DragonDrop: Move Your Files with Ease

I’m something of a neat freak when it comes to keeping my computer organized. When I use a friend’s computer and find the desktop littered with old, poorly named files like “WordDoc1,” I start to feel nauseous and begin rethinking our friendship. Consequently, I love to see new utilities for the Mac that help me keep things in order on my laptop.

OS X has never been great when it comes to moving files around. It prefers to just copy a file when you drag it rather than move it completely. Furthermore, having a bunch of windows open can make navigating to your destination difficult when you’re dragging something and you have your mouse button pressed down. DragonDrop is an app that saves people like myself who are frequently moving files around the headache of dealing with these problems.

The Basics

DragonDrop is a utility that sits in your menubar and helps you move files around your computer. After installing, you’ll be greeted with the preferences window, and you’ll have access to the user guide. DragonDrop generally stays out of the way until you need it. The icon in the menubar can even be hidden if you choose, meaning that the app leaves no visual footprint whenever you aren’t using it.

Let’s Get Moving

There are two ways that you can move files using DragonDrop. The first involves using the icon in the menubar. You can click and drag an item onto the shield icon, then release. The file will pop up in a small black box, which is now set to remain above all your other windows. You can click and drag this window around if you want it out of the way. Now you can open Finder (or another application that you want to drop the file into) without having to worry about going back to move it. Once you navigate to the file’s final destination, you can easily just drag the file over. Rather than make a copy as OS X is wont to do, DragonDrop makes sure the file is moved completely over. If, during this whole process, you change your mind, you can close the box and your file will remain in its original place.

Dragging a file onto the icon in the menubar saves the file in the DragonDrop window at the top of your screen..

Dragging a file onto the icon in the menubar saves the file in the DragonDrop window at the top of your screen.

The second method for moving files involves pretty much the same steps, except for how to start. Rather than drag a file onto the menubar to initiate the process, you can click and hold an item, then shake it (move the mouse back and forth quickly). Now the small window will appear for you to drop the item onto. The box appears near your cursor, and will automatically disappear if you drag the file away from it.

You drag a file onto the window that pops up to save it for relocation.

You drag a file onto the window that pops up to save it for relocation.

The Competition

The clearest competition for DragonDrop is a utility called Yoink, which I’ve been using for a few months. Yoink moves files just like DragonDrop, but has a few key features that some users might find make it the better option.

Dragging files with Yoink is a very similar process, but with a bit more power.

Dragging files with Yoink is a very similar process, but with a bit more power.

When you click and begin to drag a file with Yoink, a sidebar automatically appears. You drop the file on it much like DragonDrop. However, one key feature is that Yoink allows you to move mulitple files at once. For some strange reason, DragonDrop doesn’t support moving multiple files if you drag them onto the menubar icon. You can move multiple items if you use the cursor shake action, but you can only do so with one group at a time.

For example, if you select two or more files, drag them quickly to activate the DragonDrop window, you can drop them onto it and you’ll see a stack of the two items. But if you then decide there is another file you want to add, it will simply replace the other files you put there first. Yoink, on the other hand, allows multiple files to be placed in its sidebar at once.

The Yoink preference pane is full of options that are missing in DragonDrop.

The Yoink preference pane is full of options that are missing in DragonDrop.

Yoink also has a much more extensive set of options in the preferences pane. There are hotkey options to automatically show the window, support for multiple monitors, and the location of the window. You can add items to a stack of grouped items in Yoink, or add them to the window as separate file. My favorite option is the ability to add apps to an ignored list that won’t activate Yoink if you drag one of its items.

The DragonDrop preferences pane is relatively barren.

The DragonDrop preferences pane is relatively barren.

Conclusion

DragonDrop is about as simple of a utility as you’ll find on the Mac. When it comes to fulfilling its duty of helping you move files around on your computer, it does so very well. The shake to add action is pretty clever, and everything works without any strange bugs.

If I had never heard of Yoink, I would be giving DragonDrop a much higher score. But for five bucks, DragonDrop gives you fewer features at a higher cost. Yoink runs two dollars cheaper and has a lot more power.


Summary

A simple utility to help you move files around on your Mac.

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  • jackson

    I agree, I’ve been using Yoink for a while now and it has been great, the sidebar that pops out whenever you drag something in any app can be annoying at first, but you can set Yoink to ignore certain apps.

  • Jason

    I have been using Dragon Drop for a long time now and I like it a lot, but then I read what you said about Yoink so I downloaded that and I really really like it! But, then I went into the settings and saw that you cannot set Yoink to start automatically. Dragon Drop does start automatically however. Sorry, but I’m not going to open Yoink every time I start my computer, so I’ll stick with Dragon Drop. Are the developers of Yoink morons? What a stupid thing to do!

    • jackson

      you can add Yoink to your login items in System Preferences under “Users & Groups”, there is a tab “Login Items”, just click the + symbol and add Yoink to the list.

    • JD

      Jason, since the first release of Mac OS X you can start ANY app “automatically” on system-startup! Just drag and drop the app in your Login Items. (in System Prefs/Users & Groups)

  • Albertkinng

    This app is useless if you owned Pathfinder. Pathfinder have this utility builds in.

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