Drag and drop is a time honored method to move or copy files from here to there, or to reposition files or elements within a document. It’s easy. It works. Is there a better way? Yes. It’s called Yoink. Think ‘yank’ as in pull or move, but for files you want to drag and drop between here and there on Macs where fullscreen apps are the norm or where Spaces takes up the screen space, and where dragging and dropping a file has too many steps. It happens.
How do you drag something from one app to another when both apps are in fullscreen mode? How do you move something from one Spaces location to another? Yoink does that by creating a little pop out shelf where you can drop items from within one fullscreen app and retrieve them in another screen or app. Ditto for Spaces.
The way Yoink works is simple enough. Drag what you want to move onto Yoink’s pop out window. Navigate to whichever Spaces or fullscreen app you’re using. Retrieve said items from Yoink’s pop out Window and put them wherever they need to be.
You get controls for where the pop out window pane resides, options to remove items when they’re dragged out, QuickLook Previews, and more.
Not so fast. First up, here’s how Yoink describes itself.
By providing a temporary place for your file drags and app-content, Yoink frees up your mouse, letting you navigate more comfortably to the destination of your files. Yoink accepts any file from Finder and app-content from almost any Cocoa app. So whether you’d like to move or copy files to a different folder or hard drive on your Mac or wish to collect images from a website or text snippets from documents before you move them to the desired destination, Yoink has got you covered.
That, of course, is advertising and marketing-speak for “Whoa. This is cool.”
Check out the animation video.
First, drag and drop remains. Nothing was eliminated. In fact, there are now two drags and drops. Drag to Yoink and drop. Drag the item or items off the Yoink pop out pane and drop onto wherever you want them to go. That’s two drags and two drops. But the difference is notable when you use fullscreen apps or Spaces.
Second, whatever happened to copy and paste? It’s simple to grab three or four different snippets or files or photos or PDFs or whatever you want to copy from the Finder or wherever, select them, hit Command-C to copy, then switch to Spaces or move to a different fullscreen app and then drop them wherever they need to go.
For what it’s worth, Yoink doesn’t cost much and it’s clever enough to integrate into your workflow, but it’s merely another way to do what you probably already know how to do without the expense or learning something new.