Un-hoisting / un-focus should move to next level up, not root



  1. Change shift-left to un-hoist / un-focus to the next level up in the hierarchy, not to the root
  2. Establish a new shortcut for un-hoisting to the root


When working with an outline, you constantly move up and down levels incrementally, considering more or less context as needed.

At the moment it’s very difficult to do this while in ‘hoist’ mode. This is because there’s no keyboard shortcut for moving up one level at a time. Shift-left ‘drops’ you all the way to the root, from where you must retrace your steps.

The only alternatives you are left with are either to tap on the arrow keys repeatedly so that you reach the right spot in the ‘breadcrumb’ area and press Enter, or to click using the mouse.

Both are slow and unintuitive.

Moving level-wise is the more common action. Therefore, it should take the existing, most convenient shortcut, and ‘escaping’ all the way to the root should get another one.


Some UI precedents, off the top of my head, for ‘focused’ / ‘hoisted’ hierarchy navigation:

  • Directory navigation in Mac OS X (using command-up and command-down in a single window)
  • Hierarchy navigation in Workflowy (when ‘hoisted’, you can still move level-wise with complete freedom; hoisting and breadcrumbs are adjusted automatically)
  • Object-hierarchy navigation in Autodesk Maya (using up / down arrow keys in combination with ‘Isolate Select’)


Hi Kimon,

Thanks for the detailed description of the proposal. I’d be really glad to hear opinions of other our customers about it.

Currently, Shift+Right/Shift+Left work as a stack, i.e. on Shift+Left you return to the previous level you were in. It was discussed some time ago at Google+, I’ll try to bring people from there to this topic.