For those of us on OS X not running Lion (myself included), one of I the stupidest things we have to deal with is that Finder doesn’t include a Cut function for files and folders. It’s absolutely ridiculous that it took until this year for OS X 10.7 that Apple finally added it! If you want to move files from one place to another without the tedium of copy and paste, followed by deleting your duplicate file, all you can do is drag and drop. I’ve found that this is rather troublesome, so on today’s OS Tips, I’m going to show Mac users not on OS X 10.7 how to more easily deal with the fact that Finder won’t allow you to cut and paste.

1. Open Two Finder Windows – One of the easiest ways to work around this limitation is to have one Finder window pointed to your source file and another to your destination. That way, you don’t have to traverse through your disk’s file structure to get to your ultimate destination.

2. Shorten Opening Animations – In case you are stuck dragging a file from one place to another within Finder, be sure to adjust the delay on spring-loaded folders and windows to Short. That way, the file you want to navigate to when dragging opens up immediately and you don’t have to deal with an annoying wait. To adjust this option, open Finder’s preferences and under general, you should see a slider beneath “Spring-loaded folders and windows”. Slide this all the way to the left to turn off your wait time.

3. Use Exposé to Help – If you’ve ever tried to drag a file or folder directly from your desktop, you’ve probably encountered the problem of how to access Finder while you’re stuck holding the file. One way is to drag the file over to the Finder icon in your dock, then to choose the appropriate window. Another way is to utilize the view all windows function of Exposé to even more quickly choose your desired Finder window.

4. Ditch Finder Altogether – Fortunately, many developers have come up with excellent applications that do allow you to use cut and paste functionality. Two of the best are TotalFinder ($18) and Path Finder ($39.95). Note that they’re both rather expensive, and if you can deal with Finder’s drawbacks using the tips above, it may be best to save your money.

Are there any other tips I missed for moving around files in Finder? Let us know in the comments!

[Image courtesy of Flickr user FHKE. Licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.]