Use Tab to auto-complete paths in the Finder Go To Folder window

Sep 15, 2010 - 5 Comments

autofill go folder finder

You can use the tab key to autocomplete any path in the Finder Go To Folder window (Command+Shift+G).

To try it out, open the Go To Folder window and start typing the path to a folder, like ~/Library/Pre then hit the tab key to complete the rest of “Pre” with “Preferences” – this is extremely useful when you are accessing lengthy paths in your filesystem.

Auto-completion should be familiar to anyone with a unix background, since it is regularly used within the command line interface.

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Posted by: Manish Patel in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. JB says:

    I tried your suggestion with ‘~/Library/Pre’,
    but before I could hit the Tab key, OS X had already completed the path.
    Upon further testing with different and longer paths, OS X completed every path I started to type with no intervention from me.
    I would have to question the usefulness of this tip…

    OS X 10.6.4

  2. Paster says:

    I’m not really surprised by this functionality, nor am I surprised by the fact that Finder auto-completes the path. I’v never used go to folder in Finder though, contrary to tab completion in terminal which I use daily.

    After fiddling around with it I’ve found one major flaw:
    ~/Library/Pr[TAB] adds up to ~/Library/Printers/
    while Preferences/ and PreferencePanes/ is also available.
    This won’t happen in terminal, either it adds nothing or it shows the available options if you press TAB twice.

  3. adam says:

    Paster : Exactly, and and must open a new windows to run without take front oneā€¦ But nice twick so

  4. […] just a general Terminal tip, I would highly recommend using tab completion when entering in long directory strings and complex names, it’ll save you plenty of […]

  5. […] discussed tab completion a while ago but it’s worth mentioning again since it makes Command+Shift+G even speedier when […]

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