how do you drag and drop with voiceover?

macOS and Mac Apps
Hi; I was wondering if anyone can give me a clear step by step instruction on how to drag and drop items using voiceover; particularly from one location to another with the finder. I never seem to get the hang of it and now I'm frustrated enough to try again. Thanks for any help.



Submitted by Azzahra1995 on Friday, March 8, 2013

Hi to drag and drop double tap the item and hold then move your finger while holding and drag it to where you want

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Friday, March 8, 2013

To drag and drop items using voiceover double tap and hold the item you are trying to move then slide you're finger to the spot you want to drop the item then let go.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Friday, March 8, 2013

Hello Skyhook -- Can you provide an example and some more specifics where drag & drop is failing for you? If you can try both VO keyboard drag and drop methods and provide us with some details including your Mac Model, OS version, the method you are using, the exact step where the process fails and any error messages you are receiving during the attempted drag and drop process, I'm sure someone here can help get you going. I've had some success using both methods described in the Drag and Drop section of Chapter 2 in the "VO Getting Started Guide" for Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion, which I've linked here: Unfortunately, the drag and drop process does still seem a tad hit-or-miss, and I find that one or the other method will often work better given the particular applications involved. Cheers, Bryan

Submitted by Dave Nason on Friday, March 8, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hi. I generally find that this works for me: Navigate to the item you want to move. Press Command, Option and Comma. VoiceOver will say "Item marked for drag and drop". Then navigate to where you want it to go and press Command, Option and Full Stop (or Period to use the American word for it). I've noticed that sometimes it says that the operation failed, but if I close Finder and open it again, I find that it was in fact successful. So I have had some strange behaviour I must admit. To create a new folder, dragging a file and dropping it on another does not work. You are best to create the new folder first by pressing Command, Shift and N, and then dragging and dropping the files you want on to that. This may be a feature of the OS for sighted users too, I don't know. I hope this helps, or if not do you have any more specific details on the issues you are having?

Submitted by David Woodbridge on Friday, March 8, 2013

In reply to by Dave Nason

Commands that I use are: Control+Option+,(comma): select item to drag. Control+Option+.(period): drop selected item, and the one that works best Shift+Control+Option+.(period): drop select item after item that has VO focus. David

Thank you to all who have replied. While listing the commands to use was helpful, I still have issues. One is that I often get "marked item no longer available" when I try to drop what I have marked. I do the marking say a file in finder, and then move to another location like documents or an external drive. When I use drop, I get "marked item no longer available". Am I missing a step? David, when do you use drop item after voiceover cursor as opposed to on voiceover? I hope this makes sense. Thanks.

1. Are you attempting to drag & drop within the same Finder window, or from one Finder window to another? 2. Are the source and target both visible during this entire process? 3. What result did you get when you tried the other drag & drop method? 4. Again, which version of the OS are you running?

Submitted by Skyhook on Saturday, March 9, 2013

In reply to by Bryan Jones

Hi Bryan; thanks for all the valuable help. I managed to do one successful drop once by accident. I couldn't repeat it. Using osx 10.8.2 with Macbook Air. Essentially, trying to paste in a file to external drive and also to folder in Bitcasa. I think I'm using the same window in the finder. I select a file then change the folder using the sidebar; then when I try to drop the file in the folder using the browser, I usually get "marked item no longer available". As I said, I managed to move something from the documents folder to the desktop once, but I couldn't repeat this. I can't for the life of me get the hang of this procedure. Is it easier using the mouse commands or the trackpad? Thanks again.

Hi Skyhook. If you want to drag and drop something, both the item you want to move and the target you want to move it to have to be visible on screen. If you change the Finder window then the item you are moving is no longer on screen so the operation is cancelled. One option is to drag it to the desktop first, then change the Finder window, and then drag from the desktop to the new Finder window. Alternatively you could copy and paste, and delete the original after. If both windows can be open at the same time then a direct drag and drop will work. Hope this makes sense. It is the same for sighted users, only more intuitive for them as they can see what is visible on screen and are using the mouse.

Submitted by Maria on Saturday, March 9, 2013

HI. To move files I prefer to use command c to copy and then navigate to the folder I want to move the file in to. I then do a command option v to move the file to it's new location. I hope this helps.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Saturday, March 9, 2013

In reply to by Dave Nason

Why not just copy paste the item it's much easier. especially if you are doing it from 1 finder window to antoehr. the only exception to this is air drop but yeah. Take care.

Submitted by Brandt on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hi everybody,

Some people wrote their applications in such a way that you cannot copy and paste, for example, android file transfer.

I used to copy, or should I say drag from the application I want to copy from, to the dock Icon of the application I wish to copy or drop to.

This seems to not want to work at this point in time, why, I have no idea. If anybody can help, please do so.