Using Finder to open hidden directories

Finder is the Mac equivalent of Windows Explorer. Finder simplifies the task of browsing through your folders. However, to keep things simple, Finder sacrificed some features that a power user needs. What do I mean by this?

In Windows Explorer, you can browse to Drive C or D etc and you see all your directories (or folders). In Finder, I did not know how to navigate to a directory like /usr/local. I had to open Terminal and use command line "cd" to change to my target directory. This was tedious for me since it meant no drag-drop functionality for copying, moving or deleting files.

I knew there was an easier way to do it but the discovery had to wait till last week.

I decided to study the Finder menus more closely and found the answer under Finder > Go > Go to Folder (Apple-Shift-G). This displays a text box where you can type the target directory. There, I can type "/usr/local" or even "/etc" and Finder displays the directory in its usual glorious visual display.

BTW, the other menu item-- Go > Connect to Server (Apple+K) will allow you to connect to a networked computer. If you are connecting to a Windows computer via TCP/IP, you need to prefix it with smb:// and add the IP address or the hostname of the computer. Example, smb:// will connect you to the computer with that IP address. If you know the computer name, you can specify it too, eg, smb://pinatubo.

I discovered Apple+K within Day One of receiving my MacBook, because I needed it to backup my files. (More on how I moved from Windows to Mac in a later post).

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