How to type the name of a directory in the Mac Finder

Problem: You're using the Mac Finder, and you're in one directory, and you need to move to a directory/folder that is somewhere else in the system hierarchy. It sure would be easy if you could just type in the name of the folder you want to move to, but you don't know how to do this.

Solution: Whenever you're using the Mac Finder, or other Finder-related components in Mac OS X applications, you can use this magic keystroke to let you type in the name of a directory/folder that you want to move to:


This brings up the following dialog, which lets you type in the name of the folder you would like to move to:

The cool thing about this "Go to folder" dialog is that you can bring it up at many different times when using the Mac Finder and Finder-related components, including:

  • When you use the Finder, and want to move to a different directory.
  • When you select File | Save As within an application.
  • When you select File | Open within an application.

One more cool feature

For power users there's also one more cool feature about this dialog: It lets you get to folders that are hard to get to otherwise. For instance, you can type in /tmp to move to the normal /tmp folder on a Unix system. (The only other way I know how to open a Finder in this directory is to open a Terminal window, and type open /tmp, and I think this "Go to folder" approach is a little easier than that.)