Jul 012008

Found a good shortcut for getting access to hidden folders in OS X file dialogs and the Finder. It requires some typing and it doesn’t auto-complete like Linux does, but it is better than nothing. Just hit Shift-Command-G to open the “Go To Folder” dialog and then type the path to the hidden file or folder. The path can be relative.

Now, just need to figure out how to access hidden files from the Finder and file dialogs.

[Edit 08/09/2008] The issue is that using the AppleShowAllFiles configuration doesn’t work in dialog boxes and if you enable it, opening Finder in your home directory gets REALLY messy. What Apple needs is the same feature that Linux has had for a long time: the ability to show and hide hidden files in dialogs and finder using a keyboard shortcut or menu option. I believe Linux uses ctrl-h for this. Apple could use something like cmd-shift-h or something.

  5 Responses to “Hidden folders in OS X file dialogs”

  1. Actually, the go to path dialog does autocomplete. Just press Tab. Unfortunately, it’s a bit annoying in that it picks the first choice on ambiguous tabs.

    Also, you can enable showing of hidden files by using TinkerTool to enable the hidden preference. http://www.bresink.com/osx/TinkerTool.html

  2. Or, you can just enable hidden files permanently:

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

    killall Finder

  3. After re-reading, my post was slightly ambiguous and I’ve updated it. Both TinkerTool and the AppleShowAllFiles don’t work for file dialog boxes and are a complete mess for the home directory. What Apple needs is a short cut key to show and hide hidden files in finder and dialogs.

  4. I don’t mind the ‘mess’ AppleShowAllFiles causes ;), although, you’re right, I never noticed that you can’t access hiddens on File Dialogues. I don’t think Apple will ever add, though. It’s not keeping in tradition with their uber simple LAF. Although, I guess they could add something like, ‘AppleShowHiddenIcon’ or something similar….well, I’ll not hold my breath.

  5. Makes the OS somewhat less powerful than Windows and Linux, but not a show stopper. Most of the hidden files are text and I can VIM them if necessary. And if I really need to get to them in an application, I can just use ‘open’.

    Hopefully Apple is open to suggestions. If I can find a way to contact them about a few or these types of things, I definitely will. Otherwise, we just have to hope that the Apple developers will stumble on the same problems and fix them.

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