not in my 27 years of using a computer.

    This is normal behavior for everything except for Finder on the Mac. In fact, the built-in and 3rd-party Mac apps that display a list of files let you press enter on the file or directory to open it. Its ONLY Finder that doesn't work that way.

    That's because pressing the enter key is a surrogate for clicking on the default button.  A button isn't an icon.

    At any rate, my whole point is NOT to try to get everyone to agree on what the enter key should do in Finder, but rather to have Apple simply give us the OPTION to either have it open or rename the file. This really should be a no-brainer.

    Good luck with that. Apple hasn't provided many options for anything at all.

  • 7. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    chenchao wrote:

     

    whenever i hit the enter key on a file in finder, the highlighted file does not open rather is ready to be renamed. how can change this?

    You don't. You've got a Mac, learn to work on a Mac. If you like the Windows way of doing things, stay with Windows.

     

    Switch 101: On Windows, I used to...

    <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2514>

  • 8. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    timnicholson wrote:

     

    I get that the Mac is different that Windows and I know most people here hate it when Windows users come in and ask for their Mac to work like Windows.

    Good. We're half way there.

    Think of it as normal, logical behavior for a user interface.

    Exactly. A normal, logical behaviour for a user interface is the way Mac users have been doing it for decades!

     

    Joking aside, your problem is that you assume that there is a single "normal" and "logical" behaviour for a user interface. I suggest you need to examine your assumption.

    how about being consistent across Apple OS's?

    Why? Should the controls on the Honda Civic be "consistent" with the controls on a Honda motorcycle?

    opening a file when you tap on it

    AFAIC, the Mac equivalent of a "tap on it" is pressing ⌘↓

    At the very least, this should be a simple SETTING in the OS

    Really? If there were a setting for everything some users might like to change, then there would have to be more RAM allocated to settings than to running the OS.

     

    If you don't like it, there is a simple solution -- use Windows. Or, a more complicated, '*******' solution -- replace Finder with another file browser. There's Path Finder, Disk Order, MuCommander, Xfolders… If the one you like doesn't offer the feature you want, write to the developer and ask for it.

  • 9. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    Barney-15E wrote:

     

    Not in my 27 years of using a computer.

    Hear, hear!

    That's because pressing the enter key is a surrogate for clicking on the default button.  A button isn't an icon.

    I would call it a shortcut rather than a surrogate, but the point is clearly made.

  • 10. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    dhirajkumar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree with timnicholson, that from the user experience point of view it makes logical sense to associate the enter key with opening the file than to rename it. It's a usability absurdity with the Finder. How absurd is it to have to use "Command+o" to open a file when, the activity of opening a file is done more frequently than the activity of renaming the file. And so it should be made more accessible. Any kid can tell you that using an Enter key is more accessible than using a combination of keys. If somebody is contending this then they should understand usability first.

  • 11. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    dhirajkumar wrote:

     

    If somebody is contending this then they should understand usability first.

    Could you please provide a link to your PhD thesis on 'usability'? Thanks in advance.

  • 12. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    boink boink Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)

    i got this phrase from one of our engineers

     

    is the user trying to use the device the way he wants or the way it was designed to?

     

    and i think this is just a matter of preference regarding how enter key should work.

     

    how about delete key on a mac keyboard? why is it not called backspace and does not delete a file when pressed?

  • 13. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    Arsenal1607 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I seriously cant beleive how precious some people are on here in terms of defending the mac.

     

    i have just switched over to a mac from being a lifetime windows user. i have always had apple products, had iphone since the 1st one, the only thing missing was a mac which i now have.

     

    i love it and much prefer it to windows.

     

    however not being able to accept and recognise certain things in my opinion is just silly and petty.

     

    i cant prove it as i havent asked this question to everyone in the world but i would suggest that most people would associate the enter key as being just that - enter.

     

    therefore if you have highlighted something in finder and you hit the enter key, logically it would make more sense for it to open that file rather then go to rename it. regardless of if you are a long term mac user and are used to it or not.

     

    similarly when a window pops up for example in mail when you cancel a new email and it asks you if you want to save the draft or not, common sense should dicate that when you press enter it automatically executes the button thats highlighted (which is the 'save' button by default). and if you press right or left keys common sense would tell you it would move the highlighted key to the next button ie discard or cancel etc but again it doesn't do this.

  • 14. Re: Enter key does not open the file
    Arsenal1607 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    its all very well saying shortcut for this and that but logically no one is going to remember 30+ keyboard shortcuts.

     

    there are some things in this world that are universal regardless of who they are made by, and the reason for it is because its commonly agreed by most people that it makes the most sense.

     

    hitting the enter key on any highlighted field should open or execute it, not go to rename it. yes those that have used macs for decades might be used to that, but thats not because its better its just becuase your used to it so it doesn't affect or bother you.

     

    also, there are some keys on the keyboard that do have the same function as any keyboard in the world be it mac or windows - backspace, tab, esc, shift etc. the enter key should fall into this same bracket.

     

    finally, the op was only suggesting that we should be given the option. telling him to go back to windows if he doesnt like it is just childish. and nobody suggested apple should give us an option for every single feature, of course this isn't possible. but for the big options, where i gaurantee that a lot of people would change it if they could, they should give the option.

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