Go to Folder


Go to Folder
Mac Tip #239/19-April-2006

Go to the Finder and look up in the menu bar. You’ll see an interesting item named Go. Take a look and you’ll see all kinds of places your Mac can go to: back and forward, various folders, even a server.

Try out to Go to Folder… item — I bet it didn’t work! You have to enter a full path in that one. A ‘path’ is the track you take to reach a file or folder, starting from the computer.

Let’s say I have a file called ‘test.txt‘ and I’ve saved it in my Documents folder. I’m a user called miraz on this Macintosh. I could describe the full path like this:

Macintosh HD/Users/miraz/Documents/test.txt

Now, there’s a good trick to know, which is that you can leave out the ‘Macintosh HD‘ part and just start with a slash:

/Users/miraz/Documents/test.txt

Replace ‘miraz‘ in the path above with your username and try it out in that Go to Folder menu item. Stop after ‘Documents‘ because you’re going to a folder, and ‘test.txt‘ is a file, not a folder.

And also know that there’s an even better trick: you can replace the whole first part:

Macintosh HD/Users/miraz/

with a tilde (that’s that kind of squiggle to the left of the number 1 key — you need to hold down the Shift key to type it):

~/Documents/test.txt

is the same as:

/Users/miraz/Documents/test.txt

is the same as:

Macintosh HD/Users/miraz/Documents/test.txt

And now a secret: that kind of talk is Unix-talk. Learn a few more snippets like that and you’ll be a Unix geek!

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2 Comments

  1. Miraz Jordan said:

    Crystal,

    the discussion at http://mactips.info/2008/10/view-the-path-of-a-file has some suggestions.

    I just experimented with an Automator application – it only needs 2 steps:

    1] Get selected Finder items
    2] Copy to Clipboard

    It worked fine and dandy for me as a workflow. Surely you can do something with that?

    Let me know how you get on.

    Cheers,

    Miraz

  2. Crystal said:

    This and finding the file path are both great tips. However – you cannot copy and paste these addresses! I’ve been searching for this functionality since I need to give references to things on a server and my PC colleagues can do it and quote them all the time. Any suggestions for a copy paste function for filepaths?

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