Be Clever in Open/Save Dialog Boxes – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 363Be Clever in Open/Save Dialog Boxes

Here’s a quick trick for those who like to work at the command prompt and who don’t like to take their hands off the keyboard.

Hitting / (forward slash) in a File Open or File Save dialog box will bring up a Go to the Folder dialog box. In the dialog box you can type the path of any folder to go straight there (/Users/keir/Documents, for example). However, the Go to the Folder dialog box also understands relative paths. If you’d like to switch to the parent folder of the one you’re currently browsing, type ../. You can also navigate several folders up the file tree from your current position: Documents/Q4 reports/graphics/, for example.

Just like at the command line, you can hit Tab to autocomplete path names in the Go to the Folder dialog box.

Note that, at the time of writing, this trick does not work with dialog boxes that have had iCloud functionality added—such as those used in built-in OS X apps like TextEdit and Preview. In these dialog boxes, you can still open the Go to the Folder dialog box by typing a forward slash, but it will not understand relative paths.