Knowing where you are in Leopard's Finder
It's happened to me many times; I'm deep into the folder structure of one of my hard drives and I lose track of where I am. Sometimes I will double click on a folder name to make it the primary view but then I lose context.
While the Show Path Bar option in the Finder is helpful it's a little too verbose for me. It displays each of the folder icons as well as the folder names. I just want a quick path to the folder I'm looking at.
It turns out there is a Finder setting that you can use to display the full path of your current view in the title bar of the Finder window.
Open a terminal session and enter the following:
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES
Once that command has been executed you will need to relaunch the Finder for the change to take effect. You can do this by holding down the Option key and then right-clicking the Finder in the Dock bar then selecting the Relaunch option.
Coming from the Windows world I always liked to have my complete path accessible in the Explorer window - this gives me that same effect. I really wish that the path it displays in the title bar was "copyable" to the clipboard, though it is not. On to the second short tip:
Copying the Path to the Clipboard
The second thing I needed was the ability to get access to the path so that I could copy it to the clipboard easily - usually because I'm sending a reference to the path to someone else on my network or creating a script file to manage something in a specific location.
I know there are several ways of doing this but the one that seems to work best for me is to have the file or folder selected in the Finder and then choose the menu Finder / Services / TextEdit / New Window Containing Selection. This will pop up TextEdit with the entire path to whatever you have selected in the editing area.
If you know of a better way to get access to that file path quickly just drop it into the comments below. As Ross Perot would say, I'm all ears.
However, in TextWrangler, I have seen this attempt to insert a folder path result in the insertion of the entire tree structure of the contents of the folder. I don't know if other apps behave this way.
The best though I could turn up was a little piece by TUAW. http://www.tuaw.com/2007/05/04/mac-101-dragging-and-dropping-from-the-title-bar/
As the first commentor points out, you can drag-and-drop a file or directory into an open Terminal window, and that causes the path to be automatically completed in that Terminal window. You could then copy and paste from the Terminal window to send the message to the other person.
(Note, that second step doesn't have to be with the mouse. Even Command + C works (which underlines the wisdom in not using a traditional Unix keyboard shortcut (Control + C) for GUI purposes as well, like MS/the PC-OEMs do.)
The nice thing about doing it that way is that the spaces get escaped -- e.g.:
They don't if you choose "New Window Containing Selection" from the TextEdit entry in the Services menu.
I love the drag and drop into a terminal window. Funny thing though - If I copy (Command-C) a file in the finder and then switch to a terminal window it pastes the entire path, though if I paste it into a text editor it only pastes the file name.
These tweaks are simple tick-boxes and are completely reversible.
Apple Script and Automator are perfect tools to get this task done.
Yup. The default is just the filename as it has been since day one (and only the filename then). Since the terminal was added, they must have decided rightly that it was more valuable to have a full path. I like keeping my clipboard cleaner so I lean towards drag & drop.
Don't forget that command clicking on the title bar of an open/save dialog will always work, too. I'm not sure anon was clear.
I also used Pathfinder for a while: http://www.cocoatech.com/
It's got a lot of really nice stuff in it, actually. I'm cheap, though, so I'm waiting for it to come up in Macheist or something before I buy it again. :)
Confused? Just try it! :)
This is going to become my new favorite timesaver.
Ok, to set that up you need to install 2 free utilities:
OMCEdit and Shortcuts.
This combination lets you hook up any unix command (or applescript, or just about anything else) to a keyboard shortcut.
It's a new feature of MacPilot and they took a page from the preferences pane "Secrets".
In fact, I was able to turn on the posix change via MacPilot. So, if you are looking for a "safer" way to make adjustments to your OS X and applications, check out MacPilot.
See this link below for further information: http://macdevelopertips.com/applescript/copy-finder-path-to-clipboard-tip-2.html
I think managing files is really a pain ... I miss the explorer view of windows, where you can quickly switch from one folder to the other.
I also dont like the fact that when overwriting a folder it just replaces the whole content (and not merging it).
Thanks for this blog anyways :)
I agree that Finder is rubbish. I found this to be a major annoyance when I switched a year ago.
I now use Pathfinder. There's a free trial that I highly recommend trying. It's better than Explorer in Windows in many respects: eg tabbed browsing!, Quick Look integration, etc.
ah yes that's right I installed it again yesterday (aparently when the teial period is over you can reinstall it?).
Looks definitely better than the finder.
Something I find strange, the copy function did not appear in the contextual menu when right clicking on a folder...
Check out Path Finder preferences, and you can add almost anything to the context menu.
Also, check out the functionality of the drop stack. If you are mouse-orientated, it might come in handy (you can use it for copy and paste, but also burn, compress, etc.)
wow that sounds great!
Yes I am definitely mouse oriented (except for the cut and paste functionality), I am very often bothered when I have to drop my coffe cup in order to use a keyboard shortcut ;)
I followed your entry which showed me how to have the full path of m current view in the title bar of the Finder window. But.... how do I get back to the default setting?!!!
You wrote: Open a terminal session and enter the following:
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES
Can you help me get back to the default?
Marion in NY
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool NO
Then hold down the Option key, right click on the finder icon in the Dock and select Relaunch.
I'm using this to on/off
found it from http://osx.iusethis.com/