Monday, April 4, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Searching in Open/Save Panels

Zach Waugh:

I just discovered you can hit / in any macOS save dialog to open a Spotlight-esque quick folder search and even use things like ~ to jump to your home folder. No clue when that was added, but a handy shortcut instead of manually navigating a deep folder hierarchy

This seems to be a new way of invoking the old Go to Folder command, which still works via Command-Shift-G. The folder picker matches Finder’s Go to Folder, which was redone in Monterey.

Previously, it only let you enter paths (with autocompletion). But now it also shows a list of recent folders, and you can also search by name. Neither of these new features works very well for me. The recent list does not include most of the folders that I’ve recently chosen. And searching behaves like the longstanding open/save panel search field: sometimes it works, but sometimes it takes a long time to find no results.

The main way that I navigate these panels is via keyboard shortcuts, which also match Finder’s:

And then I can drill down using the keyboard to select the right folder at each level.

For common folders that take longer to navigate to, I find them with LaunchBar and then drag and drop onto the panel.

I used to use a lot of Finder favorite/sidebar folders, which show up in the panel’s source list, but macOS 11 and later keep losing all my favorites, and so I gave up on restoring them each time. (I’ve stopped using widgets for the same reason.) Also, a few versions back, macOS stopped remembering the width of the open/save panel sidebar, and so it is hard to tell some of the longer folder names apart without resizing it every time.

Previously:

5 Comments

“ I used to use a lot of Finder favorite/sidebar folders, which show up in the panel’s source list, but macOS 11 and later keep losing all my favorites”

Absolutely maddening. I have *one* folder I like to add to favorites — I save files to it, and Hazel sorts them into their proper place from there.

Every couple of weeks, it just randomly disappears from the favorites area.

I use this facility with Keyboard Maestro macros all the time as the way to specify the source or destination of a file operation (such as Print to PDF for example). Since it can include the file name itself in the path, it is very useful at this and allows a lot of automation that would otherwise be quite hard to do.

Óscar Morales Vivó

Don't forget Command-Shift-D that sends you to the Desktop folder (often far more practical than moving everything out of the way to get to it).

>I just discovered you can hit / in any macOS save dialog to open a Spotlight-esque quick folder search and even use things like ~ to jump to your home folder. No clue when that was added

It's been there for a long time. (But, yes, the long-overdue improvement of autocomplete/autosuggest is new in Monterey.)

My favorite way of navigating in open/save is a weird one: head over to Finder, find the file or folder there, drag it to the top of the open/save dialog. It'll navigate to the folder and, if I dragged a file instead, select the file.

Since we're talking about ways to nagivate in Open/Save dialogs, here's an ancient but efficient one that's often forgotten:

Install (and purchase) "Default Folder X", and then you can move the mouse over any open Finder window - and if you click into that window, the Open/Save dialog will jump to the same folder (and clicking on the Desktop lets me switch to the Finder, perhaps open the desired window there, using an Alias I have on the Desktop, then click back to the dialog, and finally click on the newly opened Finder window to jump to it).

That, and cmd-shift-D, is what I use most in these cases.

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