Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mac OS X - copy file path?

Ever have a Mac user try to tell you the path to a file, only to have it start in the middle and end in a folder that doesn't exist? There really isn't a great way to get the path of a file on a Mac, other than a screen grab of the file/folder info page. An alternative to using an image attachment to show the path is to use the built-in TextEdit application in plain text mode. Here's how:

1. First you have to know where TextEdit is in order to open it. You can find it under Applications->TextEdit.
2. Now you must change it to default to plain text, which only has to be done once. To do that, on the menu bar, go to TextEdit->Preferences…, then under New Document, change the Format to Plain Text and close the Preferences window
3. After that you'll want to close the current TextEdit window and open a new one, which will then be in plain text mode
4. In order to get the path to a file or folder, drag the file or folder into the TextEdit window. It’ll put the path there, which can then be copied and pasted wherever you need it to go.

That should help avoid the dead-ends and "missing" files that I'm sure some of you run into. The original article I found this in can be found here, with a few other options that I didn't bother testing.

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