How to Copy File Paths on Mac OS X

How to Copy File Paths on Mac OS X

Here’s a quick tip post for Mac OS X users that shows how to copy file paths on Mac OS X. Because the Mac OS X Finder is a high level GUI (Graphical User Interface) files and folders are usually handled by clicking and moving icons around on the desktop. But sometimes you may need to get the full path to a file or folder as a text path.

How to Copy File Paths on Mac OS X in the Finder

How to Copy File Paths on Mac OS X with Right Click MenuHow to Copy File Paths on Mac OS X with Edit Menu

The simplest way to see how to copy file paths on Mac OS X is to use the Finder itself. First select a file or folder icon in any Finder window. Then either right-click on the icon to open the context sensitive menu or click Edit in the menubar to open the Edit menu. Press the Option key to change the menu item Copy “Filename” to Copy “Filename” as Pathname. After selecting that command you may then paste the copied file path wherever you wish which will look similar to this. /Users/userx/Documents/debug.log

How to Copy File Paths on Mac OS X with Get Info Panel

You may also use the Finder’s Get Info window to copy the path to the folder that contains the file. Even though the Get Info window shows the volume name at the beginning, the copied and pasted path will skip the volume name if it’s the internal system volume as follows. Also note that it doesn’t include the filename so you’d need to copy/paste the filename to the end of the path if desired. /Users/userx/Documents

How to Copy File Paths on Mac OS X with Terminal

Another way to copy the pathname is to open the Terminal application and drag a file or folder icon from a Finder window and drop it into the Terminal window. This will insert file path to the Terminal window after the current cursor position. Where you may use it as part of a terminal command or you may copy it to paste elsewhere if desired. /Users/userx/Documents/debug.log

How to Copy File Paths on Mac OS X with Terminal Application


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