“Go To Folder” is the Most Useful Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcut for Power Users
If there’s only one keyboard shortcut you should remember in Mac OS X it’s this: Go To Folder. We refer to this keyboard command so frequently here on OSXDaily that we just sort of assume everyone knows it, but it’s so useful and powerful that it’s worth making an individual post about it.
How to Use “Go To Folder” on Mac
You have two ways of accessing the Go To Folder function from the Mac OS X desktop and Finder:
- Go to the Finder of Mac OS if you have not done so already
- From the “Go” menu navigate down to “Go to Folder” ….or better yet…
- Hit Command+Shift+G from the Mac OS X desktop or a Finder window
Ideally, you’ll remember that keyboard shortcut of Command + Shift + G. It’s very powerful and becomes incredibly efficient once committed to memory and utilized to jump around the file system with ease.
Whether you just like to make customizations to Mac OS X, dig around in preference and cache files, go deep in system folders, or you want to navigate to complex directory path structures, this keyboard shortcut saves you a tremendous amount of time by allowing you to jump into paths in the Mac OS X file system without clicking around.
“Go To Folder” Tips
There are a few additional tips that are worth remembering when using the Go To Folder command: tab completion, and drag & drop support.
Use Tab Completion
Tab completion works like this, you start to type a directory path or filename and hit the Tab key to complete the text for you, preventing you from typing out the entire thing.
For example, if you want to navigate to /Users/YourName/Library/iTunes/ you can just do to this type /U (TAB) /Yo (TAB) /Li (TAB) /iT(TAB) where each time you hit the tab key the rest of the path will autocomplete. If you hear the system alert sound instead, that means there are other alternatives that start with the same first letters, so just type an additional letter in the sequence and hit tab.
We discussed tab completion a while ago but it’s worth mentioning again since it makes Command+Shift+G even speedier when digging deep.
Drag & Drop Support
The Go To window also supports drag and drop, so if you already have a folder open somewhere or you just want to quickly retrieve the full path of something, just drag and drop a directory or file into the Go To Folder window.
The full path will type out for you, which you can either go directly to or quickly copy and paste to provide to another user. This also works with network paths and mounted volumes, so if you wanted to provide someone on your LAN with a quickly accessible path to a file or directory, that drag & drop feature is all the more useful.
“Go To” Works in Save & Open Dialog Boxes Too
You can also use the “Go To” command from Save dialog boxes, so if you want to save or open a file from a long directory path, hit Command+Shift+G from an Open or Save window to bring it up.
Again, tab completion and drag and drop support works in here, and this is a much quicker way to access some directory paths than clicking around.
Is there a keyboard shortcut that is more useful than “Go To Folder”? I don’t think so, but let’s hear about it if there is one!