Set the Path Bar to be Relative to Home Directory in Mac OS X Finder
Finder on the Mac can show the path to the currently browsed folder (that is, something like Lion->Users->John->Music->MP3 collection). Just click View->Show Path Bar. However, there’s a slight problem—the path is listed from the root of the hard disk up to the current directory. I
f all you ever do is browse your home directory, then this information isn’t much use and the display can get bunched up very quickly.
Luckily there’s a secret setting you can use to cause the path bar to relate everything it shows to your home folder.
In other words, should you browse your Pictures folder, the path bar will read something like John->Pictures, rather than Lion->Users->John->Pictures. See the screenshot up top for a before and after example.
How to Set Path Bar to Be Relative to Home Directory in Mac OS
Open a Terminal window (Finder->Applications->Utilities->Terminal) and type the following:
defaults write com.apple.finder PathBarRootAtHome -bool TRUE;killall Finder
The changes will take effect immediately.
This screenshot demonstrates the effect, before and after:
Note the Finder path bar becomes relative to the Home directory, rather than relative to the Macintosh HD root directory.
How to Restore Default Path Bar Relative to Macintosh HD
Should you wish at a later date to revert to the default path bar, open a Terminal window and type the following:
defaults delete com.apple.finder PathBarRootAtHome;killall Finder
Bonus tip: Files can be dragged and dropped onto any entry within the path bar to move the file to that location (hold Option before releasing the mouse button to copy the file instead).
Note you can also display the full path in Finder windows titlebars.
This is another tip from Keir Thomas, author of Mac Kung Fu, a new book with over 300 tips, tricks, hints and hacks for Mac OS X Lion. It’s available from Amazon, and also in eBook form for all eReader devices, including Kindle.