Use OS X Finder shortcuts in Open and Save dialog boxes

FinderIconXWhen browsing through documents, images, and other files on your Mac, you can use a number of shortcuts supported in the OS X Finder that allow you to preview items, selecting ones to open, and navigating through folders. These can be quite convenient, and if you use them regularly, then you might benefit from using them in the system’s Open and Save dialogue boxes.

When using a program that saves or opens documents, the standard dialogue boxes for these actions appears somewhat like a Finder window, where you can see the sidebar to the left with your custom favorites locations, and you can set the view to icon, column, and list views; however, in addition you can also use some standard Finder shortcuts.

In the Finder, if you open the Go menu you will see a number of keyboard shortcuts next to common locations such as the Documents or Desktop folders. If you press these in the various Open or Save windows, you will navigate to these locations just as you would in the Finder.

Another similar shortcut that might be useful in this location is the Go-To-Folder shortcut (Shift-Command-G) that allows you to enter a full path to any folder on the system (hidden, or visible), and then open it if you have permissions to view its contents. If you are editing items in OS X’s hidden system folders, then this may be a convenient option to use.

Go to Folder in the Save dialogue box

Pressing Shift-Command-G in the Open or Save dialogue boxes, will bring up the standard Go-To-Folder panel, where you can specify any accessible folder path.

Beyond hotkeys, you can use the Finder’s standard navigation options, where you can move up one directory using the Command-Up Arrow hotkey, and open selected items by pressing Command-Down Arrow. You can also use the standard Command-O and Command-S to open or save a document, in addition to pressing Return to activate the dialogue’s main action button.

To close an Open or Save dialogue box without opening or saving a document, you can cancel it by pressing Command-Period, or by tapping the Escape key.

When saving documents, you might wish to create a new folder in which to save the document. While the Save dialogue box has a button to create a new folder, you can also do this by pressing Shift-Command-N.

Finally, Apple’s QuickLook preview option in the Finder can be exceptionally useful, and you can likewise use it in Open dialogue boxes to preview your current selected document before opening it. While you can use the Column view to show a preview of a selected documents, you can have a more detailed look by pressing the Space bar with the desired item selected.