Archive for April, 2013

Using the keyboard in Open and Save dialogs

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Someone asked about this today – it’s useful stuff that’s not obvious, so I figured I’d share it here. If there are navigation keys or shortcuts that I’ve missed, please comment.

There are a number of keyboard navigation keys that are standard in all Open and Save dialogs, but they vary a bit depending on the view mode you’ve got selected.

In List View:

  • Up and down arrows move up and down the file listing
  • +Right-Arrow displays the contents of a folder without opening it (it turns the little twisty-arrow next to the folder)
  • +Up-Arrow goes up to the parent folder
  • +Down-Arrow opens the selected item

In Column View:

  • Up and down arrows move up and down the file listing
  • Left and right arrows traverse left and right in the column listing
  • +Up-Arrow goes up to the parent folder (when you’ve gotten all the way to the leftmost column)
  • +Down-Arrow opens the selected item

In Icon View:

  • Up, down, left and right arrows traverse among files
  • +Up-Arrow goes up to the parent folder
  • +Down-Arrow opens the selected item

And of course, when keyboard focus is on the file list, typing the first few letters of a file or folder’s name selects it. Note that in Save dialogs, this requires tabbing 3 times (usually) to get the keyboard focus from the filename edit box to the file list.

There are also some command key shortcuts, I’ve borrowed this list from http://www.productivityorchard.com/keyboard-shortcuts-for-mac-os-x-open-save-dialog

  • Spacebar – View the selected item in Quick Look
  • +D – changes focus to your Desktop
  • +Shift+A – Changes focus to your Applications directory
  • +Shift+H – changes focus to your Home directory
  • +Shift+N – Creates a new folder.
  • +Shift+Period (.) – Toggle hidden files & folders on and off.
  • +Shift+G – Brings up Go To Folder window
  • Tab – Tab key auto-completes paths and file names from the aforementioned Go To window
  • +R – Reveals the file in Finder
  • +F – Move the cursor to the Find field
  • +Period (.) – Close the Open/Save dialog window
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