I have a situation where the current UI is set up in a left-hand navigation that contains a tree structure containing folders and their contents. The right-hand side of the application is where the user can work with a file that has been opened from the left-nav. This is similar to the way Eclipse IDE is set up in terms of folder tree on left, workspace on right.
The current ask is to have a "batch" mode in which the user can perform bulk actions on the tree structure. Currently, users can modify a single file at a time by clicking on a small down arrow next to each item, but this is super slow and annoying to power users. Suggested actions are Move, Copy, Delete, and a number of other more complex actions. They have asked that checkboxes next to each and every item in tree not be persistent all the time as this would cause too much visual clutter.
As this is a web application, what would be the best way to go about designing this? Would having a "batch mode" toggle button be best which would trigger checkboxes next to every tree item and then present the user with a dropdown option of what they wish to do with selected be best? Or, would having the user CTRL+click items in the tree to select multiple and then right clicking to perform a "bulk" action on them be best (not sure how I feel about this as we are a web application and I'm not sure this would translate well).