Knowing where you are in Leopard’s Finder

It’s happened to me many times; I’m deep into the folder structure of one of my hard drives and I lose track of where I am. Sometimes I will double click on a folder name to make it the primary view but then I lose context.
While the Show Path Bar option in the Finder is helpful it’s a little too verbose for me. It displays each of the folder icons as well as the folder names. I just want a quick path to the folder I’m looking at.
It turns out there is a Finder setting that you can use to display the full path of your current view in the title bar of the Finder window.
Open a terminal session and enter the following:
defaults write _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES
Once that command has been executed you will need to relaunch the Finder for the change to take effect. You can do this by holding down the Option key and then right-clicking the Finder in the Dock bar then selecting the Relaunch option.
Coming from the Windows world I always liked to have my complete path accessible in the Explorer window – this gives me that same effect. I really wish that the path it displays in the title bar was "copyable" to the clipboard, though it is not. On to the second short tip:
Copying the Path to the Clipboard
The second thing I needed was the ability to get access to the path so that I could copy it to the clipboard easily – usually because I’m sending a reference to the path to someone else on my network or creating a script file to manage something in a specific location.
I know there are several ways of doing this but the one that seems to work best for me is to have the file or folder selected in the Finder and then choose the menu Finder / Services / TextEdit / New Window Containing Selection. This will pop up TextEdit with the entire path to whatever you have selected in the editing area.
If you know of a better way to get access to that file path quickly just drop it into the comments below. As Ross Perot would say, I’m all ears.


  1. Johan Lund says:

    If you drag a file/folder to a terminal window the full path will be pasted there. That path will be in a slightly different format however; using escaped spaces etc…