If you don’t know what subversion and TortoiseSVN are, you’re really missing out. Subversion is on the way to becoming the most popular source code control tool. (And, you don’t want to be left out, do you?)
For those of you who do know about these tools, I’m going to show you something that will probably make you think to yourself, “Wow! That was hiding right under my nose, this whole time? (And, for those of you who don’t know about these tools, hopefully this will peak your curiosity and you’ll check them out.)
But, first, let’s take a quick step back…
Many people overlook the right-click drag and drop menu in Windows Explorer, because there is not a lot of functionality there. To see what I’m talking about, do the following:
- right-click on a file (press and hold the right mouse button, but do not release it as you would, normally, to see the context-menu)
- (with the right mouse button still pressed) drag the file to another location
- release the right mouse button
You should see the context menu shown, below:
This context menu allows you to choose whether you with to create a copy in the target location, move the file to the target location, create a shortcut in the target location, or cancel the operation.
That’s pretty nice, but it didn’t blow your mind, right? Well, here’s where it gets really interesting…
TortoiseSVN has added some extremely useful options to this right-click drag and drop context menu. And, these fly under the radar of most TortoiseSVN users. Here are some cool features.
When (right-click) dragging and dropping a working copy (revisioned) folder into another working copy folder, you get the following context menu:
I’m not going to explain each of these, but basically they provide easy ways to move and copy working copy files and folders around inside your sandbox — the SVN Move operation will probably save users the most time. After choosing one of these options, you can commit the changes to make them permanent (or revert them to restore the sandbox to its previous state).
I am so glad that I learned about this trick. It really makes reorganizing files and folders a lot less painful. And, source code control tools should be easy to use, if we expect people to use them.