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Computers

Better manage files on a Mac with FilePane

Get contextual menus when you drag and drop files for quick and easy file management.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

FilePane offers a helping hand when you are dragging and dropping files to and fro on your Mac, providing shortcuts to many common actions based on the type of file you are dragging. The app also works with blocks of text and online images. FilePane usually costs $6.99 but is currently discounted to $1.99 as part of $2 Tuesday.

FilePane is set up to spring to action when you begin to drag a file or image or block of text, but you can switch its activation to a keyboard shortcut via its menu bar icon. I'm a loyal and longtime drag-and-dropper and kept FilePane in its default settings.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

When you begin to drag a file, FilePane presents a small Drop here icon near your cursor. The app humbly places the icon opposite of the direction you are dragging the file to prevent you from accidentally engaging FilePane if you are simply dragging a file to the trash or another location. I quickly discovered, however, that it's faster to use FilePane to trash files.

When you drop your file on the Drop here icon, a new window appears with a menu of actions tailored to the type of file you are dragging. For an image file, for example, FilePane lets you email the image, set it as your wallpaper, compress it as a ZIP file, create new file (with file conversion and compression options), share (via AirDrop, Facebook, Flickr, Sina Weibo or Twitter), edit it via a built-in (but very basic) image editor, and move or copy the file to another folder.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In a browser (it works with Chrome, Firefox and Safari), you can drag a block of text or an image to the Drop here icon. For text, FilePane provides a word count and character count, sharing options, and the ability to copy the text your clipboard or save as a TXT file.

For drag and droppers, FilePane is a convenient, time-saving utility. In fact, you can see an estimate of the time you saved using FilePane from the app's menu bar icon.