Mac OS X Tip – Type Or Edit Path In Finder

Edit Path In FinderSometimes I just want to type a path in Finder, or maybe paste it from somewhere. It can be painful slow to track the right folders 1 by 1. Surprisingly, its difficult to find this little trick via a web search, it seems everyone if focused of displaying the current path at the finder windows and other eye candy stuff, but not productivity.

So, as a reminder to myself and anyone how finds this post, at any Finder window (or a Open/Save File dialog) you can simply use CMD + SHIFT + G and it will show a pop-up where you can type the address you desire.

Obviously the address is a OS X/Unix type of address but it seems you can’t use it to access other protocols, i.e. smb://ip/share_name, to open a file share or to browse a FTP destination. I’ve also experienced some bug, in specific applications, where I can’t paste a path in the box, not with CMD + V, but right clicking and selecting Paste from the context menu worked sometimes. Lastly, its a pity that it also won’t prefill the text box with the current path, it would be very handy if you just needed to edit a bit of the path or append something.

Overall, its a nice trick but its a pity that even being a productivity improvement as it is it’s bugs and flaws won’t let it reach it’s maximum potential.

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10 Responses to “Mac OS X Tip – Type Or Edit Path In Finder”

  1. n.n. says:

    You can even tab-complete. Type /App and hit the tab-key to complete it to /Applications.

  2. Go To Folder takes “paths”, not “addresses”, though I suppose abstractly speaking a path is a type of address. (It won’t, for example, take file: URLS, even though those are one-to-one with filesystem paths.)

    The box, though, accepts relative paths, though that’s not including the usual “..” for “parent folder”. (That is a problem.) It also supports simple tab completion: type “Mov” while in your home directory and press tab, and it’ll complete to “Movies/”.

    Finally, if you have a URL that’s genuinely for a file share of some kind, you can always use the “Connect to Server” box, Cmd-K.

  3. Gerry says:

    I was so happy to find that hint – and then figured out that going through my long paths (e.g. because of mapped webdav structure) there is a limit in chars to that field … very odd :-(

  4. JohnB says:

    Thank you! This was driving me nuts!!! I had a very long path to import a file into XCode and it was sooo time consuming to walk all the way down the path a click at at time…

  5. Greg says:

    Thanks! You saved me. Coming from a windows environment I’m used to typing and autocompletion. Thanks Again :-)

  6. Richard says:

    Nice work. Though for my purposes I was hoping typing in the path would stop finder from rewriting my sym links. It didn’t.

  7. Ivor says:

    Finally I found it! I’m still figuring out how to use the mac, but I can’t believe there isn’t a button for this…

  8. Dave Tong says:

    Great tip – thanks. Why is it so well hidden?

    One frustration point is that if you have relative fields within the path that confuses Apple,
    eg /tmp/foo/./bar/baz is a perfectly valid path, but won’t work.

  9. Sascha says:

    Thanks a lot, very helpful! Unbelievable, that it is hidden like that.

    Apparently, you can’t paste URLs in that window. :-( In windows it’s extremely simple, you can just paste everything you want right into the file explorer, incl. URLs. That saves so much time.

  10. ebleble says:

    I have just switched from Windows to macOS and non-editable path in Finder is one of many things I have already found which are screwed up, badly designed and not user-friendly in macOS.

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